Jan 15, 2023
Progress in 2022 and Next Steps for 2023
Happy New Year!
2022 was a memorable year, thanks to your support and generosity. We met our goal of preserving the Vistoso property as a nature preserve. After four challenging years full of ups and downs, The Conservation Fund (TCF) and the Town of Oro Valley announced completion of the acquisition of 202 acres of the Vistoso property on February 17, 2022. A conservation easement was placed on the property to protect it in perpetuity as open space.
In July, TCF donated the property to the Town and on July 15, Mayor Winfield, Vice Mayor Barrett, Council members and Town staff participated in a ribbon cutting. Our website (PreserveVistoso.org) contains the speeches by Preserve Vistoso and Town officials, including Mayor Winfield and Kristy Diaz-Trahan, director of parks and rec for Oro valley.
The Town created a committee to decide on a name for the nature preserve. I was fortunate to participate in this committee. Following input from the community, the committee narrowed down the choices from over 2,000 entries to the top 10. After putting the 10 finalists to a community vote, the Town Council selected Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve, which I think was the perfect name to describe the property and acknowledge the legacy of the Vistoso Golf Course.
Many of you know that the Town contracted with Sites Southwest team, a landscape architecture and planning firm to create a master plan. In November, the Sites Southwest team provided several opportunities to ask questions and offer suggestions for proposed improvements and desired amenities for our nature preserve. Thank you to all who took time to provide your input!
As part of this continuing process, the Town will be hosting a Community open house on Wednesday, January 25, at the Steam Pump Ranch Garage from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., facilitated by Sites Southwest Project Manager, Liz Cole. Participants will have an opportunity to review the Community Input Report that has been developed as a result of the work done in late 2022 as well as provide an additional comments/feedback.
The Community Input Report is a document of their findings — what they heard from the community and observed during site visits. It is important to understand this report is not a final report, nor does it include decision points or recommendations. Rather, it is to ensure they captured what they heard from the community. If people are unable to attend the Open-House, the report will be available on the Parks and Recreation web page and comments can be sent to Ms. Cole directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is the schedule:
February 21 – First Draft Plan presentation and discussion,
Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
March 15 – Town Council
April 16 – Final Draft Plan presentation and possible decision,
Parks and Recreation Advisory Board
May 3 – Town Council
I will continue to serve as President of the Board of Preserve Vistoso as we participate in the critical planning stages for Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve and work to build a lasting partnership with the Town that will allow us to continue to provide input and participate in future improvement projects. Founding member and former Board President Michael Bilodeau retired from the Board this year to focus on graduate studies and his career. We thank him for his focus, drive, and dedication to our community.We wouldn’t be where we are today without his passion and leadership.
Thanks again for your support. We look forward to seeing you during the planning meetings.
Wishing you good health and happiness in 2023.