Parks and Recreation Overview

Fiscal Year 2021/22

Mission Statement

To provide a park system offering safe and high-quality recreational programs and services for Tucsonans of all ages and abilities.


The following programs are included in this department:

Staffing By Program

*Full Time Equivalent Employee (FTE)

Budget By Program

Department Expenses

Budget By Expense Category

Budget By Funding Source

Significant Changes

The Adopted Budget for Fiscal Year 2021/22 of $81,640,350 reflects an increase of $12,817,140 from the Fiscal Year 2020/21 Adopted Budget. Major changes include the following:

  • Increase in salary and employee related expenses* by 310,300
  • Increase in supplies costs $351,500
  • Increase in personnel costs $960,660
  • Decrease in services costs $271,650

*5 new full-time equivalent employees have been added to the Fiscal Year 2021/22 Adopted Budget.


Tucson Parks and Recreation reinvented recreation and community engagement in several ways during the pandemic. Drive thru events, virtual classes, pick up and go entertainment kits and outdoor classes became the new normal for the majority of Fiscal Year 2020/21. Parks' reopening activities were done in a manner where safety of park users was a priority as seniors returned to the centers, as well as smaller sized classes were offered for leisure recreation. KIDCO summer camps remain split between school locations and recreation centers to meet the need of supporting parents who need a safe childcare option. Parks' staff are essential, with some being re-deployed to staff the resource line, which assists with maintaining normal city operations service levels despite the COVID-19 impact.


The department launched Ready, Set, Rec bringing a mobile recreation activity to all neighborhood parks through one van per ward courtesy of CARES funding. Completed the replacement of filters at the Adaptative Recreation Center to deliver optimal water quality and reliable operation as individuals returned to swim. Fiscal Year 2020/21 saw the first new splashpad get completed at Lincoln Park and Ft. Futhermore, the Lowell Pool was resurfaced and deck renovated. The Buffalo Soldiers memorial was opened, master planning started for the new Barrio Nopal Park as well as for new improvements at Ironhorse, Santa Rita, Jacobs and Kennedy parks. The master planning sets the stage for the major construction projects in Fiscal Year 2021/22. The department also achieved re-accreditation status from the National Parks and Recreation Association, confirming the department is operating within best practices standards. Lastily, moved up 10 spots on the ParkScore Index measured by the Trust for Public Land.

Future Objectives

The department has launched an inspection and asset condition inventory process to demonstrate the need for park future improvements and development of a capital plan to allow thoughtful awareness and response to an aging park infrastructure. With a growing percentage of staff entering retirement eligibility range, focus is being placed on succession planning, training, and investment on more internal subject matter experts. The department is seeking to perform a citywide resident recreation needs survey to allow a global understanding of programming needs and strategies to use to meet recreation needs by ward and demographics.