The city of Phoenix has added another 592 acres of State Trust land to the Sonoran Preserve, pushing this latest piece of the city's vast desert preserve system to a total of approximately 7,500 acres.

The city's desert preserve system now encompasses more than 31,000 acres citywide.

The city purchased the parcel (denoted as sections 3B and 3C on the attached map) at a State Trust land auction Nov. 30 for $10.4 million.

Approximately $6.3 million of the purchase price came from the Phoenix Parks and Preserve Initiative (PPPI) and $4.1 million from a state Growing Smarter grant.

The land in the new preserve is unique to the city's preserve system. Much of it is located in the transition zone to the Arizona Upland subdivision of the Sonoran Desert.

This area is characterized by higher amounts of rainfall, up to 12.5 inches a year, which increases both the lushness and diversity of plant life.

South Mountain, Camelback Mountain and Piestewa Peak, on the other hand, are located in the Lower Colorado River Valley, the largest and most arid subdivision of the Sonoran Desert, with only 7.5 inches of rainfall a year.

The map is online at http://phoenix.gov/webcms/groups/internet/@inter/@dept/@parks/documents/web_content/sonpri2010.pdf.pdf.

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