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Coconino County Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the upcoming renaming of the Sawmill Multicultural Art and Nature County Park in honor of a former member of the Board of Supervisors, Elizabeth “Liz” Archuleta.
Coconino County Parks & Recreation is pleased to announce the upcoming renaming of the Sawmill Multicultural Art and Nature County Park in honor of a former member of the Board of Supervisors and long-time member of the local community, Elizabeth “Liz” Archuleta.
The first Latina to be elected to the Board, Ms. Archuleta served in her position for over 24 years. In that time, she also served as President of the County Supervisors Association and as Chairwoman of the National Association of Counties Public Lands Steering Committee, where she worked to bolster rural schools and forest health. Archuleta also served as Vice President of the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials and served on the Governor’s Arizona Statewide Water Advisory Council.
She currently serves in the Biden Administration as the Director of the Office of External & Intergovernmental Affairs at the United States Department of Agriculture. In this capacity, she serves as the department’s liaison to state, county, local, tribal officials, and other stakeholders.
Ms. Archuleta championed the park because of its location, service to community, and historical importance. The Sawmill Multicultural Art and Nature County Park was built on a brownfield where one of Flagstaff’s first sawmills operated from 1908 to 1993. The logging and lumber industry shaped the structure of Flagstaff by attracting families of Mexican, African American, Swedish, Polish, and Italian descent to work at the mills.
Coconino County Parks & Recreation and partners have added new improvements to the park. Parks & Recreation and The Literacy Center worked together to create a storybook path, featuring the book Marisol McDonald Doesn’t Match by local author Monica Brown. Visitors may read the pages on pedestal displays along the path and the story is available on audio, in English, Spanish, and Navajo, through a QR code. Willow Bend Environmental Education Center received a Heritage Fund Grant to build an ADA accessible, watchable wildlife platform with Parks & Recreation. This platform makes the park a focus for watchable wildlife viewing in the community and continues the education the center has provided since 1975. Another Willow Bend Environmental Education Center partnership is the outdoor education classroom, where children and their families can create, play, and explore using natural materials and activities stored in easily accessible baskets in the garden. Parks & Recreation also received a Heritage Fund grant for the restoration of the park pond. The restoration improves access to the pond for educational and wildlife viewing purposes, as well as improving the pond’s structural integrity and water recirculation system.
Members of the community are invited to a public dedication and re-naming ceremony at the park, located at 703 E. Sawmill Rd. in Flagstaff, on Saturday August 13, 2022, from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. There will be speeches from local elected officials, live music, park tours, children’s activities, a book signing, and recognition of the new amenities at the park, including a new mural design.