Tucson Parks and Rec Receives Two Tohono O’Odham Nation Grants

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The City of Tucson Parks and Recreation department was selected by the Tohono O’odham Nation as a recipient of the 12% Gaming Distribution grant funding in the amounts of $150,000 to enhance a new splash pad project at Santa Rita Park and $80,000 to add a shade structure at Mansfield Pool.

Tucson Parks and Rec, Tohono O'Odham Nation, grant award, grant recipient


Santa Rita Park

Santa Rita Park, located at 401 E. 22nd St., resides in Ward 5 and recently underwent a master planning process with the final plan approved by Mayor and Council on Aug. 9, 2022. In addition to a new splash pad, other improvements will include a new playground, restroom, ramada, walking path, and the existing parking, lighting, basketball court, skate park, and irrigation will be renovated.

On Nov. 6, 2018, City of Tucson voters approved Proposition 407, a $225 million bond package for capital improvements via General Obligation bonds. Santa Rita Park has approximately $3 million in bond funds dedicated to improving this park. The $150,000 grant will be combined with $850,000 of City of Tucson funds to build a splash pad with more amenities.

The splash pad project will expand recreational opportunities to an underserved population surrounding the park. Splash pads are a great, free recreational opportunity primarily intended to serve youth. Beyond being an ideal location to escape Tucson’s hot summers, they are known to foster physical development, providing sensory stimulation through tactile interactions with water sprays, streams, and jets. Additionally, they encourage the development of motor movement through jumping, running, and dodging. To view the master plan and for more information on the projects at Santa Rita Park, visit the project website.

Mansfield Pool

Mansfield Pool, located at 2275 N. 4th Ave., is one of three public pools in Ward 3. It is an amenity, as well as a necessity, that provides families with affordable outdoor recreation during the summer. It is a three-pool complex, making it a popular place to cool off. The pool features a diving bay with 1- and 3-meter boards, a wading pool, and a temporarily closed slide.

Tucson’s public pools provide outdoor family recreation opportunities to serve those who otherwise would not have a place to swim, as well as providing swimming lessons, education, and lifeguard training. Swimming is a great way for those with limited mobility, medical conditions, and/or injuries to enjoy physical activity as well. Pools offer a means of social interaction, relaxation, and stress relief. While the pool currently has a small shade area, the complex needs an additional shade structure to give children and families a cool place to relax and recreate. This $80,000 grant will allow Tucson Parks and Recreation to add more shade to the complex.

Mansfield Pool has $187,560 in 2018 voter-approved bond funds to replace the broken 141-foot-long slide that has been fenced off and unavailable for five years. The Ward 3 office allocated an additional $150,000 from Community Reinvestment funds provided by the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) to supplement the cost of replacing the existing slide.

For more information on projects planned through the Tucson Delivers Great Parks + Strong Connections voter-approved bond funds from 2018, visit this website.

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