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  • Agua Caliente Park closure to allow for pond restoration

    Jun 11, 2019 | Read More News
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    Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation is closing sections of Agua Caliente Park, 12325 E. Roger Road, beginning Agua Caliente pondJune 12 for several days as part of its extensive restoration project for Pond 1. The purpose of the pond restoration is to conserve water by minimizing seepage from the pond and to improve habitat by deepening the pond and adding additional features. 

    Partial closures will be in place through June 14 and may extend into early next week (week of June 17). Areas will be cordoned off around Pond 1 while palm tree removal occurs. There may also be closure of the trail to Pond 2 when staff is working in that area. 

    NRPR will post signs and barricades designating closed areas of park. The park will be open on the weekend.


    Staff have been slowly draining the main pond over the last two months in order to prepare for the construction phase of the pond restoration project. Well water is no longer being pumped into Pond 1 and the remaining water from Pond 1 has been gradually siphoned into Pond 2. 
    Agua Caliente aerial shot
    The partial closure of some sections of the park will enable workers to safely begin the first construction phase of the pond restoration project. The first stage will be to remove select palm trees and invasive cattails, which will help restore the historic view of the pond and allow native species at the park to thrive in a healthier environment. A number of the cattails will be replanted in containers.

    Once the plants and selected trees are removed, workers will be excavating the pond to deepen it and then installing a polymer-amended soil lining to the bottom and sides of the pond to reduce water loss. This second phase of construction will take several months to complete during which time the entire park will be closed to the public. The complete park closure is currently anticipated to occur sometime later in July. This phase will also include installation of a wildlife island and replacement of the bridge to the current island. 

    The restoration of Pond 1 will help ensure that it remains viable and a historic feature of the park for future generations to enjoy says Karen Simms, NRPR Natural Resources Division Manager. 
     
    More information on the Pond 1 restoration may be found on the Agua Caliente Park website. During the time the park is closed, dog walkers who enjoy using the park can visit McDonald Park at 4100 N. Harrison Road.  

    The 101-acre park features an intermittent warm spring and ponds that are home to an exceptionally rich mix of plants and animals. Water conservation is the driving force behind the multi-stage process to restore the pond and address its long-term sustainability. Seepage from the pond’s bottom has caused significant and recurring water loss, and groundwater from the well is being continually pumped to keep the pond full. The pond is too shallow as the result of erosion and sediment build-up, which has contributed to the spread of invasive cattails.