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  • Dedication of second pond at historic Agua Caliente Park set for April 7

    Mar 30, 2017 | Read More News
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    The renovation of Pond 2 at Roy P. Drachman Agua Caliente Park will be dedicated at a 9 a.m. ceremony Friday, April 7, at the eastside Pima County park, 12325 E. Roger Road.

    District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy will make remarks as will Suzanne Shields, director of the Regional Flood Control District (RFCD). The project, a joint effort by Pima County’s Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department and RFCD, got underway in July 2016. 
    Agua Caliente pond
    “District 4 and all of Pima County have been so fortunate to have the pond at Agua Caliente as a beautiful and tranquil high Sonoran Desert oasis,” District 4 Supervisor Steve Christy said. “Secluded in such close proximity to so many residents, the park and pond have truly been gifts to Pima County for over 30 years. And through the combined effort of our Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation and Flood Control District departments, these gifts will continue for many generations to come. With such collaboration, we can see what working together can do to preserve our serene jewel in the crown of our Pima County parks.” 

    As a result of drought and over-pumping due to increased development in the area, the Agua Caliente Park spring has not been able to maintain sufficient water levels in Ponds 1 and 2 since the early 2000s. In 2004, a well was constructed to supply supplemental water, but this water is only sufficient to maintain water levels in Pond 1. Pond 2 had been dry for some time. 
    The purpose of this project was to provide a holding facility when Pond 1 is rehabilitated with a liner. The liner provides a seal on the bottom of the pond and reduces seepage losses. 

    “This will save precious water resources and provide users to the park another water amenity to enjoy while Pond 1 is being renovated,” said Colby Fryar, RFCD civil engineering manager and project manager for the pond renovation. The completed Pond 2 project includes new asphalt paving along the perimeter, a decomposed granite path in the island interior and new landscaping vegetation and irrigation.    
    Park restoration, including preservation of the water source in Pond 2, is vital for both wildlife and recreationists in the Tucson area, Fryar said. The Park is enjoyed by well over 150,000 visitors per year and is a historic feature included on the National Register of Historic Places. 

    Installation of the liner and renovation of the pond is critical to improve both water quantity and quality conditions and to maintain the character of the park. It also provides diverse wildlife habitat and the lush environment that visitors have come to expect when visiting the park.

    Historically, visitors have enjoyed three ponds containing water. With this project, it is possible that two ponds could be on-line at any time, although park officials said that’s not guaranteed, given drought conditions. 

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