Aug. 18, 2004 - Construction is underway at Marana's Heritage Park, bringing it one step closer to reality. Once completed the park will allow people to view multiple cultural and artistic exhibits that reflect the history of Marana.

The 91-acre park is located on the Santa Cruz River and intends to show visitors the role of agriculture in the Southwest. The park will highlight the people and cultures that have influenced the culture of Marana, including Native American heritage, Spanish contributions and 20th century farming history.

In addition, Marana will develop several other parks in the coming years to accompany the shifting population centers throughout the town.

Town Manager Mike Reuwsaat said the town has worked hard to increase the number of parks in Marana so people will have adequate space to "live, work and play."

The town works closely with its parks and recreation department to ensure the high quality of its parks, and for that reason people take pride in the cleanliness and respect their recreation areas, said Parks and Recreation Director Ron Smith.

While parks may not appear in the near future, he said many are in the works.

"There won't be a whole lot of dirt being turned this year for parks," Smith said. "But a lot of preparation planning will be done this year."

Planned Marana Parks and Trails

Cortaro/Silverbell District Park: Marana will be master planning a community park to be located behind Walgreens on Silverbell and Cortaro roads this year. The town hopes to begin construction on the park a year from now, Smith said. The more than 40-acre park will include lighted athletic fields, a library and a variety of other recreation activities.

Gladden Park: This 25-acre park will be created in conjuction with the Heritage Park along the Santa Cruz River, and have trails to the Gladden Farms development. The parks and recreation department is working with the developer of Gladden Farms on this park and master planning will begin once the developer has reached the required number of building permits. The park may be completed in the next two to five years said Parks Superintendent Tom Ellis.

Honea Park: As part of the Santa Cruz Lineal Park, which includes Gladden and Heritage Park, this park will stretch from Sanders road on the northwest to the Heritage Park on the southeast. Located behind Honea Heights, the park will extend to the Santa Cruz River and could be completed in the next two to five years, Ellis said. The exective assistant to the town manager, Jim DeGrood, said complications can arise in developing these parks because they are located near the environmentally sensitive banks of the Santa Cruz River.

Wild Burro Wash Trail: This is an eight mile trail into the Tortolita Mountains. The intended path of the trail currently crosses state trust land. As a result, park and recreation representatives will go to the state land auction this September to obtain the necessary land to build the trail. Construction on the trail could begin at the beginning of next year, Smith said.

Santa Cruz River Multi-Use Path: This path follows the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail for about four miles. The trail will run from Cortaro Road to El Rio Neighborhood Park.

Barnett Park: This park will run along the wash at Barnett Road that will drain the Tortolita fan, Ellis said. Because water flows only at certain times in the year, the land will work for several soccer fields and a baseball field. It extends from just south of Ora Mae Harn District Park to Interstate 10.

Bureau of Reclamation Regional Park: This 500-acre park will be the home to numerous lighted soccer and baseball fields, Ellis said. The town hopes to begin construction on the park in the next three years if it can secure the necessary funds. Located west of I-10 the park would be bisected by Avra Valley Road.

Adonis Park: This park located east of I-10 and north of Grier Road will be created in conjuction with the San Lucas development and could be constructed within the next five to six years, Ellis said.

Freeway Parks East and West: These parks at the very north end of Marana are in conjuction with the Diamond Ventures Development and will not go under construction for another 10 years.

Sanders Park: This proposed regional park has no timeline because the land where it is slated to go has not been selected by a developer.

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