Peifer: I urge you to vote ‘no’ on Prop. 420 in Scottsdale

In 1995 Scottsdale citizens voted to levy a sales tax to purchase the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.

Bill Peifer

Twenty-three years later the Preserve constitutes over 30,000 acres that were bought for over $1 billion in sales tax revenue. However, well over half of Scottsdale residents have never visited the Preserve to see what they paid for.

Residents who live in the north now want to limit access to the Preserve with Prop. 420. Stopping the Desert EDGE education center is their rallying cry for Prop. 420 but POP’s and NoDDC’s motive is to keep the Preserve only for those who live nearby.

Visiting any of the 10 existing trailheads is magical, but if you are not a serious hiker or mountain biker (in good physical condition) the euphoria is short lived. The trailheads are a great jumping off station but there is little there to keep you engaged.

Scottsdale parents, grandparents, children and visitors should have a place that family and friends can experience the Preserve on multiple stages: all ages can participate and be educated about the desert, its wonders and impact on a person’s life.

The Preserve stories that can be told are numerous and intensifying. ASU Global Drylands Center, which could be located at the Desert EDGE, offers the visiting public a chance to interact and participate with Preserve scientific research.

Keep the Preserve open for all to come to experience its beauty and wonders.

Please vote “no” on Prop. 420.

Editor’s note: Mr. Peifer is a retired city of Scottsdale employee

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