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PLANNING AND DESIGN OF THE URBAN PARK: A STUDY OF USE

PATTERNS AT FORT LOWELL PARK AND THE CREATION OF

NEW DESIGN GUIDELINES FOR PARK DEVELOPMENT IN

TUCSON, ARIZONA

by

Robert George Longaker HI

A Thesis Submitted to the Faculty of the

DEPARTMENT OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements

For the Degree of

MASTER OF LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

In the Graduate College

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA

1999

DMI N'jmber: 1395267

UMI Microform 1395267

Copyright 1999, by UMI Company. All rights reserved.

This microform edition is protected against unauthorized copying under Title 17, United States Code.

UMI

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STATEMENT BY AUTHOR

This thesis has been submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for an advanced degree at The University of Arizona and is deposited in the University Library to be made available to borrowers under the rules of the Library.

Brief quotations from this thesis are allowable without special permission, provided that accurate acknowledgement of source is made. Requests for permission for extended quotation from or reproduction of this maiflJScript in wholgLor in pii^ar be granted by the head of the major department o^e De^ of the Graduate^oUege when in his or her judgement the proposed use of the/material ijs in the^i/tere^^ 91 s9noI^hip. In all other instances, however, permission mu

SIGNED;

APPROVAL BY THESIS DIRECTOR

This thesis had been approved on the date shown below:

Ran ly Gimblett ^

Professor of Landscape Architecture

Date

HH ml

2

3

TABLE OF CONTENTS

I. ABSTRACT

H. DMRODUCTION TO PROBLEM/INTENT OF RESEARCH m. LITERATURE REVIEW

-Overview of Trends in Urban Park Management

-Current Park Development Strategies

-Programs for Assisting and Improving Park and Open Space Planning—

The Trust For Public Land

-Atlanta, Georgia

-Austin, Texas

-Baltimore, Maryland

-Boston, Massachusetts

-Cleveland, Ohio

-Los Angeles, California

-Minneapolis, Minnesota

-Methods For Gathering Information-Survey Design

-Don A Dillman-How to Conduct Your Own Survey

-The Future of Urban Parks

6-7

8-11

12-44 rV. PARK PLANNING, DESIGN, AND DEVELOPMENT IN

TUCSON, ARIZONA

-Current Trends and Issues in Tucson Park Planning

-Programs and Recent Park Development Issues

V. RESEARCH QUESTIONS

VI. TUCSON PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

-Allocation of Recreational Facilities

-Visitor Demand

-Needs Analysis

-Methodology for Determining User Satisfaction—Survey vn. METHODOLOGY

-Fort Lowell Park User Survey

-Study Site

-History of the Fort Lowell Area

-Fort Lowell Park—^Master Plan 1985

-Fort Lowell Park—Current Evaluation

45-51

52-54

55-61

62-83

vm. FORT LOWELL PARK SURVEY RESULTS

-Fort Lowell Park User Survey-Results

DC. RESEARCH QUESTIONS-DISCUSSION

X. DESIGN GUIDELINES

-General Considerations

-Citizen Involvement

-Circulation

-Parking

-Children's Play Area

-The Entry

-Sitting Areas

-Landscape History

-Water Features

-Funding

XI. CONCLUSION

Xm. APPENDICES

-Appendix 1: Tucson Parks and Recreation Department

Policies and Procedures

-Appendix 2: Fort Lowell Park Survey

XIV. REFERENCES

115-119

120-126

127-134

135-139

4

84-88

89-97

98-114

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

FIGURE 1, Site Plan, Fort Lowell Park

FIGURE 2, Aerial Photograph, Fort Lowell Park

FIGURE 3, Linear Sitting Area, Conceptual Drawing

FIGURE 4, Children's Play Area, Conceptual Drawing

FIGURE 5, Central Plaza, Conceptual Drawing

FIGURE 6, Riparian Area, Conceptual Drawing

FIGURE 7, Lake Area, Conceptual Drawing

120

121

122

123

124

125

126

5

ABSTRACT

6

7

This thesis will study Fort Lowell Park, a typical district park in Tucson, Arizona.

Through a survey of park users, the park itself will be assessed according to its positive and negative aspects. The survey itself will seek to capture the thoughts, beliefs, and recreational needs of the typical park user in Tucson.

Through the compilation and interpretation of survey results, and with the assistance of case studies involving cities investing in parks and open spaces, the author of this thesis expects to produce new guidelines not only for the improvement of Fort Lowell

Park, but also for the planning and design of new urban parks in the Tucson metropolitan area. These new guidelines will not only improve the quality of recreational experiences in the City of Tucson, but will also contribute to the economic, social, and quality of life variables which make a city an attractive place in which to live.

INTRODUCTION TO PROBLEM/INTENT OF RESEARCH

8

9

As defined by Webster's dictionary, a park is an expanse of land used for recreation. These expanses of land are developed into parks for one simple reason; people want to use them for recreation, relaxation, sport, or fiin. Parks have been around for centuries and will continue to be an important part of the landscape in the future.

