As of February 27, 2018, all commemorative tree dedications have been requested for Pantano River Park. The next commemorative dedication sites are not yet set, but please feel free to submit your dedication interest and we will keep you posted on future site options.
Trees already dedicated in the past few months will all be planted before the May 11, 2018 dedication ceremony (start time TBA, approximately 10am). Names for all dedications at Pantano River Park, whether planted recently or in the past, will be read at this final dedication ceremony.
The next commemorative dedication sites are not yet set, but please feel free to submit your dedication interest and we will keep you posted on future site options.
Children’s Memorial Garden wall name engravings (separate from the completed commemorative tree dedications) continue to be available at Michael Perry Park, south of Golf Links at the end of Pantano Pkwy. The fall name engraving took place just before the December 1, 2017 ceremony, and another engraving is planned for Spring 2018.
A total of 570 commemorative trees have been dedicated honoring friends and family along the Pantano River Park since 2012, in seven tree gardens with petroglyph-themed names and symbols. Commemorative walls in each grove list the names of people for whom trees have been planted. Corresponding numbered markers with the garden section symbol are in front of each tree. Pantano River Park, part of The Loop, extends further north and south, though these areas are not planned to include commemorative trees.
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:
Garden of the Ancient Signs, along The Loop, is located along the east bank of Pantano River Park starting near Michael Perry Park south of Golf Links Rd. and continues northwest to Kenyon Dr. Parking and access points are noted in each section below.
Commemorative tree parks are 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.
Garden of the Children: 100 commemorative trees were planted in 2012-2013 south of Golf Links Rd. near Michael Perry Park, with tree dedication ceremonies held in this section in January, May, and December 2013. 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 (tree plantings are no longer available in this immediate area). Ample parking available at Michael Perry Park, 2775 S. Pantano Pkwy.
Garden of the Families: 80 commemorative trees were planted in 2013-2014 just north of Golf Links Rd. on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. 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, at approximately 2500 S. Pantano Pkwy. – no address is marked.
Garden of the Masks: 70 commemorative trees were planted in 2014-2015 on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. beginning about 1/4 mile north of Golf Links Rd. to just south of 29th St. Tree dedication ceremonies were held in May 2015 and December 2015. Parking is not available in this section, but is available just south of here at Garden of the Families.
Garden of the Flute Players: 70 commemorative trees were planted in 2015-2016 on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. just north of Sarnoff Dr. A tree dedication ceremony was held in May 2016. 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.
Garden of the Winter Solstice: 80 commemorative trees were planted in 2016-2017 on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. approximately 1/4 mile south of 22nd St. Tree dedication ceremonies were held in December 2016 and May 2017. Parking is not available in this section, but is available a short distance north of here at Garden of the Summer Solstice.
Garden of the Summer Solstice: 80 commemorative trees were planted in 2017 on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. just south of 22nd St. A tree dedication ceremony was held in December 2017. Limited parking is available in this section, at approximately 1200 S. Pantano Pkwy., the address is not marked.
Garden of the Sun: 90 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Spring 2018 along the residential portion of Pantano Pkwy. from Kenyon Dr. to just north of 22nd St. 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). The commemorative tree dedications are now full.
This commemorative tree dedication site was established 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 River 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 River Park have been completed over the years, this was the first major, multi-mile continuous segment of the 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 surrounding the central Tucson area that now connects regional corridors including the Rillito River, Tanque Verde Wash, Harrison Greenway, Julian Wash, Santa Cruz River, and Cañada del Oro, along with local neighborhoods.
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. Six sections of the park are named after birds found in the Sonoran Desert region: Arboleda Corre Camino (Roadrunner Grove), Arboleda Chupaflor (Hummingbird Grove), Arboleda Paloma (Dove Grove), Arboleda Halcón (Hawk Grove), Arboleda Coletero (Cactus Wren Grove), and Arboleda Codorniz (Quail Grove).
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.
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 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 unique tile walls which were produced by GY Graphics
- Corporate sponsors underwrote construction costs nd are given special recognition on the walls
Future Projects & Amenities
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 at least several hundred additional trees to be planted over several years based on community demand. River park paths are an ideal setting for this type of commemoration, as trees and related landscape amenities can be added in stages over the course of a few years as family and friends purchase trees in recognition or remembrance of loved ones. Tucson Clean & Beautiful is working with Pima County and the City of Tucson to identify additional future commemorative tree sites throughout the metropolitan area.
Memorial benches and other amenities may also be available for sponsorship at various locations along The Loop, at a cost of approximately $1,300-$2,000 depending on selected options. Visit the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks & Recreation page, call (520) 724-5220, or email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on the process for installation of benches.
For more information on commemorative tree options, call (520) 837-6832 or email email@example.com