El Rio Preserve
El Rio Preserve is a 104-acre site located in the Town of Marana along the west bank of the Santa Cruz River, and is an important link in the chain of preserved riparian habitats. Project improvements will include two new ponds with a recirculating water feature between the two ponds; berms, mounds, and swales for water harvesting; stormwater management and creation of wildlife habitat; increased planting of riparian species; and visitor amenities. Pima County Flood Control plans to rebuild the 25-year bank protection prior to this project to reduce future flooding in the project area.
WDG was scoped to design the Preserve to achieve an appropriate balance between passive recreation and community amenities, and ecology and habitat restoration. Specific scope objectives included planting and irrigation plans as well as design for amenities such as seating areas, walking trails, bird viewing platforms and a small amphitheater. The WDG team also provided the Town of Marana phased plans in order to meet short-term and long-term construction goals.