Today, 80 percent of Americans live in or near a city; 75 percent of all those living in the United States use parks. These percentages strongly suggest that cities and communities address issues involving the preservation and creation of open and park spaces within our urban cores. Surveys taken in all parts of the country indicate that parks and open spaces within urban cores, including Tucson, Arizona, are essential to the stability of cities (Trust for Public Land, 1998). They have several powerful effects, including the following: the creation of safer envirormients through the reduction of crime and violence, the restoration of neighborhoods and community pride, the injection of economic vitality, and the contribution to the overall health of the citizens (Trust for

Public Land, 1998).

Tucson is no different firom any other metropolitan area of the I990's; the city is experiencing rapid growth, increased levels of crime and violence, rising pressures to develop available open land, and a number of quality of life issues. And like any other growing urban area, it is important that those parties who dictate growth and development in the city come to realize that the most intelligent investment a public policy maker can make is in urban parks and open spaces.

The intent of this thesis is to study a typical district park in Tucson, Arizona, particularly Fort Lowell Park located on Craycroft Road north of Glenn Street. Through

10

a survey of park users as well as residents in the area, the park itself will be assessed according to its positive and negative aspects. The survey will identify the types of uses and activities which are currently provided, as well as those which are not served by the park. It will also address and seek to get at the value of a park in the eyes of the citizens, and further detennine if those same citizens feel that their recreational needs are met by

Fort Lowell Park as well as by other parks frequented.

The expectation of the author is that the current park system of Tucson, including

Fort Lowell Park, is probably inadequate in the provision of quality recreational experiences of its inhabitants. It is anticipated that one of the major elements in deficit is that of organized sports fields. It is also expected by the author that the majority of recreational experiences in Tucson are ordinary and trite, and that there are not opportunities for more unique adventures. It is further expected that there is a growing number of people who wish for parks to developed while protecting more natural open space.

Through the compilation and interpretation of survey results, and with the assistance of case studies involving cities investing in parks and open spaces, the author expects to produce new guidelines not only for the improvement of Fort Lowell Park, but also for the planning and design of new urban parks in the Tucson metropolitan area.

These new guidelines will not only improve the quality of recreational experiences in the

City of Tucson, but will also contribute to the economic, social, and quality of life variables which make a city an attractive place in which to live.

II

In undertaking this thesis and as a means of completing it in as thorough a maimer as possible, the author has identified key areas to be examined before the administration of a survey. They include the following: a complete study of the workings of the Tucson

Parks and Recreation Department, case study analysis, and broad exposure to orgam'zations, publications, or studies relevant to work involving the analysis of urban parks and open spaces. The intent of the author is complete immersion in the subject area, allowing for maximum retention of ideas and thoughts pertinent to the creation of healthy and productive park spaces. This in turn will facilitate the development of clear and well thought out guidelines for future open park development.

LITERATURE REVIEW

12

13

Overview^ of Trends in Urban Park Management

It should come as no surprise that the beginnings of parks and recreation in the

United States can be traced to the father of Landscape Architecture, Frederick Law

Olmsted During the 1850's, New York City was becoming a city of heavy industrialization and over-population. Manhattan public ofiBcials were forward in their thinking, and chose to allocate money to the acquisition of a large tract of land within the city and develop America's first public park. This park is now known as Central Park.

Their reasons for planning such a public facility were many and included the following; public spending on park development would encourage social interaction, improve quality of life, alter settlement patterns, and stimulate private investment. The park site would be enjoyed by city occupants, and would attract capital as the areas around the park became more attractive for business and housing.

The city administrators knew, however, that they needed someone to create and mold this vision of green, open spaces within the bleak confines of the city. This person was Obnsted. Olmsted became designer-superintendent of Central Park, and developed a philosophy for the common man of the city. He reasoned that the city occupants would not wish to travel to the countryside, and proposed Central Park to be a place where a man could "put the city behind him and out of his sight and go where he will be under the undisturbed influence of pleasing natural scenery" (Rutledge, 1971).

Today, Central Park is used by 250 thousand people on a typical weekend (Urban

Parks and Open Space, 1997). In addition to this, the park generates a tremendous amount of revenue. In the first fifteen years after the development of the park, property

14

values in Manhattan doubled, and the property closest to the park experienced even greater financial gains. In New York, these park-generated revenues allowed the city to pay for municipal services that it could not otherwise have afforded and provided the stimulus for city officials to acquire the 26,369 acres of land that currently constitute New

York City's extraordinary park system (Urban Parks and Open Space, 1997). This is all important, of course, since cities across the nation followed New York City's example.

Central Park is the main reason for the governmental acquisition of land and park development over the last 150 years. These lands of then and today serve the same purpose; they provide a refiige from city life, they provide a recreational resource for large numbers of people, they are a scenic treasure to be preserved for eternity, and they are grounds which teach the ever-increasing importance of ecological balance and environmental respect.

Current Park Development Strategies

Since the 1950's, most cities have invested in major park systems. Simultaneously, however, the residents of cities were moving to the suburbs where they believed better recreational opportunities existed. This, however, was not true. The building of new housing developments had devoured large tracts of land, leaving little area for park development. People, both in the cities and in suburbia, were unwilling to vote for increased taxes which would go toward the building of new parks and the improvement of existing ones. So a dilemma arose—public officials were faced with the task of providing more parks and open space for people who desired recreational spaces, but -were lacking the funding to exercise the task. In recent years, two strategies have been employed. One

15

is to make available for park sites government owned land, and the other strategy is to require property owners to make increasing amounts of land available for public use

(Urban Parks and Open Space, 1997).

