Carolyn Allen spent 16 years as an Arizona lawmaker supporting and protecting Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
This Sunday, Jan. 22, Scottsdale will dedicate an amphitheater at the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead that recognizes Allen’s service and her role in establishing one of the Valley’s most beautiful tracts of open space.
The ceremony begins at 10 a.m. at the trailhead, located at 30301 N. Alma School Parkway. Light refreshments will be provided and Scottsdale Mayor Jim Lane, Councilmember Virginia Korte and others will provide remarks.
Allen, a long-time Scottsdale resident who also served on the city’s Planning Commission, passed away last year at age 78. Allen forged a reputation in both the Arizona House and later Senate as a moderate conservative not afraid to buck political winds.
Her work to nurture Scottsdale’s preserve was often low-profile -- introducing and supporting bills that changed laws relating to open space and acquisition of sensitive lands.
The results, however, are vast and visually impressive. Visitors to the Brown’s Ranch Trailhead and the Carolyn Allen Amphitheater can look to the horizon and see mountain slopes and vistas acquired and protected through the results of Allen’s work.
More than 15,000 acres of state trust lands were acquired by Scottsdale through Allen’s efforts at the legislature. They include popular hiking spots like Granite Mountain, Cone Mountain and Balance Rock.
Those landmarks and those lands are part of Allen’s legacy that will be celebrated Sunday.