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Ahwatukee, Phoenix facts for kids

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Ahwatukee
Urban village
Ahwatukee Foothills Village
A typical Ahwatukee neighborhood as seen from South Mountain Park
A typical Ahwatukee neighborhood as seen from South Mountain Park
Motto(s): 
Warm People, Bright Future
Location of Ahwatukee Foothills highlighted in red.
Location of Ahwatukee Foothills highlighted in red.
Ahwatukee is located in Arizona
Ahwatukee
Ahwatukee
Location in Arizona
Ahwatukee is located in the United States
Ahwatukee
Ahwatukee
Location in the United States
Country United States
State Arizona
County Maricopa
City Phoenix
Area
 • Total 35.8 sq mi (93 km2)
Elevation
1,283 ft (391 m)
Population
 (2016 Estimate)
 • Total 83,464
 • Density 1,783/sq mi (688/km2)
GNIS feature ID 24705
Website Ahwatukee Foothills Village Planning Committee

Ahwatukee Foothills (also Ahwatukee) is an urban village of Phoenix, Arizona. Ahwatukee forms the southernmost portion of Phoenix, and is considered part of the East Valley region of the Phoenix metropolitan area.

In 2022, Niche rated Ahwatukee "#1 in Best Neighborhoods to Live in Phoenix."

History

Legend has it that in 1921, Dr. and Mrs. W.V.B. Ames built a house on approximately 2,000 acres (810 ha) on the southeast side of South Mountain. They gave the area its original Spanish name, Casa de Sueños, which in English means "House of Dreams". Dr. Ames died within just three months of moving into the house, and after Mrs. Ames' death, in 1933, the house and most of the land were willed to St. Luke's Hospital.

In 1935, the house and land were bought by Miss Helen Brinton, who appeared to have retranslated the name of the house to the Crow word which now serves as the name of the village. The house was demolished in 1979, and parts of it were used to build the Our Lady of Guadalupe church.

As it turns out, the Crow translation for "House of Dreams" (ashe ammeewiawe) sounds nothing like Ahwatukee. More likely, Brinton named the town after the Crow words awe chuuke, meaning "land on the other side of the hill" or "land in the next valley". This is, at first glance, a curious choice on her part because the Crow are a native northern plains tribe originally based in Wyoming, now residing in southeast Montana, and have never been associated with Arizona where the Apache, Hopi, Pima, and Navajo peoples are indigenous. Brinton, however, actually having spent much time in the Wyoming (Crow) vicinities and finally making her last home there, would have very likely been strongly influenced by her experience in Wyoming enough to use a Crow-derived name for the beloved land she left behind. This seeming inconsistency only adds to the lore of Ahwatukee.

In 1971, part of the land was purchased, subdivided, and developed into an HOA by the Presley Development Company.

Marty Gibson was the first to write a book on the history of Ahwatukee, titled "The History of Ahwatukee".

Ahwatukee has grown as Phoenix acquired other land parcels to the west, including land owned by International Harvester, which operated a proving ground for earth-moving equipment there from 1947 to 1983. The state of Arizona has bought, sold, or swapped land several times, including transferring state trust land to developers in controversial auctions in which residents and conservationists have lobbied for the space to be converted to parkland.

Neighborhood characteristics

Surrounded to the northwest by South Mountain Park, and blocked to the east by I-10 and to the south by the Gila River Indian Community, Ahwatukee Foothills is geographically isolated from the city which it is part of, Phoenix. Due to its relatively few access points (mainly through a few bridges across Interstate 10), it has been called the world's largest cul-de-sac. The village will soon no longer be able to claim this title, as they will be gaining a western exit due to the finalized construction of the Loop 202 freeway which will connect the eastern bordering I-10 E to the I-10 W by via Ahwatukee's southern border. The decision to proceed with the construction has been extremely controversial.

Climate

Ahwatukee receives approximately 6 inches (150 mm) of rainfall yearly. Temperatures are mild during the winter months and daily highs average around 67 °F (19 °C). In the summer, daily high temperatures average around 106 °F (41 °C). very close to that of the actual city of Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport which is almost directly due north of the heart of Ahwatukee on the North side of the South Mountain Park.

Snow is extremely rare for the area, but on occasion can be seen on the Sierra Estrella mountain range to the southwest. There is hail on occasion in the foothills.

Recreation

Ahwatukee with its proximity to the South Mountain Park, a Phoenix city park, has numerous outdoor activity opportunities. Cycling, hiking, baseball, and soccer are common activities.

Hiking
Hiking in the Ahwatukee area is a popular activity in and around South Mountain Park. Telegraph Pass, Pima Canyon and Beverly Canyon are all popular trail heads with dozens of other trail areas also available.

Hiking Links

Cycling
Ahwatukee is a destination for road cyclists and mountain bikers. Road cycling clubs and community members utilize Pecos Road and the hills of Ahwatukee near 5th Avenue and Desert Foothills Parkway for training and scenic rides alike. A park and ride location is often used as a starting point for cyclists who live outside of the village. This section of Pecos Road will be closed in early 2017 according to Arizona Department of Transportation.

Mountain bikers utilize the trails of South Mountain Park for riding opportunities. Various trails are available rated from easy to difficult throughout South Mountain Park.

Volleyball
Within the Club West community, there is an active volleyball group that holds drop in volleyball for Club West residents throughout the year. More information about this program can be found at Club West Volleyball. Volleyball is the most played sport within Ahwatukee. Many individuals are involved in the volleyball weither through coaching or playing themselves. Golf
Three golf courses are located within the village including:

Miscellaneous

Famous residents include Larry Fitzgerald, Jordan Cates, Todd McFarlane, Daniel Kelly and Mark Calcavecchia.


Demographics

Based on 2016 estimates, the Ahwatukee Foothills Village has 83,464 residents. 83% of the population are White, 6.5% are Asian, 5.6% are Black or African American, 1.6% are Native American and 3.3% identify as some other race. 12.3% of the population is Hispanic.

Due to the community's predominantly Caucasian racial makeup, the area has been called "All-White-tukee".

Education

Public

K-8 public school students in the area attend schools operated by the Kyrene School District. In fact, Ahwatukee-based schools constitute 12 out of 25 (48%) of Kyrene's schools.

High school students go to one of two in the area: Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe. Both schools are operated by the Tempe Union High School District

Private

There are a number of private schools in Ahwatukee. One of the schools, Summit School of Ahwatukee, is ranked as one of the most expensive private schools in the Phoenix area by The Arizona Republic in 2014.

Infrastructure

Transportation

The community is served by the ALEX neighborhood circulator, which is operated by Valley Metro Bus. Riders, however, have complained of poor service after a new contractor took over the route in 2016. Portions of Ahwatukee are also served by Valley Metro Routes 56-Priest Drive, 108-Elliot Road, 140-Ray Road, 156-Chandler Boulevard/Williams Field Road, and the I-10 East RAPID route.

As a result of having access points only via 48th Street in the northeastern part of the area, and a number of east–west crossings over I-10, Ahwatukee has been called the world's largest cul-de-sac. The building of Loop 202's South Mountain Freeway segment, however, has given the area a western gateway, via a series of exits along the southern border of the community.

Notable people

  • Todd McFarlane – comic book creator, entrepreneur, writer and artist.

Images for kids

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