Park planning and design has taken on new directions over the last couple of decades. With growing populations and limited physical space, park management, restoration, creation, and design has become more challenging. Many cities of today are forced to adapt and reuse underutilized and abandoned city land for recreational purposes

(Urban Parks and Open Space, 1997). For instance, abandoned railroad right-of-ways, vacant waterfronts, vacant industrial sites are just a few of the types of sites which are now being transformed into open, green spaces. Other areas, such as vacant strip malls and open-air shopping centers are potential areas for park sites. They could be purchased at relatively low prices and redesigned as public parks, depending of course on their surroundings, ease of access, and other factors (Urban Parks and Open Space, 1997).

It is further suggested that recent land use regulations have perhaps stifled the creation of new park sites. Property owners have generally not been receptive to regulations which force them to provide public land, and consequently a large number of unsatisfactory open spaces have been produced (Urban Parks and Open Space, 1997).

The more effective route would be to persuade the electorate to invest in public parks.

The main obstacle, which comes as no surprise, is money. Public officials have been unwilling to increase spending on park development, and tight budgets have cut back spending in many cities.

16

The traditional means of funding the development of new parks and open space is no longer adequate to maintain the high quality recreational spaces that the people of today demand. The budgets of local, county, and Federal governments are burdened by many social travails, and as a consequence, the fiinds available for park development have diminished. Some city councils are still forward in their thinking, and realize that parkland when secured and located as it can be now at comparatively small expense, will in the near future add millions to the real estate value of the city (Urban Land Institute, 1997). Other councils, however, are not as forward thinking; but there are other options. Bond elections and user fees can contribute monies to the development of parks; however, there are other more unique possibilities that are capable of attracting and raising more substantial funds.

For example, the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board has been allocated a portion of the city's real estate tax revenue. Since the board knows that it has a steady stream of fiinds. It is able to continue to acquire and develop park sites. In Boulder,

Colorado, a portion of the sales tax goes to the preservation and development of parks

(Urban Land Institute, 1997).

In Flagstaff, there is the "Bed, Board, and Booze Tax,' where ones hotel stay, dinner out, and visit to the local bar is taxed 2% to spur economic development, park and recreation, tourism marketing, and arts projects. In 1998, more than $800,000 was generated and is helping to build a 3 3-mile pedestrian, biking, and commuting trail for the city (Trust For Public Land, 1998). Another type of tax is being used in a city outside of

Kansas City called Olathe, Kansas. A $200 fee on new homes and a square-foot charge

17

for industrial and commercial development is financing six new neighborhood parks (Trust

For Public Land, 1998).

Two other programs worth noting are being pursued in Colorado and Maryland.

The Colorado Great Outdoors Legacy Trust Fund has won more than $86 million from the state's lottery for open space projects since 1990 (Trust For Public Land, 1998).

Since 1965, Maryland's Program Open Space has built the foundation for increased public spending for parks and recreation through a real-estate transfer tax of .5% on real-estate sales. This has allowed Maryland to save 180,000 acres of land for open space and parks

(Trust For Public Land, 1998).

There are other creative solutions to the fianding of park sites. Some groups, such as the National Endowment for the Arts have various public arts program funds that can be applied to parks and open space. Also, private sector donations during the early phases of a park development can help to generate increased funds from public agencies (Urban

Land Institute, 1997).

National, regional and local organizations must be created which have the best interests of park and open space development at heart. One of these organizations, and perhaps the most powerful today, is called the Trust for Public Land, and will be discussed further in the next section.

Programs for Assisting and Improving Park and Open Space Planning-The Trust for Public Land

There is an organization which has dedicated itself to the improved plarming, design, development and improvement of parks and open spaces. The Trust for Public

18

Land (TPL), founded in 1972, is a national, nonprofit land conservation organization that acquires land for people to enjoy as parks, gardens, natural areas, and open space. TPL works in partnership with government, business, and community groups to bring parks to people; since its inception, over one million acres of land have been protected for public use. This has been achieved primarily through TPL's Green Cities Initiative, which aims to achieve the following: increase public awareness of the vital role of parks and open space in the quality of life; generate funding to create, improve, and maintain urban parks; and protect public open spaces that are integral to a city's unique heritage. TPL recognizes that parks, playgrounds, community gardens, and other public lands carmot by themselves solve urban problems, but they do acknowledge that they are cmciai to the health of our cities and growing metropolitan areas, where 80 percent of Americans now live. The TPL feels that "public open spaces are places where the seeds of sustainable communities take root, where people become neighbors and where cities become more livable. And as Brenda Punches, program Manager for and Organization called Common

Ground in Los Angeles, California, says "Any place where you can create some open, green public spaces is critical to the spiritual and emotional well-being of the city-whether or not you call them parks in the traditional sense of the word."

