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Memories of Agua Caliente Park in Pima County

Vermilion Flycatcher - Pyrocephalus rubinusStuck out of the way near the foot of the Rincon and Catalina Mountains in the northeastern corner of Tucson Arizona, is Agua Caliente Park. Here sits a hundred acres of parkland with groves of trees, ponds and open grasslands, next to a desert wash, providing a rich habitat for man and beast to enjoy.

Human beings have frequented this location for 5,500 years, but from 1850 to 1870 it was an Army camp and later a stage stop. Since then it has been a health spa, a cattle ranch, a horse ranch and hay farm. In 1984 Pima County purchased the land and continue to this day to operate it as a park.

My time at this location has been limited to three visits. One in winter 2008, one in mid-summer 2013, and a third in spring 2017. Each visit has been interesting in its own way, but if I must confess, the spring visit was my favorite, but who doesn’t love spring?

I learned today that the park is undergoing a major reconstruction project, and it’s likely to be closed until early 2020. I get nervous about disturbing the balance of an ecosystem. So many times our attempts to “improve” the environment go awry and it takes a VERY long time to recover. I sincerely hope my fears in this case are unfounded.

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