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'We are afraid that the trees are going to die': Neighbors want to save historic park but Glendale says there's nothing to save it from

Glendale civic leaders want to save Murphy Park, but the City says there's nothing to save it from.

GLENDALE, Ariz. — A growing number of residents, business owners and civic leaders have formed a group dedicated to saving Murphy Park in downtown Glendale. 

But the City of Glendale says there's nothing to save it from. 

The Save Murphy Park task force has been posting on social media about a possible plan to turn Murphy Park into a xeriscaped plaza. that would mean removing the tall trees from the park that's as old as Glendale itself. 

“We are afraid that the trees are going to die and that's our biggest concern right now," group organizer Yvonne Knaack said. 

Murphy Park is where you go to see Glendale Glitters – it’s where the City hosts festivals and concerts.

It’s a green space right in front of city hall, with huge trees and grass all around a public library.

And the Save Murphy Park coalition is convinced the city may pave paradise.

Organizers say they found a budget item for park irrigation that was reallocated. When they asked about it, Knaack says the group was told by a city official that the money was reallocated because the park was being xeriscaped. 

Then, the coalition started looking at a presentation for remodeling Glendale City Hall. The City has decided it wants to remodel city hall, the amphitheater out front, the parking garage and Murphy Park. 

But they thought the renderings on the presentation didn’t look like the park they know. 

It’s not just a few people either.

The Glendale Chamber of Commerce is involved with the group – downtown business owners and civic leaders are all in too.

SAVE MURPHY PARK - SAVE MURPHY PARK!!! The Glendale Chamber along with the downtown business community are calling for...

Posted by Glendale Chamber of Commerce on Wednesday, June 29, 2022

But the City of Glendale said this is all a miscommunication and no decisions have been made on any renovation.

City officials have only hired a design firm and they said those renderings in the presentation were just generic pictures the firm came up with to show what could happen.

As for the xeriscape comment, city officials said they don’t know where that came from, but there’s no park plan at all.

The Save Murphy Park coalition said they know it’s not a done deal, but they’re trying to get ahead of whatever plan might be coming.

“We just want the city government to know that we want to save Murphy Park, this park is historic," Knaack said.

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