Arizona Forward honored McDowell Sonoran Preserve’s Fraesfield and Granite Mountain trailheads with Crescordia awards in two categories: “Natural Environment Preservation” and “Civic Buildings, Structures, and Landscape Design.” The coveted Crescordia — a Greek term meaning "growing in harmony" — is the highest honor given in each category of the Environmental Excellence Awards program.
The Fraesfield and Granite Mountain trailheads were disturbed trailhead sites in need of restoration. A preservation project restored the natural habitat while expanding and facilitating access into the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, allowing the natural environment to guide the design of sustainable amenities that provide refuge, shade and shelter. The eco-friendly trailheads use desert-appropriate materials and limit their environmental impact while blending into the surrounding landscape. Each trailhead strives to leave a positive impact on the environment while educating the public about sustainability and preservation through interpretive signage.
Both trailheads, dedicated October 2019, provide public access to the northern region of the preserve for hiking, mountain biking, horseback riding and rock climbing.
The SmithGroup Architect/Landscape Architect designed both trailheads, and Valley Rain constructed them.
The Arizona Forward organization works to improve the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of Arizona and local regions.