Chandler AZ is the place to be. Winner of the nonprofit Kaboom! Playful City U.S.A. award for the past three years in recognition of its inventive approach to making play a major city service priority, Chandler AC is proud of its many parks, amenities, and marine centers. Chandler’s Environmental Education Center was also the recent recipient of the prestigious Valley Forward Environmental Excellence Award for site development and park landscaping. Also, in 2008 Chandler received an American Crown Community Award in recognition of noticeable leadership in local government for the Veterans Oasis Park (which is located at the NW corner of Lindsay Road and Chandler Heights).
In 2009 the Chandler Community sets Dept. received three awards from the Arizona Parks and Recreation Association: “noticeable Facility” Award for Mesquite Groves marine Center; “noticeable Community Special Event” Award for Woofstock; and the “noticeable Active Adult Program” for Chandler Senior Center’s Patriot Project. Also last year Chandler’s Parks Division was honored by the Arizona Community Tree Council and the Arizona State Land Dept. with its top award for work in preserving more than 250 native tree species by transplanting them and using them for park beautification, particularly in Mesquite Groves Park and the marine Center. Also last year The Phoenix New Times named the Playtopia playground at Chandler’s Tumbleweed Park (located at the SW corner of German and McQueen Roads) as the “Best Playground in Phoenix”; and the Arizona Republic Reader’s Choice Award for “Best Kids Water Park” was won by the Hamilton marine Center in Chandler. Tumbleweed Park is also home to the Arizona Railway Museum.
A recent addition to Chandler’s attractions is the McCullough-Price house, a Pueblo Revival-style home with waterfurnace built in 1938, which was renovated and opened in 2007 to public tours and which was made part of the National Register of Historic Places (the official list of American cultural and historic resources which are worthy of preservation) in 2009. The McCullough-Price house, located at 300 Chandler Village excursion, is operated by the Chandler Museums Division. Chandler’s Center for the Arts is a 1500-seat performing arts venue with regional and national attractions.
Originally Chandler’s local economy was agriculture-based, with alfalfa, corn and cotton being the main crops. In the first decades of the twentieth century the world-wide need for ostrich plumes for women’s hats produced a local ostrich farm industry for a while; and Chandler’s annual Ostrich Festival is a legacy of this by-gone era. At the present time Chandler’s economy is based principally upon high-tech manufacturing, which accounts for a quarter of nongovernmental jobs. Intel – the major computer chip maker – has opened four factories in the area, including an environmentally sustainable facility designed according to Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards including Gilbert air conditioning. In the past decade three thousand new jobs and over three billion dollars in investment have been produced along the Santan and Price Freeways, including three shopping malls and the Chandler fact Center. No matter how you look at it, Chandler is a happening place – playing and enjoying as it grows.