Community Meeting to Discuss Proposed Gila River Linear Park and Trail

Public input requested for draft master plan

Contributed Article

SAFFORD – The Gila Watershed Partnership has received funding to develop a master plan for a 5.5-mile linear park along the Gila River just outside of Safford and Thatcher. This exciting project will bring a long-time concept to fruition and pave the way for the first public space of its kind along the Upper Gila River in Arizona. McGann & Associates – a landscape architecture firm based in Tucson that specializes in the design of parks, greenways, and trails – has been retained to develop this master plan which will incorporate input from stakeholders and the public.

An evening meeting is open to the public at 5:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 10, at the EAC Discovery Park Circle D Ranch House. Members of the public will have an opportunity to view the first draft of this master plan for the Gila River Linear Park and Trail and provide input and ideas for this new public trail. Representatives from Gila Watershed Partnership, The Trust for Public Land and McGann & Associates will be here to provide a project overview and answer your questions.

So far, the city of Safford, the town of Thatcher, Graham County Board of Supervisors, and several landowners in the planned project area have signed a Memorandum of Understanding agreeing to move forward with this project. The final draft of the Master Plan will be presented to the Thatcher Town Council, the Safford City Council, and the Graham Board of Supervisors in April, and the plan will be finalized by May 30, 2020.

For more information, contact Melanie Tluczek, Executive Director, at melanie@gwpaz.org or (928) 424-3886.

Founded in 1992 and headquartered at Eastern Arizona Discovery Park Campus, The Gila Watershed Partnership (GWP) is a boots-on-the-ground, field-based conservation organization. GWP confronts issues in the Upper Gila Watershed that include polluted rivers, soil erosion, invasive weeds, loss of habitat, drought, fire, and flooding. GWP works with diverse partners to implement projects that direct resources to the root of these issues while employing and purchasing locally to benefit the economy and community.

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