Marana In The Media: an active and healthy 2019

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The Marana News/Explorer News recently ran an article on the great offerings from Marana and Oro Valley’s Parks and Recreation Departments.

The Town of Marana’s Parks and Recreation Department is offering a wholesome bounty of outdoor programs sure to suit everyone in the family, including Tots & Me Story Art Classes that run every Thursday through April 25 at the Marana Community Center (13250 N. Lon Adams Road). There’s also the Nature to You - Garden Education Series, teaching Marana’s youngest residents the different varieties of bugs and gardening tips that can serve them well down the road, on Feb. 9 and March 9 from 9 to 11 a.m. at Marana Heritage River Park (12375 N. Heritage Park Drive).

Marana Parks and Recreation Department Superintendent Cory Larriva said the town’s programming this spring offers something for everyone, with an eye on making sure residents get outside.

“A lot of the new programing this year has been kind of targeted for these gap areas that we weren’t really providing services or programs for in the past,” Larriva said. “So, we’ve done a really good job of expanding into those age groups, or those family types that maybe didn’t have services before from Marana Parks and Rec.”

Other department offerings this spring include Marana Police Kids Academy, held at the Marana Police Department (11555 W. Civic Center Drive) on Thursday, Feb. 21 and Saturday, April 13 from 9 to 11 a.m. The town is also offering a variety of teen-oriented programs this spring, including the Marana Police Teen Academy, which runs during the Marana Unified School District spring break, March 18 to 22.

Adults have a variety of options this spring, too, including Paint Nights in the Park, held at Marana Heritage River Park on Jan. 31, Feb. 28, March 28 and April 25 from 6 to 8 p.m.

Marana Parks and Recreation Director Jim Conroy said another key aspect of fitness in Marana revolves around the trails that link various sections of the sprawling town. A few of the trails Conroy highlighted included the walking paths built along Gladden Farms, Dove Mountain and along various parts of south Marana.

“We’re really trying to make it as much as we can a walkable community,” Conroy said. “We’re actively trying to connect our trail system as much as possible. We’re continuing to do that all the time.”

There are plenty of opportunities to stay active in town, including the Cape Chase Fun Run (March 9), the Marana Mother’s Day 5K & Fun Run (May 11) and the Marana Meltdown: Mountain Bike Time Trial (May 4).

Conroy said the town’s plethora of outdoor-related programs speaks to the department’s emphasis on health, and on giving residents the best amenities possible to accomplish their wellness goals.

“Recreation is one of the major initiatives to the Town of Marana,” Conroy said. “Under that area is also keeping a healthy community.”

Read the full story at Tucson Local Media

OnesAll Band playing a free show in Marana

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On Saturday night at 7 p.m. Tucson based band OnesAll will take the stage at the Crossroads At Silverbell District Park as part of the latest Free Music in Marana Concert.

The funk/rock band from Tucson has built up a nice following and will bring their energetic show to Marana. So what can we expect from the band? We interviewed them to find out.

How would you describe your music to someone who has never seen you play live?
We play a mix of great funk/rock covers and originals. The grooves are thick, the guitars are fast and precise, the vibe is upbeat, and the vocals are rich...besides all that, we just want everyone to have a great time!

What is your show in Marana going to be like?
We want people to connect and find a sense of belonging. We want the music to speak a positive message of harmony--literally and figuratively. We are a family and the people who come to see us are very important to us. There will be songs that rock, songs that groove and soothe, and songs to dance like no one is watching!

What do think about playing in Marana?
We love playing in Marana! A lot of our friends are from Marana and we love hanging out with them. The community vibe in Marana is cool and unique--it is upbeat and welcoming. We always feel at home in Marana.

What do you like about playing all ages shows?
Like we said earlier, we are a family. We thrive on the family atmosphere where everyone is welcome and everyone belongs.

Anything else people should know who are thinking about coming out?
We want the experience with us to be uplifting and rewarding. We truly give our all each and every show. We look forward to seeing old friends and making new ones in Marana!

Parks & Rec: Plenty to do this summer

As the Director of Marana Parks and Recreation Department, my Recreation team and I are very excited to invite you to participate in our summer programs. The lineup of recreation programs and activities are designed to provide summer fun opportunities for all members of our community.

Also keep an eye out for the opening of our new Tangerine Sky Community Park and  Honea Heights Pocket park as well as our new Splash Pad in Crossroads District Park all scheduled to open this summer.

Jim Conroy
Marana Parks and Recreation Department

Summer is coming and Marana is inviting you to soak in the summer with us. We have a number of great activities for all interest and skill levels as well as all ages. As Director of Marana Parks and Recreation, my team has created programs designed to provide fun opportunities for all members of our community.


