Saturday morning, residents in Northwest Tucson will participate in a celebration of non-motorized recreation when they help to Launch the Loop, starting at 7:30 a.m. and leading to a dedication ceremony at 10 a.m.
The Loop is 55 miles of car-free paths being developed around metropolitan Tucson, with links to Marana and Oro Valley, for Pima County residents and visitors on foot, bikes, skates and horses.
"If it doesn't have a motor, it's good to go on The Loop," said a press release issued by Pima County.
The Loop connects the Rillito River Park, the Santa Cruz River Park, the Julian Wash Greenway, the Harrison Greenway and the Pantano River Park.
The Loop will connect to parks, trails, bus and bike routes, workplaces, schools, restaurants, hotels and motels, shopping areas, and sports and entertainment venues.
More than 38 percent of the metropolitan population lives within one mile of The Loop.
Pima County and Marana are working now to extend the Santa Cruz River Park path to and through Marana. The County and Oro Valley have partnered to create multi-use paths along the Cañada Del Oro Wash that will extend from the Santa Cruz River nearly to Catalina State Park.
To join the Oct. 22 celebration and get free T-shirts, water bottles, backpacks, bike helmets for kids, and safety gear while supplies last, register between 7:30 and 9:30 a.m. at:
• Crossroads at Silverbell Park, 7548 N. Silverbell Road, in Marana.
• Flowing Wells District Park, 5510 N. Shannon Road, in Tucson.
• Christopher Columbus Park, 4600 N. Silverbell Road, in Tucson.
Walk, ride, run or skate from the registration sites directly to the 10 a.m. dedication celebration on West Sunset Road, west of Interstate 10. Or register early at Flowing Wells Park and participate in a 22-mile bike ride to the University of Arizona campus and back before the dedication celebration.
Event partners include Pima County, Marana, Oro Valley, the Northwest YMCA, Tucson, and the Pima County Health Department's Healthy Pima program.
Go to www.pima.gov/TheLoop for more information and the latest Loop news, maps and events.
Pima County has partnered with Tucson, South Tucson, Marana, Oro Valley, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Arizona Department of Transportation, the Regional Transportation Authority and others on the existing paths.
Federal and state disaster assistance funding for bank stabilization, federal grants and County bond funds financed the work.