Encanto Park is on 15th Avenue in Phoenix, Arizona. I spent a couple of hours there one afternoon.
The coolest thing about Encanto Park is the Community Fishing Water, otherwise known as a pond. Maybe it’s a lake. It’s pretty big. I guess it’s cool for desert city dwellers to be able to fish.
There are islands in different parts of the lake, like this one: Some of the islands have waterfalls, like these .
There are lots of water birds in the lake.
Some of the water birds get out of the water and walk around on the land. That’s why there is bird shit all over the ground in Encanto Park. There are a large number of pigeons in the park as well. It is important to watch not only where you walk, but also where you sit. There is much bird shit in Encanto Park.
Encanto Park has a large, covered playground for kids. There were actually kids playing on it when I was there, so I took a photo from a distance. I didn’t want the parents to think I was some kind of pervert taking pictures of their playing kids.
This is the building housing the restrooms. These were the cleanest restrooms I have ever seen in a park. The doors to the stalls locked securely, and there was soap in the dispensers. No creepy vibe here!
There are several bridges crossing the lake so folks can get from one side to the other.
This is the Little Red Bridge. It has a story. The original Little Red Bridge was constructed between 1935 and 1938. People took family pictures and wedding photos on the Little Red Bridge. In 2008, the bridge was barricaded because of structural decay; then, during a storm, a large tree was uprooted and fell on top of the bridge. The city of Phoenix decided to tear down the bridge and not replace it. BOO! Then folks got together and rebuilt the Little Red Bridge. Yippee! Read more about it here: http://www.structuralgrace.com/featured-project-details.asp?ProjectID=27.
There is an amusement park on an island within Encanto Park. The Lady of the House told me it’s really geared toward little kids. There is a train that leaves from the amusement park and takes passengers on a trip around Enchanted Island.
There is a dusty, shady sitting area within the park which, according to these bricks, is called the Garden of Dreams.
On the benches inside the sitting area were these two plaques. This larger plaque was in the ground. The Compassionate Friends is a group which supports families after the death of a child. Find out more about them here: http://www.compassionatefriends.org/home.aspx.
Here is an article (http://www.azcentral.com/news/articles/2011/09/25/20110925phoenix-encanto-park-garden-dreams.html) which tells how the Garden of Dreams came into being.
Near the entrance to the park, there is a statue dedicated to “World Progress Through Scientific Research in the Laboratory.” You can find out more about it here: http://arizonaoddities.com/2014/01/encanto-park-statue-dedicated-to-scientific-progress/.
As seems to be the case in most (all?) Phoenix parks, there are a lot of palm trees in Encanto Park.
I witnessed only two mildly interesting events while I was in Encanto Park.
A man offered to sell me a old-school Singer sewing machine. I was in the parking lot, walking towards my van, and I saw a man pushing one of those collapsible metal carts that people who live in big cities and don’t have cars use to bring home their groceries. The cart was packed full of stuff, and at first I thought the man (a fellow probably in his early 60s) was homeless. Then I realized the cart was packed with fishing gear: rods and reels, tackle boxes, a chair…everything he needed for a couple of hours utilizing the community fishing water. We said hello and he asked me if I knew anyone who was looking to buy a sewing machine. He said it was an old Singer, and gestured over to his truck. The sewing machine was in the bed of his pickup, up against the cab. He said he’d gotten it out of a storage locker. I asked him what he was asking for it, and he said $100. He told me that new Singers are running $500 (he called the Singer store, he told me), and they’re only guaranteed for one year. I told him I wasn’t looking for a sewing machine. (Where would it go in my van?!!) However, if I had been looking for a sewing machine, I would have been interested in this one. (He left the sewing machine in the back of his truck, with a sign on it saying it was for sale for $125. He must be a trusting man to leave it and not worry that it would be stolen. Maybe it’s too heavy to be carried away.)
The other event happened while I was sitting at a picnic table under a ramada near the playground. I was looking through the photos I had taken, deleting those I didn’t like. A grandmother deposited her two grandbabies on the playground and sat at the other table under the ramada. I wasn’t paying much attention to her until I hear the unmistakable click click noise of a nail clipper. I looked over to find that Abuela had kicked off her flip flop and was trimming her toenails while she had a moment’s peace.