The TPL obviously feels strongly about the creation and preservation of our green, open spaces. Communities across the nation have discovered that investment in parks and recreation pays real dividends, in more stable cities with a better quality of life. Through its research and projects, the organization has discovered several positive outcomes of park and open space development. They are listed below:

19

• Studies show that crime drops when adequate parks and recreational activities are available in inner-cit>' neighborhoods.

• Investment in parkland and open space attracts new businesses, create jobs, and boosts tourism.

• Parks and open space increase nearby property values.

• Urban parks offer relief from the stress of city life. Parks and recreation programs promote public health and safety by encouraging fitness, providing positive alternatives to crime for young people, and offering young and old a link with nature.

• Converting vacant lots to neighborhood parks offers training and jobs for urban youth and generates neighborhood pride.

• Community involvement in creating local parks is often a catalyst for addressing neighborhood problems.

• Saving land can give cities low-cost alternatives to flood control and water treatment

(Trust For Public Land, 1998).

The Trust for Public Land is currently active in lending assistance to cities across the country that are pursuing the improvement of their parkland and green spaces. Many cities find that they are unable to plan, strategize and raise funds to turn their dreams into reality. Therefore, TPL plays an instrumental role. It is useful to examine what is being done in some of these cities, and then relate these case studies to Tucson. It will be easy to see that Tucson's parkland and open space system could greatly benefit from a program backed by The Trust for Public Land. It will also become obvious that TPL employs the

20

same basic strategy in all the cities that it is and has assisted. TPL recognizes that community involvement, vital to the long-term health of parks, is the key feature of all

TPL's urban work. TPL is committed to seeking local input in the planning stages of all

Green Cities projects, and forming coalitions to work for their flilfillnnent. The people in each city are contacted directly, via several methods. Public notices are posted or advertised in local newspapers informing the public of public meetings to be held on park improvement. Surveys are administered, either via the mail system or over the telephone, eliciting the thoughts, opinions, and needs of the local community. In short, TPL involves the community, because it is widely accepted by the organization that by working v^dth communities, a strong and enduring base for support of parks will be built.

Atlanta, Georgia

Typical of any modem day city, Atlanta is experiencing an overwhelming population boom. Also typical of many other cities in the United States including Tucson, the development of new parks has lagged behind the population growth. TPL is working closely with the city and county governments throughout the metropolitan area to fiind, acquire, and develop a comprehensive park system. They have chosen to concentrate this program along one of the most significant natural resources in the city, the

Chattachoochee River. There are numerous undeveloped sites along the river, all of which are intended to be developed into a natural and recreational corridor. Such recreational activities provided will include jogging trails, bicycle paths, nature trails, fishing and even rafting.

21

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Work in partnership with community groups and local governments to create parks, greenways, and historic sites in Adanta and other communities in the Southeast.

• Build coalitions of parks supporters and assist in creating a shared community vision for new parks

• Provide new sources of funding for parks including lease-purchase financing, bond campaigns, and private contributions.

• Negotiate and manage complex real estate transactions.

• Acquire and hold park properties pending funding fi-om local government (Trust For

Public Land, 1998).

Austin, Texas

The greatest problem in Austin is not the amount of land dedicated to parks and open space; rather, it is a problem of location. The low and middle-income minority neighborhoods of east Austin lack appropriate numbers of parks. TPL, an organization called Southeast Comer Alliance of Neighborhoods, and the Austin Parks and Recreation

Department are working to acquire a lOO-acre site in southeast Austin which will be developed as a park and sport field facility. Another site consisting of 241 acres, to be called the Colorado River Park, is being acquired by TPL and will then be conveyed to the

Austin Parks and Recreation Department. This facility will provide such recreational opportunities as hiking, fishing, boating and sports facilities. In both instances, the local

22

Parks and Recreation Department conducted a telephone survey to determine how the people living in the area might respond to new park development.

Also, the TPL is finishing acquisition work on the 1,000 acre Barton Creek

Wilderness Park in southwest Austin, the result of a $20 million bond proposition Austin voters passed in 1992. The Barton Creek Wilderness Park protects water quality and wildlife habitat, while providing public recreation opportunities within minutes of downtOAvn Austin.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Acquiring land for parks to achieve goals set by Austin Park and Recreation

Department.

• Assisting in the creation of the Austin Metropolitan Trails Council to develop and advocate a regional trail master plan.

• Planning, polling, and community organizing for Austin Metropolitan Trails Council trail projects (Trust For Public Land, 1998).

Baltimore, Maryland

This city is proposing a 14-mile long linear park and recreation area called Gwyrm

Falls Trail. The trail will follow the stream valley fi"om the 1400-acre Gwynn Falls/Leakin

Park through more than 20 residential neighborhoods to provide access to new park areas, playgrounds, and some of the city's best known cultural and historic landmarks. Like other cities, Baltimore envisions networking all of its green spaces, and calling it Baltimore

Walks. This proposed park system will provide the resident's of Baltimore will more than

2,000 acres of high quality parkland providing recreation and educational opportunities.

23

The City has held numerous public meetings in order to involve the public directly, and learn of the needs, thoughts, and recreational wants of the community.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Facilitating land acquisition for the Gwynn Falls Trail to connect existing parks and protect important streamside habitat.

