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The Monthly Meeting of the SHNA
The next monthly meeting of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association will be held August 16, 2016 at 7:00 PM at the Himmel Park Library. There will be no meeting in July.
PLEASE NOTE: Unless otherwise announced, Board Meetings are held the 3rd Tuesday of each month. Look for minutes of recent meetings on the Minutes/Agendas page.
2016 HIMMEL PARK BEAUTIFICATION PROJECT
Himmel Park Beautification Project Completion Celebration - Saturday, June 4
Tucson Parks and Recreation and The Himmel Park Beautification Project Committee invite you to celebrate the newly-renovated landscaping in front of Himmel Park Library. Three years ago, organizers of the Sam Hughes Home Tour began thinking about how to spend some of the proceeds in a highly-visual, sustainable, collaborative, and aesthetic project. What beckoned their attention was the unwelcoming space in front of the well-used Himmel Park Public Library, the oldest branch in the Pima County Library system.
The Himmel Park Beautification Project Committee enlisted input from the UA School of Landscape Architecture to develop a plan, which the public was invited to view and offer suggestions. Continuing with the collaboration goal, the committee partnered with the Association of Professional Landscape Designers for design expertise. Northwest Landscaping provided the drip irrigation, created swales and mounds using decomposed granite, set the donor pavers, and oversaw the installation. Tucson Parks and Recreation prepared the site, poured cement foundations, and installed the bike racks and benches. Civano Nursery provided trees and shrubs at a discounted price. Neighborhood artists created bike racks and tiled benches. Edge High School students painted the traffic bollards and Pima County Public Library painted the soffits on the library. On May 21, 62 volunteers gathered to complete the project by planting 130 native plants and shrubs, 12 trees, and spread 62 tons of decomposed granite. Special thanks to Dunn Edwards and Ace Hardware for donating paint and Blake's Lotaburger for feeding the volunteers.
Funding for this project included partial proceeds from two Sam Hughes Neighborhood Home Tours and numerous donations from midtown residents, the first of which came from a little boy, for 50 cents. Please come see what a small group of dedicated individuals, in partnership with the City of Tucson Parks and Recreation, can accomplish, using their vision as inspiration to take on similar missions.
Where: Himmel Park Library, 1035 N. Treat Ave.
When: Saturday, June 4, 9 a.m.
Contact: Sierra Davenport, Community Promotions and Marketing Manager
On May 21, 2016, 62 volunteers completed installation of the 2016 Himmel Park Beautification Project. They lifted, dug, planted, raked, spread and swept, along with five of "Tucson's Finest" working side-by-side with volunteers.
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What is the Himmel Park Beautification Project?
This is a project initiated by three residents of the Sam Hughes midtown neighborhood: Denice Blake, Betty Guarraia, and Susan Peters. In an effort to meet our objective to spend a small amount of the resources from the Sam Hughes biennial home tour, we first came up with four guiding principles that would ultimately benefit midtown neighborhoods: high visibility, aesthetic appeal, education, and collaboration. To meet those objectives, we have selected Himmel Park Library for external beautification.
Why this project?
The library is a brick structure that anchors the popular midtown Himmel Park. The building itself has very recently undergone interior remodeling. The 52-year old library, the oldest branch in the Pima County Library System, is extremely well-used at approximately 18,000 door entries per month. The library sits on a corner with all four sides visible from two streets.
Unfortunately, the grounds appear to be long-neglected. Among the overgrown, woody lantana, there are two deciduous trees on the right-hand side of the entrance, but one is dead. The north side is comprised of weeds and several evergreen trees and bushes in need of pruning. The south and west sides are bare with the exception of chain link fences surrounding mechanical structures. The grass near the entranceway is trampled to such an extent as to appear to be mostly dirt.
There is one bike rack and one small bench near the front door, but no other seating. There are four trees but no other landscaping in the front quadrant. Irrigation is via a sprinkler system that sprays the grass and dirt.
As is true in most cities, funding is available for little more than routine maintenance. Our group believes that if residents, library patrons, those who care about the aesthetics of their local environment and other potential stakeholders don't act, who will?
The south and west sides are bare with the exception of chain link fences surrounding mechanical structures. The grass near the entranceway is trampled to such an extent as to appear to be mostly dirt. There is no signage on the building. There is one bike rack and one small bench near the front door, but no other seating. There are four trees but no other landscaping in the front quadrant. Irrigation is via a sprinkler system that sprays the grass and dirt.
As is true in most cities, funding is available for little more than routine maintenance. Our group believes that if residents, library patrons, those who care about the aesthetics of their local environment and other potential stakeholders don't act, who will? We believe this project is a fine example of Margaret Mead's observation, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed it's the only thing that ever has."
What has been accomplished so far?
Working with Tucson Parks and Recreation and Northwest Landscaping, under the auspices of award-winning landscape artist Sonya Becker, we are set to begin installation in April 2016. Amenities will include increased walkways, artistic bike racks, landscaping with decomposed granite and drought-tolerant plants placed in mounds and swales, additional trees, implementation of a drip system and donor and memorial benches --- including a memorial to a popular, recently-deceased children's librarian. See accompanying pictures. The renderings and landscape plan are by Malerie Gamboa, a University of Arizona graduate student.