Sam Hughes Neighborhood National Historic District
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Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association, Tucson, Arizona

Monthly Meeting of the SHNA

The next monthly meeting of the Sam Hughes Neighborhood Association will be held February 18, 2020 at 7:00 PM at the Himmel Park Library. 

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.

Sam Hughes Maps

Friends of Himmel Park

Friends of Himmel Park is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to preserving and enhancing the natural and man-made features of Himmel for the enjoyment of all persons or creatures who seek refuge and recreation in this wonderful old park. We had our official kick-off on January 30, 2015, co-sponsoring an early morning Himmel bird walk led by Kendall Kroesen, Tucson Audubon Urban Program Manager. Since that time we’ve been working with Tucson Parks and Recreation staff, the Ward 6 Council Office, the three surrounding neighborhood associations, as well as other local groups to ensure that the needs of this heavily used city park are met.

Friends of Himmel welcomes the participation of all Tucsonans! Our group coalesced in the fall of 2014 out of concern for the park’s declining natural landscape and man-made infrastructure. Over the past few years, Himmel has lost 7 mature shade trees, and experienced on-going issues with worn-out and inadequate playground equipment (historic slide and swings excluded) and sprinkler systems. Due to City budget cuts in the past ten years, Parks and Recreation has been forced to ratchet down what it budgets to maintain parks like Himmel. One of the first things that we did was to urge the City to restore a full-time groundskeeper. For the past year and a half Daniel Garcia has made a huge difference in the appearance and safety of the park.(Thank you, Daniel!) As of January, 2016, he has moved to another department, and we will be lobbying again to have the groundskeeper position filled.

We are not formally a part of the Library Beautification Project, but we are huge supporters and admirers of the amazing work that Susan, Denice, and Betty have done (Bravo! Wonder Women! And thanks also to the supportive SHNA Board) Many from our group plan to be on hand this Spring to help with The Big Dig, and we look forward to working together in the future.

Please check us out and “like” us on Facebook.

We meet about once a month at Rincon Market, and welcome all who are interested in helping us plan, lobby and fundraise for Himmel Park. We try to post our dates on Facebook (Also watch for notices on the new park kiosks.). We will continue to lobby for Himmel in the current Master Planning Parks Process, arguing that this heavily used District Park is a treasure for the whole city—from soccer players and dog walkers, to theater goers, drummers, tennis players, readers and walkers (looking to add ramadas, upgraded grills, new playground equipment, etc.

Current “Friends of Himmel” Projects

  1. Installing two kiosks for announcements from all surrounding neighborhoods, Friends of Himmel Park, Ward Six, the Library, Parks and Rec, and other community groups, as well as neighborhood notices about lost dogs, community gatherings, classes, and public safety (See kiosks for info on how to post in the locked box.). ($466.00)
  2. Working with Parks, the local Audubon chapter, and other local groups to create a Pilot Eco-niche/pocket habitat just west of the swimming pool that will improve water retention, increase the bird and butterfly population (using all native bushes and trees), and offer a much-needed, beautiful sitting area for passive recreation.($1600.00)
  3. Replacing lost trees with native ones, to give park-goers more shade and birds more habitat. Repair old sprinkler systems so that the trees can be maintained. (Watch for Tree Planting in April)($700.00-$4,000.00)
  4. Planning and fundraising for up-to-date playground equipment that is suitable not just for toddlers but for older children as well. We are also looking at the pressing need for shade cloth over the west play area. (TBA)
  5. Installing a new drinking fountain that is both handicapped and doggie accessible (This is currently the gift of a wonderful, generous donor.)
  6. Facilitating bi-monthly bird walks through the park led by Audubon and The Friends.(Gratis)
  7. Continuing to “adopt” Himmel Park through Tucson Clean and Beautiful (Our first clean-up was Dec.2015; watch the Kiosks for more clean ups in Feb. and March.), and planting replacement trees through Trees for Tucson (Watch Facebook Page for April event.).
  8. Continuing to advocate for Himmel in the Five-Year Parks and Rec Master Planning Process.

      How You Can Make it Happen

      Come join us! Watch the kiosks for on-going volunteer opportunities. We are currently looking for folks who are interested in the campaign to upgrade the playgrounds (historic slide and swings excepted). Thus far a few “Friends” have been donating for park improvements. That’s why we are now seeking contributions for projects 1-3 (Fundraising for playground equipment should begin by the summer of 2016.).

      All checks can be made out to The Parks Foundation (a 501 (c)(3), and mailed to: Parks and Recreation, c/o Sierra Davenport, 900 S. Randolph Way,Tucson, AZ 85716 *Please note which project you wish to contribute to. A receipt will be mailed to you for your records and tax purposes.

      Thank you for being a “Friend” of Himmel! Your donation and support help insure that our beautiful old park will remain a vibrant inner-city refuge for another seventy-five years!

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