• Leading a participatory Master Plan design process with governmental agencies and community groups to provide a framework for all future design.

• Developing marketing and promotional strategies, including the publication of a newsletter that will highlight community improvement activities (Trust For Public

Land, 1998).

Boston, Massachusetts

In 1893 Charles Eliot, Landscape Architect, was hired by the Metropolitan Park

Commission to direct the planning and design of a park system for the Boston area. He sought to reshape the region by reserving as open space large tracts of territory on the verge of development; the shores of rivers and beaches, marshes and hills. Once preserved as public property, these natural features would establish the framework for responsible urban development and would prevent the haphazard assemblage of streets, lots, railroad and streetcar lines.

The linear park system known today as the Emerald Necklace meanders from the rolling hills of Franklin Park to the brownstones of Conmionwealth Avenue. Created by

Frederick Law Ohnsted between 1878 and 1896, this park system, designed as an urban oasis away from the bustle and jar of the streets, is today one of the premier park systems

24

in the country. The six parks within this system serve a diverse range of active and passive recreation needs.

The park system of today was envisioned to include three large wooded reservations connected by three rivers (Neponset, Charles, and Mystic) which connects the woods to the ocean. A growing public demand for more recreational facilities surfaced following the end of World War 11 and shifted the Metropolitan District Commissions

(MDC) focus toward construction than land acquisition. The building of pools, skating rinks, and playgrounds by the MDC went into high gear in metropolitan Boston through the following decades. These elements have been important part of the parks system because they attract people into parks and often provide inherent recreational opportunities which are no longer available. There was also a renewed conrmiitment to conserve and protect natural resources emerged in Massachusetts and across the country, beginning in the early 1970's. Today, the metropolitan network extends from King's

Beach and Breakheart Reservation on the north to Blue Hills Reservation in the south; from Boston harbor Islands in the east to Elm Bank Reservation in Dover to the west.

Almost 20,000 acres of woodlands, wetlands, and urban parklands comprise this system.

Among the natural and recreational resources present in this system are beaches, athletic fields, bicycle and jogging paths, playgrounds, music shells, historic sites and museums, woodland reservations, river reservations, golf courses and miles of parkways linking the parks and reservations.

Boston has been known for having one of the most successful and beautiful park systems in the country. It is no surprise, then, that the city is diligently working with the

25

TPL on several initiatives. One, the Urban Rivers Program, is focused on creating a 16mile greenway along the Neponset River. TPL is negotiating to acquire key parcels for this project.

Another program, called Urban Wilds, intends to provide areas of natural land throughout the city. This program is addressing the areas of the city which are currently under-served by parks. The goal is to link these neighborhoods with waterfronts, beaches, parks, and playgrounds, thereby allowing the residents of the areas access to recreational opportunities. The Boston Parks and Recreation Department is pro-active in the development of parks and open space, and is diligent in keeping the public involved in all aspects. The City holds frequent public meetings, conducts telephone and mail surveys, and even employs a web page as a two way chaimel of communication for sharing ideas and plans of park improvement and development.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Real estate expertise to acquire land and create greenways.

• Assisting neighborhoods in creating public spaces with programs to ensure use of the spaces.

• Securing public and private fimds, including possible state fimding for local projects

(Trust For Public Land, 1998).

Cleveland, Ohio

This Midwestern city has a rich history of parks dating back into the early 1800's.

TPL has been involved with Cleveland for the last 16 years. Currently, the city is involved in several major projects. One involves connecting the Cuyahoga Valley National

26

Recreation Area (10 miles from downtown) with the heart of the city. This will be accomplished by converting a rail right-of-way into a system of trails. The purchase of the land necessary for project success is being negotiated by TPL.

Another program is addressing the development of a model for community involvement In park design, development, and maintenance that focuses on existing park facilities. The city also hopes that this project will be successful in soliciting the involvement of the public in all future park developments.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Real estate expertise to acquire lots and strategic park expansion parcels.

• Funding and financing tools to help the city with park acquisition and redevelopment.

• Skill and experience in working with community-based organizations to strengthen their planning, programming, and management with respect to urban open spaces

(Trust For Public Land, 1998).

Los Angeies, California

Los Angeles is yet another United States city that is experiencing a boom in population growth. Unfortunately, the city suffers from a problem faced by these other cities as well; not enough park space, open space, and recreational opportunities. The national standard as of 1998 is between 6 and 10 acres of parkland per 1,000 people; in some parts of Los Angeles, the ratio is as low as 1 acre per 1,000 people (Trust For Public

Land, 1998). Progress, however, has been made.

In 1992 voters approved the Safe Neighborhood Parks Act which raised $540 million to buy parklands, rehabilitate neighborhood parks, build trails, restore rivers, and

27

support parks and recreation projects througliout the city. Due to its success to date, other cities have followed suit and have used the Los Angeles act stimulate and raise funding for parks and open space in their respective locations.

