The planning team has created The Draft Reid Park Master Plan over the last 8 months through a series of meetings and surveys with the Tucson community. The result is a plan that balances this diverse community’s many needs with targeted, cost-effective park improvements. Explore the draft master plan.
Survey 3 is now closed.
Draft Master Plan Overview
Click image to enlarge
The plan reinvigorates Reid Park’s most beloved features and adds new destinations informed by the needs of the Tucson community. A central loop provides clear pedestrian access to major destinations supplemented by a network of meandering paths. Barnum Hill and the ponds remain a center of natural recreation, enhanced by a new desert wildlife garden and nature play area. Citation Wash becomes a defining feature of the park, referencing Sonoran riparian habitats while offering flood control and water quality benefits. Strategically placed plazas provide shade, seating, amenities and event venues at gateways to the park. Multi-purpose fields, gardens, playgrounds and courts create an array of recreational opportunities representative of Tucson’s diverse needs.
You Shared, We Listened!
Thank you for being a part of reimagining Reid Park!
What did the community share?
What do people want MORE of in Reid Park?
(Top 5 responses)
Top features people want to see at Reid Park
(Top 8 responses)
What do people want for the future of Reid Park?
(Top 8 responses)
What We Learned
Reid Park & Tucson's Ecology
Here are some interesting facts about the ecology of the city!Tucson is in a low desert valley surrounded by high elevation "islands" of dense forest. Many species take advantage of this by moving up and down in elevation in response to changes in temperature, drought, food availability or forest fires.Tucson is embraced by two forks of the Santa Cruz River system. These are superhighways for the movement of wildlife in the region.Reid Park contains one of Tucson's rarest features - water! When rivers and washes throughout the region are typically dry, Reid's ponds remain, attracting species of all types during harsh droughts.
How does temperature vary across Tucson?
The presence of permanent water and large irrigated shade trees makes Reid Park one of the coolest places in the city: an "oasis" that provides both humans and wildlife an opportunity to cool off on the hottest summer days.
Where are the trees in Tucson?
A canopy cover map of Tucson reveals that there are more trees in the north central neighborhoods of the city and much fewer in areas heavily developed for aviation, industry, and logistics. Before urbanization of this region, trees in Tucson were limited to wetter places like riverbeds and the foothills. Through residential development, more trees have been introduced to the dry valley floor with the help of irrigation. These trees attract upland species and migratory birds who find them a perfect place to rest and refuel.
Reid Park isn't just for people!
Many survey respondents shared fond memories and exciting experiences of encountering wildlife in Reid Park. In one community member's words "wildlife really brightens up everything about the park." Here are some of the species you mentioned.
Reid Park's trees are beloved for their shade and habitat. Many of these trees have been in the park since its founding and have outdated and inefficient irrigation infrastructure. As trees die off from old age or changing climate, they should be replaced by trees that match the needs of a future characterized by an increasingly unpredictable monsoon season, hotter summers, and greater seasonal temperature volatility. With new irrigation technologies and careful species selections, Reid's future trees can offer shade, create habitat for native birds and reduce the water demands of the park.
Hit Play to see how tree succession may happen in the park
Guiding principles act as a framework to inform the design process. They are a result of common themes that arose during conversations with community members and stakeholders, the online engagement that has been conducted and the investigation into the existing conditions of the site and its surrounding context. Each of the guiding principles will serve to guide the master plan as a way to ensure the vision for the future of Gene C. Reid Park is reflective of the community’s shared values.
A Park that Builds Connections - The Park's People
A park that invites cultural expression and makes it easy for people to come together. How can Reid Park be a place that invites cultural expression and makes it easy for people to come together? How do we make flexible spaces focused on cultural exchange and community gathering?
"Provide better connectivity, flow and clarity of circulation…equitable access and multi-generational design!"
Southwestern Sustainability and Resilience - The Park's Environment
A park that is a model of sustainability and resilience strategies which embrace the climate and context of southeast Arizona.
How can we develop a master plan that exemplifies resilience, integrates ecological restoration and imbues natural systems into the site?
Sincerely Tucsonan - The Park's Neighborhood
A park that residents and visitors alike feel is uniquely Tucson and sparks an emotional connection to the city.
How can this park become a cultural centerpiece of Tucson that is authentic to the city?
How do we protect what the community holds dear, while injecting new life into the site?
A Truly Central Park - The Park's Destinations
A park that sparks pride for Tucson’s Park system and is a recognizable landmark for residents of the region.