We finish our Tortolita adventures as the weather gets warmer with two more Guided Horseback Rides of the Tortolitas. On June 2, we will host the Headlight Hike, our nighttime headlight hike. Come out and enjoy the beauty of the southwest with us.

Saturday, May 12 is our annual Mother’s Day 5k, and this year we are adding a half mile fun run. This fifth annual race is a great way to celebrate all moms, grandmothers, and moms-to-be. Or you can just come out, strap on the shoes, and race for the love of it.

We are also providing a number of adult sports leagues and lessons. Co-ed Softball League begins in May, and Men’s Basketball League at the Leman Academy begins in July. Get ready to dust off your high tops and bring your basketball skills to the court.

Not sure you want to commit to a basketball league? There are weekly open gyms for both basketball and volleyball. Racquet sports more your style? Then join our Pickleball League or sign up for tennis lessons.

There are also a number of sports options for kids including leagues, lessons, and camps. We offer golf and tennis lessons for all ages, and for athletes wanting to take their skills to the next level there is speed, agility, and quickness training at the end of the summer. We will also offer clinics for youth football, basketball, and volleyball players, as well as horse riding camps for burgeoning equestrians.

We are again partnering with Pima Community College this summer to offer courses in photography, retirement planning, and BBQ 101. There are full and half day youth STEAM Camps as well.

Another summer camp option is our popular Create with a Beat Creative Camps. These camps have been very popular during holiday breaks, and they will continue all summer long for students looking for something fun to do.

Still haven’t found an activity? Marana Parks and Recreation is offering parent/tot classes, Community Music Theatre Choir, Make & Take Crafts, a needlework group, music workshops, and dog obedience classes. For our seniors, we’ve planned trips to Biosphere 2, Mount Lemmon, and the Gaslight Theatre.

There is plenty to do in Marana this summer. Our Parks & Rec Department has a little something for everyone, and maybe a lot just for you.

Our Parks & Rec Department has a little something for everyone, and maybe a lot just for you. For more information and to sign up, visit .

Test yourself at the Wild Burro Dirt Dash

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The sport of trail running is gaining popularity. The sport is not unlike cross country, but cranked up a notch. Marana Parks and Rec will be hosting their first trail run when they put on the Wild Burro Dirt Dash on Sunday, October 22.

The race is a a grueling 18.1 K on a one-of-a-kind single-track course. If you can handle it, this race will force you through massive elevation gains, extreme downhills, and many technical sections. Endurance levels are guaranteed to be pushed while immersing you in beautiful desert views that do not disappoint. 

Whether you are an experienced runner or hiker, or have partaken in trail running, this is a great way to experience Marana's Tortolita Trail system like never before.

Why is trail running becoming so popular? For one thing there are fewer injuries. Although the terrain can change, and there are elevation changes, the running surfaces are actually softer than asphalt or concrete.

Many runners find trail running to be more mentally relaxing. Being out in nature and away from civilization can be a great way to reduce stress. This is one reason these hiking trails have become so popular. The concept is the same, though you’ll be running these trails and trying to win a race. Many trail runners also love the fact that they are getting off the road ans away from all of that car exhaust and pollution.

Just like Marana’s road races, there is electronic timing, a race big, and finish line snacks, but new to this event is a custom participation metal featuring our Wild Burro mascot.

Space is limited as this event is exclusively for the first 250 registered participants. Register. Gear Up. Lets Go!


Check-in: 7:30 AM
Race Time: 9 AM
Early Reg: $40 (expires Oct. 1) / Late Reg: $45

Marana Breaks Ground on new Tangerine Sky Community Park

On the first day of June, the Arizona summer granted Marana town officials a reprieve. In a month when temperatures routinely break triple digits, on this morning a gentle breeze and a lightly overcast sky allowed for an unseasonably pleasant morning.

In a small clearing just south of Tangerine road, between Camino de Oeste and Camino de Mananña, amid the teddy bear cholla and blooming saguaros, a clump of Town staff chatted with residents, contractors, and their colleagues under the pyramid of a white tent. Glancing around, they started to imagine the plans for this clearing and the surrounding desert. Visions of swings rocking back and forth, dogs frolicking in a dog park, kids running through the open grass—these images would soon become reality. This is the site of Tangerine Sky Community Park, Marana’s first new park since 2009, and today is the groundbreaking.

“Who here has memories of playing in a public park?” Town Manager Gilbert Davidson asked of the small assembly.  “Who here has taken their kids or grandkids to the park? Think about those moments when you watch your child go down a slide for the first time. This park is about real people enjoying a public park.”