There are two programs of note occurring in Los Angeles. One involves the Los

Angeles River which was channelized and encased in concrete during the 1930's to provide flood control for the metropolitan area. A program sponsored by the TPL and called the Los Angeles River Greenway has been developed and intends to provide 51 miles of natural habitat, parks, recreation, and trail facilities. It also v/ill help to preserve the areas of the river which still retain natural river bottoms, and subsequently maintaining the wildlife. This program would be applicable to the Tucson area, with its systems of mostly dry rivers or washes which run through the valley. Work has already been done in developing a trail system along the rivers and washes; more work could be done in designing and developing a green way which would not only link all rivers and washes, but also parks and other recreational facilities within close proximity (such as Fort Lowell

Park).

Another program being launched in Los Angeles strives to organize citizens groups and ensure their involvement in park development through meetings. Since community involvement is essential to guarantee the future of local parks, the TPL is reaching out to neighborhood groups that can be stakeholders in greening their communities. Another goal of the TPL in this program is to serve the needs of those communities which are without adequate number of parks. Through collaborative efforts with the City of Los Angeles, public agencies, and other community based-organizations.

28

it is hoped that additional land will be acquired and developed for open green spaces, parks, and recreational facilities.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Real estate expertise to create new parks and a river greenway.

• Community organizing and visioning efiforts.

• Helping to secure public and private funding (Trust For Public Land, 1998).

Minneapolis, Minnesota

The Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board is the nation's premier city park agency, largely because the board is elected rather than appointed, and because two-thirds of its budget stems from an automatic payment from property taxes. The city is being aggressive in ensuring that the system remains dynamic and that parkland is continually improved and expanded. Minneapolis has 17 acres of parkland per 1,000 residents, more than any other large city in the country. (Urban Parks, 1998) The Minneapolis park system consists of over 1,400 acres of water surface along some 4,600 acres of land.

David Fisher is the superintendent of the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board

(MPRB); he states: "A park is not just a place. It's a philosophy. It's a gathering place— the commons of the neighborhood. As go the parks, so go the neighborhoods. The parks are the oases of our neighborhoods, the salvation of the city. That's why we have a policy—^which we have achieved—of providing a park within six walking blocks of every residence in the city." (Urban Parks, 1998) The city has anticipated population growth, and has preserved m 1998 46,000 acres to be dedicated to park sites.

29

There are, however, needs in this city just as there are in others. One of the most important areas on which to be focused is the intense use of neighborhood parks and older regional parks and their subsequent need for improvements. Also, as the city continues to grow, additional land for parks and green open space needs to be acquired on the outskirts of the city. The TPL is working with the government of Minneapolis to identify open space that could be lost to development, and to establish funding sources for their preservation. And as a means of ultimately protecting these new park sites, the TPL is working to established guidelines for local communities to follow in organizing programs for park sustainability.

The services being provided by the TPL include:

• Promoting parks and their value to the region.

• Building a private/public partnership to support park initiatives.

• Working toward increased state fiinding for parks.

• Supporting local bond referendum campaigns.

• Holding public workshops on the larger regional park vision.

• Administering surveys to discover the thoughts of the community on current park issues.

• Supporting initiatives that link parks to community development (Trust For Public

Land, 1998).

Each city has a different story to tell, each one more unique and interesting than the other. However, there are certain practices and themes which are common to each

30

city. The strongest link by far regards conununity involvement. Each city has recognized that the success of its open space and park system is defined most significantly by the pride of ownership that is developed within the community. Communities must be involved in park planning and design in order for these spaces to work, it is that simple.

Each city discusses previously utilizes public meetings, newsletters, surveys, interviews, and advertisements to reach the community. Through these means, people become involved. People often form community interest groups purporting the successfijl development and improvement of parks and open spaces within their city. And subsequently, improving their quality of life along with it.

Methods for Gathering Information-Survey Design

Two excellent sources have been located which address the subject of acquiring data via surveys and informal interviews: How to Conduct Your Own Survey, by Don A.

Dillman and Priscilla Salant; and a paper called "User Analysis: An Approach to Park

Planning and Management," produced by Project for Public Spaces, Inc. for the Park and

Recreation Technical Services, National Park Service, United States Department of the

Interior. Each of these sources will be discussed and the methodologies described will guide the production and distribution of the Fort Lowell Park survey.

The Project for Public Spaces, Inc. has produced studies which show that surveys are perhaps the most effective method of gathering information. This thesis will gather information fi:om the users of Fort Lowell Park in two major ways: General observation and guided interview in survey form. General observation is an open ended method of observing and taking notes on people's activities within the park. Qualitative information

31

is gathered in this method, as well as through casual conversations with park users, local residents, park staff, and others. These observations, because of their qualitative nature, consist of descriptive rather than numerical data and are used to formulate hypotheses

(Project for Public Spaces, 1998).

This method is valuable at many different times during the project. In initial stages, it can be used to identify problems and develop hypotheses and provide direction on park analysis. General observations can also be used in the later phases of a project to understand specific issues or problems. Observations must be constantly be reevaluated as other data are collected and judgements made as to whether data suggest specific hypotheses that need to be tested whether the observation alone provides adequate information to understand a particular issue.

