Dozens of men, women and children gathered under a forest green pavilion on an overcast Friday morning to celebrate the opening of Marana’s newest park.
They flocked to the 17-acre facility, called the Tangerine Sky Park, to commemorate the culmination of a year’s worth of hard work and collaboration.
The result of that mettle was on full display, with young families running to the playground and walking paths as a host of people took turns at the lectern.
Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy was the first to speak, touching on how meaningful the park is to the town.
“Thank you for being here. It's an honor to be here. It's been a great project,” Conroy said. “It goes back several years and like anything good, there's a lot of fingerprints on it. It takes a lot of people to make it happen.”
Conroy listed a litany of companies and communities that contributed to the park’s construction, which speaks to the value of common spaces in a growing town like Marana.
“I talk about accessibility issues all the time. Our parks are for everybody and this group is about accessibility for everybody,” he said. “When I look at parks, I think a lot differently than maybe other folks. With a property like this—17 acres with our dog parks and our playground, our open field acres and our three ramadas—it’s something special.”
Conroy believes the park’s basketball courts, which are luminated by several tall LED lights and two dogs parks totaling 27,000 square feet in size, will serve community members of all ages.
Conroy said that he and his staff are excited at the potential events that the park can host in the future, with an amplified green space and 3,100 feet of walking paths.
“That’s how my staff and I talk about it. We’ll do events out here in the really pretty grass area,” he said.
Conroy believes the park’s amenities will be useful for those of all ages, helping boost fitness and health among Marana residents.
If the park hits a conservative estimate of 200 people a day, then 70,000 people will visit per year, which speaks to its potential impact on the region as a whole.
“It’s about the other experiences. The 10-year-old kid that lives in Sky Ranch that we don’t even know yet,” Conroy said. “Whether it’s an all-state soccer player who’s going to run on the 3,100 linear feet of path that we have built or a neighbor who got a bad diagnosis.”
Marana Mayor Ed Honea touched on a similar narrative, envisioning a brilliant future for the space going forward.
“What this is really about is what you see right here—children, young families, grandparents coming to play and have a good time,” Honea said. “As you all know, Marana is all about family.”