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Basin & Tree Planting Project Status

updated October 24, 2022

This study group facilitates self-learning activities in the area of rainwater harvest.

Our first project – October 2022 TBD

A proposed plan of action

Our first project is to design and build water 25 catchment basins in the park wherever the lay of the land and rainwater flow observations indicate.

Pima County Parks & Recreation has contracted to plant and care for 40 Foothills Palo Verde trees. This contract makes it feasible for the county to help us create a state-of-the-art demonstration facility IF we plant and care for the trees as a part of that project.

This looks like the poster child of a WIN / WIN opportunity.

As a part of our cooperation with Pima County Parks & Rec tree planting project we will be getting approximately 3 days of machine excavation (bobcat) work and rock purchases to be used for basin berm stabilization and planting basin mulch.

Here's how we plan to use the 40 trees;

  • The walking path along River Road is not pleasant because of the traffic visibility and noise. We can use many of the trees to better isolate this path. We hope that when the Sunset Road / I-10 interchange is complete, the traffic on our section of River Road may be reduced.
  • The remainder of the trees can be used to hade the wash/ditch that runs parallel to the River Road fence. The water harvest plan might include making this drainage ditch into a series of catchment settling ponds with an overflow rock dam cascading from one pond to the next. Brian Powell on the county staff tells me that they have experience building these kinds of dams. He offered to assist in construction as well as providing the needed rock.

Here's what we have done so far;

  • We mapped the tree-planting locations and outline the proposed basins that will require bobcat excavation. It would be best if this map can be a part of the project plan posted on the website.
  • We have estimated the type and amount of rock for the basin linings and for basin berm stabilization.  We have asked for 24 yards of 4 to 12 inch coronado brown rock (2 - 12 yd loads) and 24 yards of 2 to 3 inch screening rock (2 - 12 yd loads)
  • The project is approved by Pima Co. and we await scheduling of bluestake and excavation.

Immediate next steps;

  • We need to revise the 1st draft of our tree map from 75 trees down to 40 and remove the pins from the sites that we will not use.
  • We need to get this plant in front of our members via email blast so that we can expand the study group and assign specific tasks to interested members.
  • We should solicit project planning and design input from places like the Watershed Management Group and the Tucson Water Harvesters Facebook group.
  • We should recruit new members with a passion for this project from the community via social media, press coverage and other available publicity. 

The current "to do" list is posted on the Activities RSVP page. I will be updated at least weekly.

Interested members can email to join the Study Group and receive notifications about activities.

Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS)

PO Box 64759  -  Tucson, AZ 85728-4759   -   Phone: (520) 256-2447  -  Email:

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