In 2015, during the preliminary planning stages of this park, Marana staff surveyed the neighborhood surrounding it to find out what some of those real people would want in this new amenity. As a result of that effort, the final design for this park includes two dog parks, a playground, a basketball court, a turfed area, and a paved path and a nature trail that will meander through undeveloped Sonoran Desert.

“This final design reflects exactly what we learned from residents,” says Parks and Recreation Director Cynthia Nemeth-Briehn. “This 12-acre park balances natural elements with developed features so that users of all kinds can find something to love about this location.” 

The location of the park, south of Tangerine Road is conveniently located near both Dove Mountain and the Twin Peaks Corridor, benefiting a wide array of visitors. Currently, the Town of Marana is working with Pima County and Oro Valley to widen Tangerine Road between Dove Mountain Blvd and La Cholla Dr. As part of this project, a shared-use path will allow cyclists, walkers, joggers, and any other non-motorized users to enjoy a car-free pathway. Tangerine Sky Community Park, when complete, will serve as an ideal trailhead for this route.

“Our aim with this park is to create a point of pride in this community, a gathering place for our residents,” continues Nemeth-Briehn. “We’ll host free concerts here, and no doubt there will be birthday parties, quinceañeras, and family picnics. We can’t wait for this park to open next year and to see our residents start using it.”

Town staff expect construction on the park to continue from now into 2018, just in time for a ribbon cutting in the spring. Keep checking back in the Marana Newsroom, like the Town on Facebook, and follow the Town on Twitter to stay in the loop on all project updates.

Marana Splash Pad Opens this Saturday with Live Alligators!

April Fool’s!  Okay, there won’t actually be live alligators, but there will be lots of refreshing fun in the sun at the Marana Splash Pad. Pack your swimsuit and your rubber ducky, because it’s time to splish splash in Marana.

Two years ago, Marana opened the heritage-themed Splash Pad at Gladden Farms Community Park. Beneath the expansive shadows cast by two large shade sails, kids can frolic through gushing, alligator-free streams of refreshing water all summer long. Colorful tractors, a soaring windmill, and a menagerie of farm animals are sure to delight the young and young-at-heart who visit this joyful oasis.

Visitors to the Marana Splash Pad are encouraged to plan for a fun and safe outing. Be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen, drinking water, and waterproof shoes. While the splash pad itself offers a soft, squishy pavement that’s cooled by the flowing waters, the surrounding cement can become quite hot under the summer sun. This is also a great opportunity to break out one of your favorite sun hats as both extra sun protection and a stylish accent to your swimwear. And of course, don’t forget to pack your alligator repellant.






Marana Adds New Swings to Crossroads Park

Here’s one more reason to love your Town of Marana parks. A new swing set is now ready for Marana’s youngsters to enjoy at Crossroads at Silverbell District Park.  The new swing set expands the already popular playground with a 3-bay swing set featuring six additional swings - four strap seats and two additional toddler bucket seats.  The new swings are located in the southwest quadrant of the park, near the baseball fields.  If you’re in the neighborhood this weekend, swing on by!

Crossroads at Silverbell Park

7548 North Silverbell Road

Park Hours: 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Other park amenities include:

  • 3 Lighted Ball Fields 
  • 2 Lighted Soccer/Multi-Use Fields 
  • 5 Ramadas with Grills
  • 1 Group Ramada with Grill
  • 2 Lighted Tennis Courts
  • 2 Lighted Basketball Courts 
  • 2 Lighted Volleyball Courts 
  • 1 Lighted Dog Park 
  • 2 Lighted, Covered Playground Areas
  • 1 Horseshoe Pit 
  • Access to Santa Cruz Shared Use Path

Marana News: Inaugural Marana El Tour race debuts this weekend

Written by Brad Allis for Marana News

A new race option for cyclists participating in the El Tour de Tucson will begin in Marana. The 28-mile mini race will begin in Marana and wind through portions of the town until heading south down I-10 to a downtown Tucson finish.

The Marana race is on Saturday, Nov. 19 and leaves at 1 p.m. from Marana Heritage River Park at 12375 N. Heritage Park Drive...

Submit Photos for the #MaranaElTour Family Award

Next week, for the first time, Marana will host an official start of El Tour de Tucson. The Town is incredibly excited for this opportunity to showcase the outstanding bike paths, spectacular views, and energetic community spirit that make Marana special. 

Embodying all of these values is the Town of Marana Family Award. Through Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, using #MaranaElTour, the Town encourages families who bike in our community to submit photos of themselves. After the event, one of these families will be selected to receive the Family Award. 

To qualify for this award, at least one family member must be registered in the Marana El Tour start and at least one family member must live in Marana Town Limits. 

All cyclists in the photo must be wearing helmets and obeying all traffic laws.

Deadline for submission is November 20, 2016, and the winning family will be notified by December 1.