On Friday, April 27 Mayor Ed Honea, Council Members Patti Comerford, David Bowen, John Officer, and other Town officials participated in the Arbor Day/Groundbreaking Ceremony at the new pocket park in the Honea Heights neighborhood.
The event celebrated Arbor Day and continued Marana’s commitment to being named a Tree City USA.
Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy led off the event with an overview of what it means to be a Tree City USA, as well as the importance of the new park.
“This is two really important things, one project and one program,” said Conroy.
Although work on the park had already begun, the project is about to “go vertical” and visible work will be done on the facility. Some of the highlights will include a shaded playground, basketball court, grassy area, and a ramada.
“We think it is going to be a jewel in north Marana,” Conroy said of the 33,000 square foot park.
The dignitaries on hand help plant the first tree on the property in honor of Arbor Day. The Marana Town Council formally recognized April 28 as Arbor Day at their April 17 meeting, and Parks Superintendent read the proclamation at the event, noting the many benefits to trees to the Marana community.
Herman is the Chairman of the local Tree City Board, who is behind the Tree City Designation, and also a member of the Southern Arizona Arborist Group (SAAG).
“One of the requirements of being a Tree City USA is celebrating Arbor Day,” Herman said. “Arbor Day is so important for the community, for the Town, and for the country. Trees bring so much to everybody, it is a beautiful thing to be under a nice shade tree.”
Marana Mayor Ed Honea also spoke at the event. He not only gave his support for Arbor Day, but was thrilled to see the park being built in the neighborhood that was named for his parents, who once owned a farm in the area.
“This is really exciting for me to be here today,” said Honea. “Not just for Arbor Day, but because this neighborhood was named for my parents, who developed this neighborhood, which was the very first actual neighborhood in Marana.”
Honea added that while many of the newer neighborhoods get a lot of attention, older neighborhoods like Honea Heights, Berry Acres, and Adonis are the "nucleus and the catalyst" of the community.
"I am thrilled to death that we are able to provide this park for this neighborhood here," Honea said. "Giving our children a place to go and have a good time is really, really important. I am really thrilled, and it really touches me to have this beautiful park built here."