Arizona Forward has recognized McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s Fraesfield and Granite Mountain trailheads with Crescordia Awards in two categories: “Preservation of the Natural Environment” and “Civic Buildings, Structures, and Landscaping.”
The coveted Crescordia – a Greek term meaning “to grow in harmony” – is the highest honor awarded in each category of the Environmental Excellence Awards program.
The Fraesfield and Granite Mountain trailheads were disturbed trailheads that needed restoration. A preservation project has restored natural habitat while expanding and improving access to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, allowing the natural environment to guide the design of sustainable landscaping that provides refuge, shade and shelter.
The eco-trails use desert-friendly materials and limit their environmental impact while blending into the surrounding landscape, according to a press release. Each trailhead strives to leave a positive impact on the environment while educating the public about sustainability and preservation through interpretive signs.
The two trailheads, dedicated in October 2019, provide public access to the northern region of the reserve for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and rock climbing.
SmithGroup Architect/Landscape Architect designed both trailheads and Valley Rain built them.
The Arizona Forward organization works to improve the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of Arizona and local regions.