Kiwanis Park is a 125-acre piece of land that was purchased in 1972 in accordance to City historical documents. To facilitate a smooth purchase, the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation donated a 50% grant to the tune of approximately $765K. What followed was Kiwanis Park, Tempe City’s premier park and a renowned Regional Park in the entire East Valley.
The newly constructed park was named ‘Kiwanis Park’ in honor and recognition of early city founders who back then, in the early 1970s, saw the ambitious development plans come to fruition. They did this through negotiations with the city to ensure that money to fund the project was available. To back up the donations made, the Kiwanis Club of Tempe, for which the Park is named, further contributed $25,000 as seed-cash. Up to date, the Kiwanis Club of Tempe continuously supports and operates this rare community gem, seeing to it that the space is well-maintained, and that all Park improvements go on seamlessly.
Kiwanis Park, right in the middle of Tempe City, stretches for a mile or so along Mill Avenue’s residential end, all the way from Baseline Road to Guadalupe Road. The outdoor space makes a perfect destination for music in the park, summer night movies, charity walks, family parties, athletic activities, community special events, corporate team-building functions, and a plethora of other outdoorsy activities.
Kiwanis Park welcomes people from all walks of life, and it makes a perfect venue for family and kid-friendly activities. Here, you can find a couple of playgrounds, an indoor recreation center, a battling range, a 12-acre lake, an indoor wave pool, and a variety of sports fields. Visitors can rent Kayaks, pedal boats, or even surrey bikes to explore the lake.
One of the major attractions featured at Kiwanis Park is the Wave Pool at Kiwanis Park Recreation Center, built in the early 1900s. After it was established, it was noted that the Wave Pool was US’ first ever indoor pool! The facility is also home to showers, a gymnasium, pool observation rooms, classrooms, a birthday party room, among others. The Tennis Center, just next door, has a pro-shop and 15 courts. The Recreation Center also has Battling Cages.
At the Kiwanis Park Battling Range, there are 10 lighted cages with slow-pitch softball, baseball, as well as fast-pitch softball machines that get to speeds of up to 75 mph. 4 cages are equipped with machines as follows: 3 select-a-pitch baseball machines and one select-a-pitch machine for fast-paced softball. The Battling Range also features a T-Ball area for novice sluggers who are not ready to take on a game at the cages yet. You can access the Battling Range during the day as well as during evening hours, and the space is available for private and public use.
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