By Misty Newman
When Gaby Potter first moved to Maricopa with her husband and three children, Pacana Park did not exist.
The groundbreaking was in December 2005, and Pacana became the first public park in Maricopa. It was completed in 2009. Potter still remembers her first visit.
“The park was so nice, and the families were all very excited. We love the lake the most and, of course, the playground,” she says.
Pacana Park is beloved in the community. It has many amenities including baseball and soccer fields, basketball and tennis courts, a covered playground, a covered ramada and a fishing pond.
For Michael Hayes, vice president of Maricopa Little League, the baseball fields at Pacana are exactly what they need. “We build relationships throughout the community, and Pacana provides the place for this community,” Hayes says.
Hayes has lived in Maricopa eight years, and he involved his son in Maricopa Little League when he was 4 years old. Maricopa Little League is moving into its ninth year playing at Pacana.
Even with the opening of Copper Sky Regional Park on the south side of town, Pacana stays in the heart of Maricopa.
“Pacana is home for us. It’s not the same at Copper Sky because it’s so spread out. Pacana is more intimate and more of a family community,” Hayes says.
He also has peace of mind that his son is safe if he is playing while he’s prepping the fields for the game.
“When my son is at the park with me I can trust when he’s at the playground. I don’t worry,” Hayes says.
There are many reasons Pacana is a beloved park. For Potter, it is the memories of her kids playing sports while they were growing up.
“My kids grew up in Pacana playing soccer and flag football. They did a lot there throughout the years, and all our memories are here,” Potter says.
Nicole Mangum, principal at Legacy Traditional School, says Pacana is one of the most peaceful parks in Maricopa.
“The park is well lit at night and you can walk around the lake. The fishing is awesome, and it works perfectly for our location,” Mangum says.
“It’s great for families to get together,” Hayes says. “There are also schools that practice at Pacana. Legacy and [Sequoia] Pathway use the park for softball games.”
Legacy has used the fields for its seventh and eighth grade softball teams since 2008.
“We are so appreciative of these fields. They are in a central location, and it’s so close our kids will walk. Also the people there are amazing. Monica Rubio has been so accommodating for our school,” Mangum say
“I have taught my son how to give back to the community through helping me get the fields ready. Every day we go to Pacana, my son helps to set up,” Hayes says.
For many years Pacana was home to all the major events in Maricopa including the Salsa Festival, Fishing Derby and the Great American Fourth of July Celebration. The Fourth of July is one of the celebrations that Mangum misses having at Pacana.
“I loved the fireworks there. Everyone could sit and watch because Pacana is centrally located,” Mangum says. She says that it would be nice to switch back and forth every year between Copper Sky and Pacana Park.
Read more Outdoors stories from Misty Newman in our Things to Do section at InMaricopa.com. Contact Misty at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: www.getoutdoorsmaricopa.com.
Misty Newman grew up in Idaho and was raised in the outdoors. She loves to go camping, hiking, fishing, & rafting. In her past life, two of her favorite recreational activities included bungee jumping and rock climbing. She was a ranger for a state park, a Recreation Coordinator for the Boys and Girls Club, and the photo editor at the College of Southern Idaho. She moved from Idaho in 2007 and has lived in Maricopa since. She now enjoys exploring AZ with her two beautiful children. Contact Misty at email@example.com or visit: www.getoutdoorsmaricopa.com.
See her previous InMaricopa Outdoors story:
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