The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park received a financial boost last week with a $1 million donation from the Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society. The money will be used to build a new indoor play facility, part of a new project to expand indoor options so families can enjoy the park year-round.
“We’re excited to make the Railroad Park an even better place for kids and families year-round,” said Bryan Bundy, director of business operations for community services. “Replacing the old unused dormitory building with a beautiful new multi-purpose space will do just that. Thanks to the mechanical society’s donation, it will include a train-themed indoor play structure, and we’ll be adding event spaces and a new shaded outdoor area.
In addition to the donation, Scottsdale has committed $7.5 million for the renovation. The project is funded by the city’s capital improvement program and is expected to be completed in 2024.
“The Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society believes the project is a wise investment of community funding,” said Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society representative Eric Damko. “The improvements will enhance the long-term viability of Scottsdale and the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park as a destination of choice for families and visitors.
In 1967, the McCormick family donated 100 acres of land to the city of Scottsdale, stipulating that the land would be used to create a park for all to enjoy.
In 1971 Guy Stillman chartered the Scottsdale Railroad & Mechanical Society as part of the donation agreement. The company provides technical expertise to the McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park and raises funds through private donations and carousel ticket revenue to support park projects.
The McCormick-Stillman Railroad Park opened in October 1975 and is part of the City of Scottsdale’s nationally recognized and accredited parks and recreation system. Entrance to the park is free. Tickets for the train and the carousel, which accommodate more than 500,000 rides a year, are sold out.