North Central News

Project transforms canal for a day

Identifying the need to embrace and transform the Valley’s vast network of canals into place-makers for the community, Arizona Forward on March 1 hosted Color Canalscape on the Grand Canal between Central Avenue and 7th Street.

Hannah Toledo, left, and Kate Randolph of Xavier College Preparatory display the Color Canalscape project they created as part of The Bridge Team (submitted photo).

Hannah Toledo, left, and Kate Randolph of Xavier College Preparatory display the Color Canalscape project they created as part of The Bridge Team (submitted photo).

Arizona Forward, in collaboration with Brophy College Preparatory, Central High School, St. Francis Xavier and Xavier College Preparatory, unveiled student art-themed projects depicting their vision for canal enhancements themed around shade, water, bridges and connectivity. The students were divided into three teams: The Art Team, The Environment Team and The Bridge Team.

Students designed and created new uses and improvements for canal banks as part of Arizona Forward’s Canalscape initiative, designed to engage residents in transforming the Valley’s more than 180 miles of canals into gathering spaces that foster connectivity and recreation.

Phoenix has more waterways than Venice and Amsterdam combined, yet the Valley has turned its back on what could be a key community asset, explained Heidi Curiel, director of marketing and public relations for Arizona Forward. Residents typically experience the canal system as a grid of hidden alleys disconnected from their daily lives.

“It’s no secret that the Phoenix metro area’s canal system packs enormous potential to transform the way we commute to and from work daily, interact with friends and family on the weekends and connect with the entire community,” Curiel pointed out.

“Arizona Forward believes America’s ‘Canal City’ can obtain the connectivity of Venice, the diversity of Amsterdam and the strong sense of public interaction as in San Antonio. Our canal system has the potential to be an iconic landmark for our region.”

For information, visit www.arizonaforward.org or call 602-240-2408.

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