What We Do
The BBVNA Urban Forestry Committee studies and reports on matters concerning neighborhood plants, animals, open space and natural waterways.
The committee 1) promotes the development of an environment attractive to birds and other desirable native animals, 2) fosters the cultivation of aesthetically pleasing plants with particular emphasis on non-health threatening and drought resistant species, and 3) monitors city programs and procedures which impact flood control in the neighborhood.
Design and Re-painting of Citation & Arroyo Chico Wash Murals
In the spring of 2015, neighbors awoke one day to find graffiti with a bullying message aimed at a young resident on the cement sides of Arroyo Chico just to the west of the Treat Walkway bridge. Neighbors sprang into action and in just a few hours, painted two murals on the cement walls, thanks to the artistic (and dare-devil) stylings of your friendly neighborhood graffiti-be-gone crew (Richard Roati, Ron & Ginny Kovatch, Damian Baca, Judd Ruggill, & JustineHernandez). Luckily, after the mural paintings, the graffiti did not return.
The mural is now nearly six years old, and water damage from the running arroyo, as well as wear and tear from heat, and some graffiti, has led the neighborhood to look into re-painting the mural. We are also looking into painting a mural or murals on the Citation Wash at the curve, where the alley that runs south of Arroyo Chico ends.
Plant a Tree (1st Weekend of November)
BBVNA's First Annual Tree Planting Day on November 10, 2019, was a great success! Together, we planted 37 trees, the largest number of trees planted in one day in the neighborhood since the early 1990's, when approximately 35 trees were planted at the two "ends" of Arroyo Chico, almost 30 years ago!
Of the 37 trees, 25 were planted in neighbors' yards, and 12 were planted on the Treat Walkway. Two of the trees that were planted in a yard are taking on double duty, and will soon also provide shade to the Treat Walkway at Croyden Street. The tree varieties that we planted were diverse, including several Blue Palo Verde, Velvet Mesquite, and Screwbean Mesquite, as well as Vitex, Red Push Pistache, Hackberry, Ironwood, Chinese Elm, and Desert Willow. So if you are thinking about planting one of these trees, you will now be able to see what it looks like without needing to leave the neighborhood. And we have four trees left over, to plant on the Treat Walkway, so stay tuned as we find homes for them!
There are so many thanks to give out for this effort. Thanks to Trees for Tucson staff Katie Gannon, Randall Port, and Jon Choi, and the army of volunteers they brought to the task: University of Arizona students from two fraternities, students from Salpointe and Basis High Schools, a Girl Scout troop, and many others, more than 50 volunteers in all.
Thanks to the neighbors who helped plant trees: Board President David Holder, Jimmy Wolfe, Joan Thomas, Cheryl Purvis, Crawford Forbes, Jacqui Bauer, Mary Wolfe, Linda Dugan, and all the neighbors who helped by purchasing trees, pre-digging the holes, and planting their own trees.
Thanks to Ralph Pattison for loaning us an augur, which helped immensely with digging some of the tougher tree holes, thanks to Jimmy Wolfe for providing coffee and donuts, and thanks to Rita Gibbs and Ron Kovatch for purchasing trees for the Treat Walkway. The next time you visit Ombre Coffee in Broadway Village, please remember to thank them for providing the coffee on Sunday.
We have a team of neighborhood volunteers who are watering the trees on the Treat Walkway while we get them established during this summer, the hottest summer on record in the City of Tucson, and one of the driest. So far, all the trees we planted are still alive, a miracle in itself given the weather.
Citation Wash Cleanup
We nearly completely filled two dumpsters with dead tree branches, buffelgrass, discarded clothing and trash, and other items that were a fire hazard and an environmental hazard to the neighborhood. The city has retrieved the dumpsters, marking the end of this phase of the project.
Thanks so much to Stratford Avenue neighbors Greg, Sarah, and Santana Maciulla, Frank and Dale Sagona, Barbara Becker, Justine Hernandez, and Judd Ruggill for their help on a hot day to help turn this area from looking like a jungle to looking like a park! Thanks so much for non-Stratford Avenue neighbors Michael Allen, Ann Pattison, David Holder, Mike Weingarten, and Joan Thomas for their help as well! Finally, thanks to Justine and Judd for hosting a fun and fabulous after-party!
With the city's prior help, and help from you, our neighbors, we are well on the way to making the Citation Wash corridor a safe and beautiful park for our neighborhood. However, for the health and safety of our volunteers, we could not remove dead tree branches where they crossed the power lines existing uphill from the wash. We hope you understand. TEP reminds us that it is the homeowners who are responsible for keeping electric lines in easements adjacent to residential property clear of vegetation:
Winsett Avenue Beautification
In March, 2017, the BBVNA Urban Foresters partnered with neighbors in the Country Club Manor apartments and elsewhere in the Arroyo Chico neighborhood to beautify the north side of Winsett Avenue between Treat Street and Country Club Road. This section of Winsett Avenue forms the border between BBVNA and the Arroyo Chico neighborhood. The north side of Winsett contains an easement between the street, and the walls and fences forming the south borders of the houses on the south side Stratford Avenue.
Over the years, buffelgrass had invaded the area, creating a potential fire hazard during the hot, dry months. In addition, several trees were leaning onto the street, forcing bicyclists and pedestrians traveling west further into the street and closer to cars.
On March 5, 2017, a contingent of more than 20 neighbors removed buffelgrass, cleared out dead vegetation, and trimmed the trees. The result was a safer and more beautiful section of Winsett Avenue.
Robison School Basins
The Broadmoor and Arroyo Chico neighborhoods joined forces to apply for a Stormwater Harvesting Grant from Tucson Water and Tucson Clean and Beautiful. The concept was to provide a safe and shady walking path for Robison students from the intersection of Stratford and Treat Avenues to Treat Avenue and 18th Street. This route is the most direct path for Arroyo Chico residents living on 17th Street and Winsett Avenue, and for Broadmoor residents, to walk to Robison Elementary, our neighborhood school. However, this path crossed a sea of asphalt and heat during the warm months at the Robison parking lot, and crosses two washes, the Winsett Wash and Citation Wash, making passage hazardous during rain events. By harvesting water from the Robison Elementary parking lot and from Treat Avenue, we can both grow native trees and plants that provide shade during the hot months, and reduce street runoff that make the area hazardous during rain storms.
The good news is that the basins reliably harvest rain water runoff when it rains, and so street runoff during rain events has been reduced, making the path safer, and the plants are growing!
The grant was granted during the summer of 2019. Three basins on Treat Avenue were dug, rocked, and planted. In addition, two chicanes at the corner of 18th Street and Treat Avenue were planted. Combined with an earlier tree planting on the east side of Robison Elementary next to Treat Avenue, the result has been to beautify the area. As the plants grow, there will soon be a safe and shady walking path from 18th Street to Broadway, for a total of nine city blocks. The Robison safe route to school path meets the Treat Walkway at Stratford Avenue, which continues to Manchester, and the sidewalk continues to Broadway, where there has been a HAWK light to ensure safe passage across Broadway to the Sam Hughes neighborhood, Himmel Park, and the Himmel Park Library. In addition, the safe path to Robison crosses Winsett Avenue just north of the school. Winsett Avenue is a safe street to walk or bicycle, and there is a HAWK light at Winsett Avenue and Country Club Road, making for a safe passage to Reid Park, the Reid Park Zoo, and the University of Arizona's Hi Corbett Field.