The city of Peoria, Arizona is located within both Maricopa and Yavapai counties. Peoria sits mostly in Maricopa County and is considered a major suburb of Phoenix. Peoria's population was roughly 154,065 during the year 2010, according to the United States Census Bureau. In terms of land area, Peoria is currently the 6th biggest city within Arizona.
The city of Peoria gets its name from Peoria, Illinois and is a corruption of an Illini word which means "prairie fire." The population of the city is currently larger than that of its namesake. The San Diego Padres and the Seattle Mariners share the Peoria Sports Complex here and this city is both teams home for spring training.
The city is located on gently sloping, flat desert terrain in the Salt River Valley. The surroundings stretches into the foothills of the mountains situated towards the north. The Salt River is filled with seasonal rainfall and mountain snowmelt runoff. Sometimes when the valley becomes flooded and numerous months of backbreaking labor is demolished. In order for the region to become habitable and productive the whole year, the flood and drought cycle needed to be replaced with a reliable water supply which was able to be controlled year-round.
To be able to solve their water concerns, the early pioneers explored irrigation. In the year 1868, a group of men organized by John W. "Jack" Swilling dug the very first modern irrigation ditch within the Salt River Valley. A lot more people were enticed to live in the area because of their success and eventually the area flourished because of the revitalized irrigation system.
There are two rivers that flow into the city: the New River and the Agua Fria River. The Agua Fria River is usually dry due to the New Waddell Dam, which holds back Lake Pleasant towards the north of the city. The New River Dam and other flood control systems often make the New River dry as well. There are various washes and creeks which run through Peoria. Skunk Creek is amongst the most significant and best known due to its connection with the city of Glendale that is nearby and its vast trail system.
There are many mountain and hills in the northern end of Peoria. Calderwood Butte, West Wing Mountain, Twin Buttes, Sunrise Mountain, Cholla Mountain, Hieroglyphic Mountains, East Wing Mountain an White Peak are amongst the well-known locations for nature enthusiasts to hike and photograph.
The city of Peoria continues to successfully expand. The majority of the land around Lake Pleasant Regional Park was annexed into the city in 1999. The Challenger Space Center of Arizona calls the city home and has made Peoria a world class cultural and educational place.
Peoria finished constructing the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in 2007. Most of Peoria's growth presently is happening within the northern and northwestern areas of Peoria.