Thank you for providing input into the City of Tucson’s latest plans for redesigning Reid Park. You can find the Reid Park Master Plan site, from which you can access the current survey, here: https://stories.opengov.com/tucsonaz/published/QMU_Csil6. But first please take a look below at our suggestions.
The deadline for submitting comments is Friday, September 30th.
The City’s three alternatives for the park can be roughly categorized as follows:
- Concept 1: Recreation (structured ballfields, courts, etc.)
- Concept 2: Environment (expanded natural areas)
- Concept 3: Culture (performance venues, relocated zoo entrance)
The survey asks people to comment on the aspects of each concept they find desirable. The consultants will then merge the most desired aspects into a single plan.
The overall best alternative, in our analysis, is Concept 2 (Environment); by far the worst is Concept 3 (Culture). In general, our comments stress the importance of enhancing the park’s natural elements, focusing on trees, and creating spaces for unstructured recreation.
We made the following specific suggestions, which we hope you’ll incorporate into your own comments:
- Enhance the existing park rather than reconstructing the entire park.
- Prioritize enhancing the park’s natural elements.
- Harmonize structures such as splash pads, play areas, and dog parks with the park’s enhanced natural elements.
- Protect existing large trees.
- Plant mindfully for the next generation of trees.
- Prioritize planting mesquite trees and similar plants that provide valuable cool, shade, and bird habitat, rather than cactus-type plants, given Reid Park’s lack of connectivity with desert outside the city limits.
- Create intimate spaces.
- Focus on unstructured recreation—peaceful, cool, shaded, natural spaces where people can walk, sit, picnic, walk dogs, watch birds and wildlife, practice photography, etc.
- Create habitat for birds rather than structures such as bird blinds and observation towers.
- Reconsider removing the parking area along 22nd street and putting all the parking by the zoo. Natural areas can be enhanced without depriving people of parking options.
- Do NOT put a road (with parking spots) through the middle of the park and move the zoo entrance to face onto the park (Concept 3). That would destroy quiet enjoyment throughout the park and is a VERY BAD IDEA.
Thank you again for your ongoing engagement in the public process for redesigning Reid Park. We are optimistic that the robust participation of Tucson Audubon and our community will result in a beautiful, accessible, multi-purpose park we can all celebrate and enjoy!