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.

Tree dedication requests are now being accepted for dedication in both Garden of the Summer Solstice for planting by this Fall, and Garden of the Sun (between 22nd St. and Kenyon Dr.) for planting in 2018. 

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 or (520) 837-6830 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. Names for all dedications at Pantano River Park, whether planted recently, in the past, or if already dedicated for future segments, will be read at each dedication until the park is complete.

Location options:

6. Garden of the Summer Solstice Overview

6. summer-solsticeGarden of the Summer Solstice: Approximately 45 tree dedication sites (out of 80) are still available in this section for planting in Fall 2017 on the west side of Pantano Pkwy. just south of 22nd St. The next tree dedication ceremony is being planned for early December 2017. Limited parking is available in this section, at approximately 1200 S. Pantano Pkwy., the address is not marked.

7. Garden of the Sun Overview

7. sun Garden of the Sun: Dedications are now being accepted for this final segment, for the 2018 plantings. 90 commemorative trees are set to be planted in Spring and Fall 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).

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 spring name engraving has taken place, and another engraving is planned for late Fall 2017.

416 commemorative trees have been planted honoring friends and family along the Pantano River Park 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 names of people for whom trees have been planted. Corresponding numbered markers with the garden section symbol are in front of each tree.

The Loop extends further north and south, though these areas are not presently 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:

Location and Completed Sections

gardens of the ancient signs overview

Garden of the Ancient Signs, the Tucson area’s newest Commemorative Tree Park along The Loop, is located along the east bank of Pantano River Park starting near Michael Perry Park south of Golf Links Rd. at the end of Pantano Pkwy., and continue northwest, eventually to reach Kenyon Dr. west of Pantano Rd. Parking and access points are noted in each section below.

This commemorative tree park is 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.

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 commemorative wall within that section
  • Trees are planted 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, 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-childrenGarden of the Children: 100 commemorative trees were planted in 2012-2013 south of Golf Links Rd. near to Michael Perry Park. Trees in this section were planted in 2012-2013. Tree dedication ceremonies were 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 is available at Michael Perry Park, 2775 S. Pantano Pkwy.

2. Garden of the Families Overview

1. children 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 located at approximately 2500 S. Pantano Pkwy. – no address is marked.

3.Garden-of-the-Masks-Overview

3. masks 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.

4. Garden of the Flute Players Overview

4. flute players 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.

5. Garden of the Winter Solstice Overview

5. winter solstice 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.

6. Garden of the Summer Solstice Overview

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 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 amenities that now 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. 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.

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

Future Projects

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. 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.

For more information, call (520) 837-6832 or email admin@tucsoncleanandbeautiful.org