Commemorative Tree Parks

pantano plaza

Tucson Clean & Beautiful is proud to announce availability of commemorative trees along the Pantano Wash Linear Park! (See: commemorative tree dedication request form or submit online). The $225.00 per tree cost includes planting and irrigation system installation, numbered markers corresponding to dedications recognized on a commemorative wall near the tree, and replacement should a tree become damaged or diseased. Trees may be dedicated to recognize special occasions and in appreciation or remembrance of friends and family. Trees are now available for Spring 2014 planting in Garden of the Families, just north of Golf Links Rd. on the west side of Pantano Parkway.

More than 130 commemorative trees have been dedicated along the Pantano Wash since 2012, with a goal of 570 desert-adapted trees to eventually be planted in honor of friends and family, in seven tree gardens with petroglyph-themed names and symbols. Commemorative walls adjacent to each grove will list the dedication names of people for whom trees have been planted. Corresponding numbered markers are placed in front of each tree.

News story: Children’s Memorial Garden and Commemorative Tree Park - courtesy of Tony Paniagua, Arizona Public Media

Location

The Tucson area’s newest Commemorative Tree Park is located along the east bank of the Pantano Wash Linear Park (west side of Pantano Pkwy.), beginning at Michael Perry Park south of Golf Links Rd. and Pantano Parkway, and continuing northwest to the path’s current terminus at Kenyon Dr. west of Pantano Rd. Additional parking and access points are available on the west side of Pantano Parkway just north of Golf Links Rd., and on the west side of Pantano Parkway just south of 22nd St.

This commemorative tree park is a model designed to address multiple community needs – environmental restoration, flood and erosion control and stormwater runoff reduction, beautification, carbon sequestration, reduction of the urban heat island effect, fitness and recreation – all while allowing community members the opportunity to purchase trees for planting in honor of their friends and family.

For commemorative tree parks, basic park infrastructure is built by local governments, with open space set aside for future planting of several hundred additional trees. The trees and related landscape amenities are put in place in stages over the course of a few years as family and friends purchase trees in recognition or remembrance of their loved ones. Linear park paths are an ideal setting for this type of commemoration.

Background

This site was implemented by Tucson Clean & Beautiful/Trees for Tucson in cooperation with the Pima County Department of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, and City of Tucson Parks & Recreation Department in response to area residents’ continued requests for commemorative tree dedication opportunities. Development of the Pantano Wash Linear Park infrastructure prior to opening the Commemorative Tree Park was a cooperative partnership including the City of Tucson, Ward 4 Council Office, Pima County, and the Regional Transportation Authority.

While other smaller pieces of the Pantano Wash Park have been completed over the years, this was the first major, multi-mile continuous segment of the Pantano Wash Linear Park to be completed, with safe bicycle and pedestrian crossing without vehicular traffic under both 22nd St. and Golf Links Rd. This site is part of The Loop regional multi-use path amenities that will connect to other regional corridors including the Rillito River and Tanque Verde Wash, and to local neighborhoods as part of a multi-use path loop surrounding the central Tucson area.

Completed: El Paseo de los Arboles/Santa Cruz River

The completed El Paseo de los Arboles “The Pathway of the Trees” site, on the west bank of the Santa Cruz River between Ajo Way and Irvington, was a cooperative reforestation and beautification project coordinated in collaboration with government agencies as well as private sponsors, where the public has purchased trees for commemoration of their loved ones. There, six tree groves are named after birds found in the Sonoran Desert region. Commemorative walls adjacent to each grove list name dedications for whom trees have been planted, and a map of tree locations. A tile with a corresponding tree number is placed in front of each tree. All 600 trees available at this site have been dedicated, making it the first part of Tucson area linear parks to be landscaped with private funds. The east bank is also a fully developed linear park, but does not include commemorative trees.

A special highlight of this innovative program is the historic significance of the west bank of the Santa Cruz River. In 1775-1776 Juan Bautista de Anza led a group of 300 colonists 1,200 miles from Sonora, Mexico to San Francisco Bay to establish a presidio and mission for New Spain.  In 1990 Congress designated the Anza Trail, from Nogales to San Francisco, as part of the National Trail System.

Past Partners

The Commemorative Tree Park program was created by Tucson Clean & Beautiful/Trees for Tucson in cooperation with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, in response to area residents’ requests for options to dedicate trees. Development of El Paseo de los Arboles was a cooperative community effort:

  • Pima County Regional Flood Control District completed river bank protection
  • Pima County Board of Supervisors designated this section of the Santa Cruz River as a public area for commemorative tree plantings
  • Arizona State Parks Board-Heritage Fund provided a grant for irrigation system installation
  • Arizona State Lands Department provided additional grant support through the Arizona Forestry Council
  • City of Tucson Transportation Department designed and built parking on land provided by City of Tucson Parks and Recreation
  • Pima County Illustration Section designed the unique tile walls which were produced by GY Graphics
  • Corporate sponsors were recruited to underwrite the cost of the construction and are given special recognition on the walls

For more information, call (520) 791-3109 or email tcb@tucsonaz.gov