What are the proper steps involved in doing general observation? General observation should be done in the park at different times of day and week. Larger parks, as is the case with Fort Lowell Park, require that the observer walk about, observing in different areas. The observer is always free to stop at any particular location if it demands more of his attention.

It is not necessary to understand exactly what each person is doing in the park; rather, it is more important that the observer watch people who seem to be representative of different user types, others who are different from the majority, and those who are engaged in a range of activities. The observer must be aware of where these activities occur and must try to understand the role played by the park's physical envirotmient in supporting or hindering events.

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The first step in recording observations in the initial stages of a project is to decide what to observe. Note who is and is not in the park (ex. elderly persons, teenagers, mothers with children), roughly how many people there are, what they are doing, the extent to which people are moving about or staying in one place, other circulation patterns into and throughout the park, and any specific problems. Notes should be taken. They should be simple, concise, concrete descriptions of acts and events. Sketch maps can be used to indicate the location of the people described in the notes or to indicate the movement of people.

The following categories and related questions were used ia my analysis of Fort

Lowell Park;

• People and Their Activities

How many people are in the park?

Who are they (mothers with kids, teenagers, elderly, etc)?

Are they alone or in groups?

What are people doing?

Is there a pattern to where different people are located (elderly on benches, children on swings, ...)?

How are people interacting?

What kinds of equipment have people brought with them?

Are people having any problems using any of the physical elements of the park?

• Access and Circulation

Where do people enter the park?

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How do they arrive?

Are there problems with parking, crossing the street, etc.?

What are the circulation routes throughout the park (for both pedestrian and vehicles)?

• Maintenance

Who is responsible for maintaining the park?

What do they do? When?

How well does the area seem to be maintained?

• Security

Is there a security force in the park?

What do they do? When are they on duty?

Is there evidence of security problems (vandalism, graffiti)?

• Recreational Programs and Other Events

What kinds of programs or events are held in the park? When?

Who is responsible for planning and running the programs?

Does the area seem to function well during programs as opposed to other times?

General Observation

General observation does not require formal data analysis. Analysis and understating of the information gathered are provided by the daily transcription of detailed field notes, which are used to generate specific hypothesis for further data collection.

Before formulating hypotheses, it is essential to check for consistency in the field notes.

For example, observations made on one Saturday afternoon may be contradicted by

34

observations made on another Saturday afternoon. Such inconstancies must be explained

(ex. change of v^reather or a parade that drew lots of people) and a decision made as to which day is more representative of typical park patterns. Once inconsistencies have been explained, hypotheses can be formulated.

Reliability

The reliability of this technique depends on the accuracy of the observer in understanding park activities and problems. The tendency toward biased reporting can be minimized if the observer tries to report the full range of events by visiting the park at different times of the day. Testing the observations through the use of numerical data collection techniques (survey) also can help reduce the possibility of error.

Interview and Questionnaires

Information that is difiBcult to obtain through general observation can be gathered more effectively through questionnaire and interviews. It is easy to see how a park is used but difiBcult to discover, simply through observation, why a park is not used or how it could be better suited to different user groups. Surveys can provide information about peoples attitudes toward a park or about how they think a park is used. The questions asked in a survey generally fall into three categories: (1) park use (who uses the park, how often, when they tend to use it, and why); (2) attitudes, opinions, and problems regarding the park; and (3) suggestions and ideas on how to improve the park (Projects for Public Spaces, 1998).

Preparing the Questionnaire

Generally, the survey should take the respondent no more than thirty minutes to complete. Every question should be essential and formulated to gather specific information. The question should be grouped together according to information content.

They should be designed to draw and maintain the interest of the person being interviewed.

The introductory question ideally is attention-getting but not controversial; it must not antagonize anyone. It should be interesting enough to arouse curiosity but be easy to answer. For example: "How did you get to the park today?" More difficult questions should be asked toward the middle of the survey, after the respondent has become involved in the questionnaire but before he or she becomes tired of it. If any sensitive questions are asked, they should be asked toward the end of the survey. At the end of the survey, respondents should be asked for any further comments or suggestions and thanked for their cooperation (Project for Public Spaces, 1998).

The format of questions must also be considered. Open-ended questions allow the respondent to reply in his of her own words. Closed-ended questions have a series of reselected answers, and the respondent is required to select the one that is closest to his or her opinion, preference, or behavior. The open-ended question has the advantage of allowing the respondent to answer in the way he or she wishes. Closed-ended questions are generally easier to answer as well as to tally since the choices are specified. A disadvantage exists when the respondent is asked about an issue that he or she has not previously considered and then forced to make a choice among the available answers.

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This situation may be improved by adding a "don't know" or an "other" response (Project for Public Spaces, 1998).

The questions themselves must be carefully worded because wording of a question profoundly aSects the answer. Here area a few general rules: Use simple language; avoid technical terms; avoid embarrassing questions; and avoid ambiguous questions (Project for

Public Spaces, 1998). Ambiguity can result in answers that are hard to interpret.

Other rules of thumb to follow include avoiding leading questions which suggest a particular answer, as well as being certain to develop questions whose answers will specifically relate to making design and/or management recommendations (Project for

Public Spaces, 1998).

