Marana parks and recreation seeks input on 10-year plan

Marana seeking input on parks plan

TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - As Marana grows, some residents said they hope green spaces don’t disappear. So, the Parks and Recreation Department is asking families to help them put together a 10-Year Master Plan.

“What we want to know from people is ‘How are we doing are job? Are you happy with the services provided? And, what would you like to see more of?’” said Jim Conroy, the director of Parks and Recreation for the Town of Marana.

Marana is growing at a rate nearly three times the state average. With nearly 50 miles of paved trails, 30 miles of hiking trails and 11 parks, the town is already lagging behind communities of similar size, such as Prescott, which has nearly double the parks and more than 110 miles of trails.

"There is a desire to expand our inventory and we are doing that,” Conroy said.

Officials will first have to decide what land is most desirable to save for parks, fields and trails. That’s where community input comes in.

“The community may not build it for five years or 10 years, but [we need] to identify that now,” Conroy said.

So, what would residents like to see? KOLD News 13 took that question to those who were getting the most of the outdoors. On Thursday, we compiled a ‘Wish List’ from people at the Crossroads and Silverbell District Park.

“I would say, along the walkways, I would like to see more exercise equipment,” Richard Aragon, a Marana resident, said.

“[Parks and Recreation is] doing a really good job, I feel bad asking for more,” Laura Sabel said. “But I think larger shade structures would be nice because I think people would use the playground more in the summer. Also, a rubbery surface [on playgrounds would be nice] because I think that meets the needs of more kids, like tiny tots and people who have mobility issues.”

For 2-year-old Payton Oesterling, the 10-year plan better include “more slides."

From slip-and-slides, to splash pads, parkgoers were happy to share their ideas for the future.

Thursday night at the Wheeler Taft Abbett Sr. Library, more Marana residents shared their thoughts with town officials. So far, more than 1,300 people have participated in a 19-question survey.

Parks and Recreation has two more public meetings:

-Jan. 29 at 6 p.m. at Dove Mountain CSTEM School

-Feb. 6 at 6 p.m. at the Marana Police Department Community Room

After that, they will start putting together the 10-Year Master Plan, which is set to go before Town Council this spring.

Copyright 2020 KOLD News 13. All rights reserved.