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  • Desert Haven Natural Resource Park

    map1850 E. 36th Street
    Tucson, AZ 85713

    Desert Haven Natural Resource Park Concept Plan

    Construction timeline for project: July through December 2020

    Project

    The project involves the development of a 15-acre natural resource park. The project will implement low impact development and green infrastructure practices to restore riparian habitat, preserve the natural landscape, remove invasive plant species and provide secure access and amenities for residents including parking, ramadas, barbeques, picnic tables and paved ADA accessible pathways. It will provide connectivity and bikeability to area residents via trails and walkways by providing shaded paths, improve safety and provide recreational opportunities.

    This parcel, located within the 18th Street watershed, is a riparian area with lush vegetation and natural flow paths. However, the surrounding neighborhood is cut off from this natural conservation oasis with no trail access points. Compounding this issue for some years is the large homeless encampments on this property.

    History

    The purpose of the 2004 Pima County Bond was the acquisition of open space in the support of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP). In 2011 the County acquired a 20-acre parcel at 36th Street and Kino Parkway for conservation purposes using the 2004 voter-approved bond funds. The goal being to preserve the riparian area and to create a natural resources park with passive recreation amenities. TEP bought five acres of the property for a new power substation to meet the continuing increased demands in the area, enabling NRPR to use the proceeds from this sale to build a conservation park.

    In spring of 2019, District 2 Supervisor Ramon Valadez, whose district includes this 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, Holmes Tuttle Boys and Girls Clubhouse, and Youthworks Charter High School participated and submitted names. Via social media outlets and a public vote, the name “Desert Haven Natural Resource Park” was chosen. May 21, 2019 was declared “Desert Haven Natural Resources Park Day” by the District 2 office.

    A number of neighborhood meetings were held for this project and much of the public input has been incorporated into the design elements. The walkability and connectivity of the project scope is critical as there are a number of elderly residents in the area. The natural oasis characteristics of the site will be maintained and the retention of the rain and storm water onsite will promote and maintain the riparian habitat for the residents to enjoy.

    Funding

    Funding for the new park was received from the Tucson Electric Power land purchase at the southeast corner of the S. Kino Boulevard and E. 36th Street intersection adjacent to the location of the new park. Funding included money for the design and construction of the park as well as ten years of maintenance. Funding for design and construction totaled $1,135,000 with maintenance funds totaling $300,000.
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    Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

    3500 W. River Road
    Tucson, AZ 85741

    (520) 724-5000


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