Commemorative Tree Parks

Tucson Clean & Beautiful is proud to announce availability of commemorative trees along the Pantano River Park! Trees may be dedicated to recognize special occasions and in appreciation or remembrance of friends and family.

The fall planting and tree dedication ceremony has recently taken place. Another tree dedication will be planned for early May 2017 at Pantano River Park – Garden of the Winter Solstice, approximately 1/4 mile south of 22nd St. on Pantano Pkwy. Tree dedication requests are being accepted now for dedication in spring.

To dedicate a tree:

1)  Submit a commemorative tree dedication form online, AND

2) Pay through the TCB Store

If you prefer, call (520) 837-6832 to dedicate a tree and pay with card by phone, or download a brochure and printable commemorative tree dedication request form and return with check.

The $225.00 cost includes the tree, planting and irrigation system installation, numbered markers, corresponding name dedication with tree numbers on a commemorative wall near the tree (individuals or family names, approximately 25 character limit), and replacement should a tree become damaged or diseased. A dedication ceremony is provided for the community after each Spring and Fall planting, and a tree dedication certificate is provided.

Children’s Memorial Garden wall name engravings (separate from the completed Garden of the Children tree dedications) continue to be available at Michael Perry Park, south of Golf Links at the end of Pantano Pkwy. The fall name engraving has taken place, and another engraving is planned for approximately April 2017.

Once all trees are planted or reserved in the Garden of the Winter Solstice section, plantings will continue over the next several years in a northwesterly sequence in Garden of the Summer Solstice (just south of 22nd St.), and concluding the park’s plantings in Garden of the Sun (from 22nd St. to Kenyon Dr.).

Over 340 commemorative trees have been planted honoring friends and family along the Pantano Wash since 2012, with a goal of 570 desert-adapted trees to eventually be planted in seven tree gardens with petroglyph-themed names and symbols. Commemorative walls in each grove 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

Pima County also produced this video relating to The Loop path, of which the Pantano River Park and commemorative trees are just one feature:

Location

gardens of the ancient signs overview

The Tucson area’s newest Commemorative Tree Park is located along the east bank of the Pantano River Park Park on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. beginning at Michael Perry Park south of Golf Links Rd.  and continuing northwest to 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., as well as on-street neighborhood parking from just north of 22nd St. to Kenyon Dr.

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.

Commemorative tree parks are typically implemented in areas where basic park infrastructure is planned or has already been  built by local governments, and where open space can be 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. The path does extend further north and south as part of The Loop, though these areas are not presently planned to include commemorative trees. Tucson Clean & Beautiful is working with Pima County and the City of Tucson to identify additional future commemorative tree sites throughout the metropolitan area.

Site facts/frequently asked questions:

  • Tree dedications in Garden of the Ancient Signs are available for individuals and families. Name dedications may include readily recognized personal address abbreviations (i.e. Dr., Mr., Mrs., Jr., III), along with items such as rank or military branch initials (Sgt, USAF, etc.) and other titles (Lion, Rotarian, Optimist, etc.).
  • Each tree planted will have a number nearby, corresponding to the dedication name at a nearby commemorative wall within each section.
  • Trees are planted once each spring and fall, with a dedication ceremony following
  • A certificate of dedication is issued to the donor (or may be sent to another recipient)
  • This site does not accept pet commemoration/memorials, though this is being explored as an option for a specific area at future commemorative tree sites.
  • Full organization or company names are not permitted as part of tree name dedications at this time, though sponsorship options may available for future tree park groves. Call (520) 837-6832 for information or questions.

1. Garden of the Children Overview

1. garden-children  The first 100 commemorative trees at Pantano River Park were planted in Garden of the Children, south of Golf Links Rd. adjacent to Michael Perry Park. Tree dedications began in this area in 2012, and it was completed in Spring 2013. Tree dedication ceremonies were held in this section in January, May, and December 2013. Ample parking is available here at the adjacent Michael Perry Park, 2775 S. Pantano Pkwy. This site also features a Children’s Memorial Garden. Parents/guardians of a deceased child may still request addition of the child’s name at this site via Tucson Clean & Beautiful (apart from any tree planting which is done separately and is no longer available in this immediate area).

2. Garden of the Families Overview

1. children  Another 80 commemorative trees were planted in Garden of the Families, just north of Golf Links Rd. on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. (approximately 2500 S. Pantano Pkwy. – no address is marked). Tree dedications began in this area in 2013, and it was completed in Fall 2014. Tree dedication ceremonies were held in this section in May and December 2014. Additional parking, including a horse trailer bay, is available at this site.

3.Garden-of-the-Masks-Overview

3. masks  A total of 70 commemorative trees are planted in Garden of the Masks, on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. beginning about 1/4 mile north of Golf Links Rd. to just south of 29th St. (approximately 2300 S. Pantano Pkwy., address is not marked). Parking is not available in this section, but is available very nearby in the previous Garden of the Families section. Tree dedications began in this area in 2014, and were completed in Fall 2015.

4. Garden of the Flute Players Overview

4. flute players  A total of 70 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Garden of the Flute Players, which begins just on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. just north of Sarnoff Dr. (or, about 1/2 mile south of 22nd St. – approximately 1750 S. Pantano Pkwy., address is not marked). Parking is not available in this area, but is mid-way between parking lots approximately 1/2 mile north at 22nd St., or 3/4 mile south at Golf Links Rd. All trees in this garden have been dedicated, and will be planted in advance of the December 2016 dedication (ceremony to be held in the Garden of the Winter Solstice section on December 9, 2016).

5. Garden of the Winter Solstice Overview

5. winter solstice A total of 80 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Garden of the Winter Solstice, on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. approximately 1/4 mile south of 22nd St.  (approximately 1450 S. Pantano Pkwy., address is not marked). More than 30 of the trees here have already been dedicated. A future planting and ceremony in this area will take place in Spring 2017. Parking is not available in this section, but is available a short distance north of here in the next section, Garden of the Summer Solstice. Dedicate a commemorative tree today – two step process: fill out a dedication form, and purchase a commemorative tree through the TCB store. For assistance, call (520) 837-6832.

6. Garden of the Summer Solstice Overview

6. summer-solstice  A total of 80 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Garden of the Summer Solstice, which is on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. immediately south of 22nd St. (approximately 1200 S. Pantano Pkwy., address is not marked). Plantings and ceremonies in this area are projected to take place in approximately 2017-2018. Limited parking is available in this section.

7. Garden of the Sun Overview

7. sun  A total of 90 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Garden of the Sun, which is along the residential portion of Pantano Pkwy. Ample on-street parking is available, accessible from Kenyon Dr. west of Pantano Rd., or from just north of 22nd St. connecting from the west side of Pantano Rd. (approximately 1100 S. Pantano Pkwy., address is not marked). Plantings and ceremonies for this final section of Gardens of the Ancient Signs is projected to begin in 2018 and be completed by 2019.

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

elpaseo-logoThe 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) 837-6832 or email tcb-admin@tucsonaz.gov