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The trees of Cactus Park, Phoenix, Arizona

I walked under the trees at Cactus Park yesterday. It's just a typical, ordinary park in Phoenix, on Cactus Road and 39th Avenue. It's one of those ordinary parks that people drive past every day. But yesterday I got to stop.

I was returning from a visit to Metrocenter with a good friend of mine who had grown up in that area, and as we passed Cactus Park, he said what I've been hearing him say for years - how amazing the trees are.

Really, they're just ordinary trees. They were planted as tiny saplings in 1972, and are now pretty darn big. They really aren't exceptional, except that this is Phoenix, where trees have become precious.

If you get a chance to walk under the trees in Cactus Park. I highly recommend it. Then look around you at the neighborhoods, and imagine if the trees there had all been allowed to grow. The neighborhoods would be cool and shady, and they would have that indescribable feeling that you only get with shade trees.

Yeah, I'll admit it, I'm a tree-hugger. And whenever I look at old photos of Phoenix I see trees. By the time I got to Phoenix, the trees were mostly gone. You can see trees in parks, at apartment complexes, but that's about it. Even in my nice little suburban neighborhood in Glendale you don't see very many nice big shade trees.

Cactus Park was filled with life. There were people playing soccer, and people just enjoying the day, and enjoying life. And that life includes trees.

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