Across the country, cities and towns are celebrating Parks and Recreation Month throughout July. As part of Marana’s recognition of the community’s outstanding recreation facilities, the Town Council unanimously approved a proclamation recognizing Parks and Recreation month. This honorific acknowledges the profound contributions of parks to civic well-being. They encourage outdoor recreation, help ensure the health of all residents, and maintain a high quality of life in Marana.
Not all superheroes wear capes, and in Marana, a dedicated corps of Parks and Recreation staff perform heroic feats every day. They are lifeguards, landscapers, and Pilates instructors. They maintain trails, create special event decorations, and plan programs for seniors. For many, they are the most public faces of local government and provide the embodiment of tax dollars at work. Each week for the rest of July, we’ll be highlighting one of these remarkable, everyday superheroes. We encourage park visitors to say hi to our staff out in the field. These friendly employees love seeing residents take advantage of these beautiful spaces. They love these parks as much as you do, and they’re eager to tell you why.
The Miraculous Maintenance Man: Jesus Carrillo, Jr.
All summer long, countless Little Leaguers will step up to the plate in Marana. They’ll dig into the batter’s box, knock the dirt from their cleats, and get ready to take a rip. Swing after swing, batter after batter: the scars left behind on the field are unmistakable. These are the hard marks of childhood manifest. And the next day, when it’s time to return the field to its former glory, to prep the land for another epic ballfield battle, there’s only one person for the job: Jesus Carrillo, Jr. Maintenance Man.
Actually, Jesus is the first person to point out that there are dozens of Maintenance Men and Women. “I love Marana as both a place to work and live. My passion is being outside, and here I get to work with a great team of people who all think the same way.”
Parks and Recreation crews tirelessly maintain the Town’s many facilities, from the Heritage River Park Splash Pad to the dog parks at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park.
“It’s clear that visitors and residents here really appreciate our parks,” says Jesus. This doesn’t come as much of a surprise to him, though, since often, when he isn’t working, he’s also one of those park users himself.
Jesus has lived in Marana since he was just five years old. When his family immigrated to the US from Mexico, his father, Jesus, Sr., worked first at a dairy farm in the area, and then at Evergreen Maintenance Center, one of the largest operators at Pinal Airpark. Jesus, Jr. attended Marana schools and graduated from Marana High before getting into the landscape business.
“I’ve got family all over the place—some in California, some up in Eloy, all over, and they all love to come visit Marana. This is just a great community. It’s peaceful, friendly, and safe. I’ve got two children, and the older is just about to start in Marana schools. I can’t think of a better place for us to live.”
And with that, the Miraculous Maintenance Man fades into the night. Or rather, into a shockingly hot day. Jesus and his colleagues maintain Marana’s parks rain or shine, hot or cold. That steadfast commitment, that uncompromising willingness to serve, is what makes them superheroes. Keep fighting the good fight, friends. A grateful Town appreciates your efforts.