Originally part of the Cyprus Mines Corporation development, the City acquired land for a park way back in 1964. From its development in 1966, until 1998, the park was named Cyprus Park as a connection to the original development company. It was in 1998 that it was renamed in honor of Burt and Lesley Hollis.
The Tempe City Council voted to bestow one of its highest honors, the naming of a park property, on two of its long-time residents and significant contributors to the quality of life in Tempe, Burt and Lesley Hollis. The Hollis family lived near the park for 34 years after being displaced from their original homesite in Tempe through the expansion of continued ASU development in 1964.
Mr. and Mrs. Hollis were extremely active members of the community upon their arrival in Tempe back in 1942. Burt worked as a homeroom and shop teacher, school bus driver and head of maintenance for the Tempe Elementary School District. You might say he was the first jack-of-all trades in Tempe. He served as Boy Scout Master, coach and coordinator for many youth sports activities.
For those who may not be aware, Tempe originally had an all volunteer fire department. Burt was an active volunteer in the department for more than 20 years and was still active when the department transitioned to professional staff. A member of both the Knights of the Pythias and the American Legion, Burt was honored by both organizations with some of their highest awards.
Lesley was also a school teacher, who toiled in Tempe’s classrooms for more than 20 years. She helped start some of the City’s first recreation programs for girls at both Tempe High and Tempe Grammar schools and developed the first Camp Fire Girls program in Tempe. She remained active in numerous civic organizations in Tempe and was awarded the Golden Alumni Certificate by ASU in 1988 for “50 years of service to the university, community and nation.”
It’s safe to say that if you grew up in Tempe in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s your path would have crossed the Hollis family at some time. Their commitment to community is a value that we should all aspire to and one which has left a lasting legacy on this community.
Park size is 4.5 acres.