Nearly $1 million in federal funding is headed to the city of Tucson to help fund improvements to a popular west side park.

Tucson families can expect a new splashpad, plus additional shade and safety amenities, coming soon to Joaquin Murreita Park, 1400 N. Silverbell Rd. Plans for park improvements have been underway for years, with more than $12 million dollars in Proposition 407 funds already planned set.

The additional federal money, awarded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), will bring the total new investments in Joaquin Murrieta to $13.7 million, according to Tucson Mayor Regina Romero. She says the funds “will go a long way towards building the amenities the neighbors said they wanted.”

Rep. Ral Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee, says the grant is a direct result of recently-secured permanent funding for the LWCF. It’s an opportunity to put the federal funding to use sooner than later, he says.

Providing resources for parks and greenspaces is a vital community investment. In addition to bringing families and friends together, splash pads are an environmentally friendly and sustainable option for our communities to cool down during the hot summer months, Rep. Grijalva says.

When KGUN 9 previously spoke to families who frequent the park, multiple people told us the park serves as an important cultural and recreational gathering place. They’re hoping the bond money will help improve not only amenities, but also safety.

A splash pad, water amenities are missing definitely because its hot here most of the year, a softer playground or new equipment because some of the equipment is broken, park-goer Victoria Celaya previously told KGUN 9. The more families would be here the safer we would all feel.”

View the city’s master plan for Joaquin Murrieta Park at the city of Tucson Website

“Mid-way through my term we canvassed 10,000 doors in Ward One to hear directly from our community. Across the board, it was made abundantly clear that the Westside and Southside want the same type of investments as other parts of the city,” says Santa Cruz. “I am incredibly grateful to Congressman Ral Grijalva for his advocacy and partnership in bringing in federal dollars into our community to build the first splash pad of this style in all of Ward One.”

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