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  • Supervisors recognize students for naming new natural resource park

    May 21, 2019 | Read More News
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    The Pima County Board of Supervisors recognized six students from Utterback Middle School at its May 21 meeting for their role in naming a County-owned parcel of land at 36th Street and Kino Parkway the “Desert Haven Natural Resources Park.”

    The Board approved the naming of the park at its April 16 meeting on the recommendation of the County Parks Commission.

    Earlier this spring, District 2 Supervisor Ramón Valadez, whose district includes the future park, asked area schools and community groups to help name the park. Students from Holladay Magnet Elementary School, Utterback Magnet Middle School, Pueblo Gardens K-8 School, the Holmes Tuttle Boys & Girls Club Clubhouse at Pueblo Gardens Park, and Youthworks Charter High School submitted seven names for consideration.
    Desert Haven Park
    The County then shared the proposed park names on social media and asked the public to vote on their favorites. The County Parks Commission approved the most-popular name – Desert Haven – at its March 15 meeting. Supervisor Valadez presented the students and school administration with a proclamation and individual certificates of recognition at the May 21 meeting.

    In 2011, the County acquired the 20-acre parcel at 36th Street and Kino Parkway for conservation purposes using 2004 voter-approved bond funds. “Its urban location, wildlife habitat, and dense riparian vegetation offer ideal amenities for a passive recreation natural resources park,” Chris Cawein, director of Pima County's Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation Department, said. 

    Last fall, Tucson Electric Power bought five acres of the property for a power substation, enabling NRPR to use proceeds from the sale to build the open-space park on the remaining 15 acres. TEP paid $750,000 for the parcel, which includes $30,000 a year for park maintenance for 10 years.

    The proposed TEP substation will provide greater capacity in an area that includes several neighborhoods, the growing Tucson Marketplace at The Bridges, and the UA Tech Park at the Bridges. 

    The 15-acre Desert Haven Park will be designed to feature ramadas, picnic tables, walking trails, security lighting, fencing, a small parking lot and a water feature for wildlife. 

    County officials will begin construction after TEP completes work on the outside perimeter wall of their substation. TEP’s work is expected to take place in spring 2020.