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701 N. Cooper Road, Gilbert, AZ 85233

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Mar 5 Interpretive Trail

This multiple award-winning design-build project utilized the Olberg Dam underground storage area known as Managed Aquifer Recharge Site Five (MAR 5). It included site clearing, up to 12,000 cubic yards of imported borrow from the Hashen Kehk storage site, finish grading, riprap, a parking lot with lighting and ADA spaces, and an entry road. Also included was a mile-long nature trail with five pipe crossings, one major pedestrian bridge, four wooden pedestrian bridges, three wooden ramadas, a restroom building, native landscape with up to 6,000 trees and plants, permanent and temporary irrigation, nine mesquite benches, trash receptacles, raised bird nests that were constructed from recycled utility poles, signage with historical information about the site, and an entry monument.

By creating a living-learning facility, Gila River Indian Community members have a place to learn about and feel connected with the water, the land, and their heritage. Community members can exercise, socialize, gather materials for artisan crafts, and learn traditional skills. The next generations will learn about their heritage and be inspired to pursue professions such as hydrology, civil engineering, and conservation. Water stored in the aquifer can be recovered when surface water shortages occur. The aquifer will be a water source for farming irrigation to provide agricultural products throughout the world, bringing revenue back into the state’s economy.

Gila River Indian Community
June 2019
Delivery Method:
Design Engineer:
Neill + Young Associates
  • Survey
  • Clearing and grubbing
  • Import borrow
  • Grading
  • Rip rap
  • Stabilized decomposed granite for trail, overlook, sandbar and open space
  • Aggregate base course (10-inch on entry road)
  • Concrete driveway at roadway
  • Irrigation installation
  • Native landscape planting
  • One 20-foot by 20-foot wood ramada
  • Two 20-foot by 30-foot ramadas
  • Four-inch peeled pine rafters in ramadas
  • Two sets of raised bird nests with carvings
  • Nine trash receptacles
  • 10 Mesquite benches
  • Four wood pedestrian bridges up to 10 feet
  • One major pedestrian bridge up to 20 feet
  • Five pipe crossings
  • Rock wall at overlook
  • Twenty-five boulders of various sizes
  • Two information signs
  • Twenty interpretive signs
  • Entry monument
  • Entry gate
  • Site history
  • Mural
  • Restrooms
  • Septic system installation
  • Three strand cattle fencing
  • Parking lot lighting
  • ADA concrete pads
  • Eight-inch gate valve blocking, adjustment and mainline
  • One-inch water service
  • Tie-in and connect to existing waterline
  • North canal clean-out and relocate rock piles
  • Traffic control
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Arizona Parks And Recreation Association (APRA)

Outstanding Natural Resource Facility

Arizona Forward – Valley Forward

Site Development and Landscape – Crescordia
And President’s Award

ASU Metis Center

2019 Sustaniable Infastructure Award