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Preserve Vistoso Pulse

Mar 12, 2023

Voice Your Opinion at March 15 Oro Valley Town Council Discussion of Draft Plans for Vistoso Trails

On March 15 at 6:00 PM there will be a presentation and discussion of the draft Master Plan for the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve. Please attend and voice your opinion.

March 12, 2023—The next step in the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve Master Planning process will be a presentation and discussion of the draft plan with the Oro Valley Town Council on Wednesday, March 15 at 6 p.m. in the Town Council Chambers, 11000 N La Cañada Drive. There will be opportunities for you to voice your opinion of the plan.

Information about the meeting can be found here.

The Town selected Sites Southwest as the consultants to develop a MasterPlan for Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve. Sites Southwest presented a draft of the Vistoso Trails MasterPlan to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board (PRAB) on February 21. The draft master plan can be found here.

Preserve Vistoso Board Recommends Preferred Options and Priorities for Vistoso Trails

The Board of Directors of Preserve Vistoso appreciates the support of the Oro Valley Town Council and the work of the Parks and Recreation department under the leadership of Kristy Diaz-Trahan to help make Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve an important recreational area for our community.

We acknowledge that the masterplan for the Preserve will take multiple years and significant funds to fully complete. Since the recent presentation of the proposed Masterplan by Sites Southwest to the Oro Valley Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, we have received many questions about what we feel are the preferred options and initial priorities for the project. In response to those inquiries, and to make our position known, we offer the following:

1. Pond restoration

We support a pond option similar to Option B in the proposed Master Plan. We feel that the new version of the pond should be both accessible to wildlife and attractive to people, an oasis for both. While full restoration of the former golf course pond is both inappropriate and impractical for the new Nature Preserve, we support a new version of the pond which is appropriate for the property’s new identity while at the same time reminding people of the former beauty of the spot. It should:

  • Provide access to water for ground animals, birds, and waterfowl, and be large enough to support use by multiple types of wildlife simultaneously.

  • Be of a size to be esthetically pleasing to visitors and passers-by.

  • Serve as a focal point for the entire Preserve, providing a place for people to gather, enjoy the mountain views, take photographs and observe wildlife.

“Nowhere is water so beautiful as in the desert for nowhere else is it so scarce.” -Edward Abbey

2. Paths

In the spirit of “less is more”, we support the creation of a minimal number of new paths selectively placed across greens or fairways and connecting existing cart path to make new loops. We discourage any new paths in areas where there is existing desert scrub vegetation, as each square foot of new path is a square foot less of usable wildlife habitat and natural Sonoran Desert. Additionally, to respect the security and privacy concerns of adjacent property owners, we suggest that any new paths be no nearer than 100 feet to any private property.

3. Revegetation

We support a plan to eradicate invasive vegetation (Russian Thistle, Buffelgrass, etc.) and restore native species over time as detailed in the proposed Master Plan.

As the plan is implemented, we encourage the Town of Oro Valley to tap into the local community for project volunteers as well as to seek grants from various wildlife and nature advocacy groups as potential sources of funding.

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