Now Reading
Brewer unveils saguaro to complete Capitol's makeover
local

From the archive: This story is more than 10 years old.

Brewer unveils saguaro to complete Capitol's makeover

Planting of cactus caps nine-month face lift in time for centennial

  • Gov. Jan Brewer helps dedicate a makeover of the State Capitol grounds completed with donated materials, volunteers and state inmate labor.
    Brittny Goodsell/Cronkite News ServiceGov. Jan Brewer helps dedicate a makeover of the State Capitol grounds completed with donated materials, volunteers and state inmate labor.
  • A saguaro was transplanted transplanted a saguaro cactus to Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.
    Brittny Goodsell/Cronkite News ServiceA saguaro was transplanted transplanted a saguaro cactus to Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza.

PHOENIX – In honor of Arizona’s approaching 100th birthday, Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza is sporting more trees and a spruced-up lawn following a nine-month makeover of the State Capitol grounds.

Gov. Jan Brewer unveiled a transplanted saguaro as the finishing touches on the Arizona Capitol Mall Beautification Project were revealed Thursday.

“This project is one that will last far into our second century,” Brewer said.

Completed with donated materials, volunteers and state inmate labor, the project re-seeded the lawn and also put a new black coating on the plaza’s visitor lot.

Senate President Steve Pierce, R-Prescott, said it’s good to see West Washington Street getting “a new face.”

“Three years ago when I was first elected, I thought it looked like driving through a ghetto to a dead place out here,” Pierce said. “There was no grass; it looked bad.”

Pierce, the Arizona Centennial 2012 Foundation and Arizona Centennial Commission worked with Clint Hickman of Hickman’s Family Farms, Arizona’s largest egg producer, to get businesses to donate trees, plants, granite, fertilizer and sod.

The newly planted saguaro was transferred from the west side of the Capitol’s Executive Tower.

“This whole project has been about reuse,” Hickman said.

Other projects leading up to the Feb. 14 centennial include $7.1 million of improvements along West Washington Street from Seventh to 19th avenues. Funded in large part by a federal grant with assistance from the city of Phoenix, it includes wider sidewalks, shade canopies, displays featuring the state's counties and a “Tribal Walk” honoring Arizona’s 22 Native American tribes.

Karen Churchard, director of the Arizona Centennial Commission, said unveiling the saguaro caps a signature centennial project.

“They’ve really focused on the whole area from literally the tip of Wesley Bolin Memorial Plaza to the east, all the way around the Capitol towards the back of the Executive Tower,” she said.

Other centennial projects

  • Insurance covered the cost of refurbishing the hail-damaged copper dome atop the old State Capitol building.
  • Centennial organizers are trying to raise donations to open an Arizona Experience Museum, projected to cost $15.7 million, near the State Capitol.
  • A $7.1 million makeover funded in large part by a federal grant is sprucing up Washington Street between Seventh and 19th avenues.

Statehood Day

  • Includes: Centennial Way re-dedication, U.S. Postal Service centennial commemorative stamp first-day issue, brunch for centenarians.
  • When: Feb. 14
  • Where: Arizona State Capitol

— 30 —

Best in Internet Exploder