How can this park become an icon of Tucson, where everyone is welcome? A true Central Park.
How do we design for the everyday and the annual event?
What types of access and circulation need to be integrated into the plan to ensure this is a place for everyone?
These principles will guide the co-creation of a vision for Reid Park!
Stay tuned for ideas for the future of Reid Park!
Step 1: Discovery
(April and May)
It all starts with learning and listening. The project team will begin by learning everything they can about the park’s ecological health, programming, access, buildings, and more. The team will also spend the ﬁrst part of the project getting ready to talk with the community (getting this website ready, seeing what events are happening, etc.). We’ll be asking the community about how it uses the park today and its thoughts about the existing park: keep an eye out for a mapping survey and our team at events around Tucson!
Step 2: Vision
(June through September)
Once we’ve created a solid foundation based on community expertise, it’s time to start thinking of ideas! We’ll start by deﬁning the “must-keeps” of what people already love about Reid Park, and then start to imagine multiple options for what the park could look like in the future. We’ll be asking the community for their reactions and feedback on the options: keep an eye out for a survey that shows all the ideas, and open houses where you can share your thoughts!
Step 3: Action
(September through December)
Finally, we’ll take all the feedback on the options, and reﬁne it into one plan. We’ll be asking the community for their reactions to the plan before it’s complete so that you can tell us if your comments were interpreted correctly: keep an eye out for a survey and for an exciting event showing the future vision for the park at the Family Fun Festival in the Park!
The vision for Gene C. Reid Park is to be a welcoming and beautiful park in the heart of Tucson that provides places to recreate,connect with nature, interact with loved ones, and relax. The purpose of this master plan will be to figure out a design thatachieves this vision.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How does this project relate to the plans for Reid Park Zoo?
The master plan for Reid Park is occurring independently from, but at the same time as, the design process for the Reid Park Zoo, with information being shared through both processes. The project team working on Reid Park is focused solely on the park and its vision. More information about the Reid Park Zoo project can be found here (https://reidparkzoo.org/future-asia/).
How will park improvements be funded?
The Master Plan will provide a roadmap for Gene C. Reid Park's long-term evolution. The Plan will be used to help guide future investments in the park with the conﬁdence that they ﬁt into a larger strategic vision. Having a park Master Plan is important to ensuring that available resources are allocated eﬃciently and to the items of highest priority. As future/ongoing reinvestments in the park are made, different funding sources will be used as appropriate to the project. State, federal, and local grants; private and non-proﬁt partnerships; and bonds are all likely sources of funding for capital improvements.
■ Operations and maintenance funding for The Park will continue to come from the City's General Fund. The Park Master Plan will explore strategies to reduce the operation and maintenance burdens of the park, including reducing the use of water and energy.
■ On Nov. 6, 2018, City of Tucson voters approved Proposition 407, a $225 million bond package for capital improvements to park amenities and pedestrian infrastructure. $5.2 million of this package has been earmarked for Reid Park speciﬁcally, with additional resources committed to nearby greenway, pedestrian safety, and share-use path improvements and expansions.
■ Development impact fees
Who is the City working with on this project?
The Tucson Parks and Recreation department is working closely with other City departments, as well as a team of landscape architects, planners, and public engagement specialists. Most importantly, the City’s priority is to hear from community members! There will be opportunities for providing feedback continuously throughout the entire project.
How does the Reid Park Master Plan respond to the 2016 Tucson Parks and Recreation System Master Plan?
Between 2009 and 2016, the City of Tucson engaged the community and experts in a comprehensive inventory, assessment, and master plan for the Tucson Parks and Recreation system. This planning process identiﬁed strategic priorities and needs which will be considered in the more detailed planning of Reid Park. That Master Plan can be found here.
The plan also involved a Community Survey, completed by a random representative sample of 1,225 Tucson households. Some trends and takeaways from the survey include:
■ A high and rapidly increasing demand for trails, greenways and bikeways
■ A high priority for the refurbishment of playgrounds and restroom facilities
■ Widespread value for public swimming pools
■ Consistent needs for picnic areas and ramadas
■ Decreasing participation in scheduled classes and indoor programming
These survey results will be taken into consideration during the Reid Park Master Plan alongside the results of ongoing community outreach efforts.
Previous Gene C. Reid Park and Reid Park Zoo Community Conversation
In 2021, the City of Tucson embarked on a community conversation to come up with a new plan for the area for the Reid Park Zoo expansion project. View details of those events here.