Data Analysis

In the case of the use of surveys, data analysis is simply summarizing the consistent themes that emerge from the interviews. These themes may lead to more specific questions or hypotheses that need further exploration. Data generated by structured interviews or questioners are analyzed more systematically. First, asses the fi-equency of each type of response. For example, in the question "Overall, how many hours per week do you and your household members engage in recreational activities away from your home?," determine what percentage of the respondents answered in each category. For example, the percentages may be as follows;

1. 1-3 times per week 30%

2. 2-4 times per week

3. 5-7 times per week

10%

15%

4. 7-10 times per week 20%

5. More than 10 25%

The second step in analyzing data from surveys involves a procedure called crosstabulation. This is an examination of how respondents who ansvrered one way on a particular question answered related questions. Using the example above, a crosstabulation could determine if people of diflferent ages or sexes use the park with diflferent frequency. It is also important to begin the analysis of surveys with a specific set of questions that need answers. The number of cross-tabulations possible makes it easy to generate volumes of data that take much time to examine but often provide little usefiil information.

Don A. Dillman-How to Conduct Your Own Survey

According to Don A. Dillman and Priscilla Salant in their book "How to Conduct

Your Own Survey," there are ten steps to the successful survey. They are as follows;

1-Understand and avoid the four kinds of error.

2-Be specific about what new information you need and why.

3-Choose the survey method that works best for you.

4-Decide whether and how to sample.

5-Write good questions that will provide usefiil, accurate information.

6-Design and test a questionnaire that is easy and interesting to answer.

7-Put together the necessary mbc of people, equipment, and supplies to carry out your survey in the necessary time frame.

8-Code, computerize, and analyze the data from your questionnaire.

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9-Present your results in a way that informs your audience, verbally or in writing.

10-Maintain perspective while putting your plans into action. (Dillman, 1994)

Each of these steps are interrelated, and each makes its own difference in the eventual success of the survey.

Types of Error

The first step involves error, and understanding the four types. Coverage error occurs when all the elements of a population are not included in the sampling. Sampling error occurs when the survey is not broad enough in its coverage, and only a small portion of the population is surveyed. Measurement error develops when data is collected. The problem occurs when the answer or answers given to a question cannot be interpreted or understood. Lastly, there is the problem of non-response. This is when a large number of respondents do not answer a particular questions, rendering it ineffective (Dillman, 1994).

Necessary Information

The surveyor must develop a strong understanding of what information is needed, assuming that a survey is the most effective means of obtaining the information needed.

The survey must raise two specific questions: What problem are your trying to solve?

What new information do you need to solve it? (Dillman, 1994).

Survey Method

As previously mentioned, the survey method is another critical element to the success of the survey. The method must be logical, and be successful in capturing the thoughts and beliefs of the target population.

The Survey Question

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The survey question itself is perhaps the most critical element to the success of the survey. After all. If questions are not written in a clear and concise manner, the answers may be unclear and difficult to tabulate. Just about all questions in a survey fit into four categories: open-ended, close-ended with ordered choices, close-ended with unordered choices, and partially close-ended (Dillman, 1994). Open ended questions provide the respondent with the forum to fully elaborate their feelings on a certain subject. However, these types of questions should be kept to a minimum for several reasons. First, they are very time consuming, and may cause the respondent to not finish the survey in its entirety.

Second, the responses may be too broad and difficult to categorize. And lastly, openended questions rarely provide accurate measurements or consistent, comparable information across the entire sample.

A close-ended ordered question may provide choices such as strongly disagree, mildly disagree, neither agree nor disagree, mildly agree, and strongly agree. In this type of question, each choice represents an attitude level on a single concept. These types of questions are less-demanding for the respondent to complete, and are much easier to code and analyze than open-ended questions.

A close-ended question with unordered response might be as follows: Please describe your occupation? And might include such responses as employed full-time, employed part-time, a student, a homemaker, etc. These types of questions typically provide useful information on the respondent; people must evaluate their own situations, and choose the response which most appropriately fits their situation. In all, each type of

40

question will be employed in the survey in order to a achieve a mix in the type of answers acquired.

Dillman also expresses the importance in considering the wording of questions.

He suggests the following: be specific, use simple words, do not be vague, keep it short, do not talk down to respondents, and do not be too specific (Dillman, 1994). Overall, the writing of good questions will minimize measurement error. Good questions will also increase the likelihood that the respondent will finish the entire survey. The question itself, however, is just part of the puzzle; the questioimaire design may be just as important and this will be discussed next.

Survey Design

A well designed questionnaire will allow the respondent to flow through the survey questions while not feeling burdened. It allows for the respondent to complete the survey in the minimum amount of time, and with the least amount of eflfort. Good questions also show respect to the respondents by not asking something which they may not understand.

Database Development

Once the surveys have been completed and administered, it will become time to enter the data into the computer as the surveys are returned to the survey administrator.

A key survey should be made which is coded, or assigns a number to every answer possible in the survey. For those open-ended fi-ee form questions, trends should be looked for to make categorization easier and to generate stronger results.

Reporting Survey Results

Another step to the successful survey discussed by Dillman and Salant involves reporting the survey results. They recommend the resuhs of a questionnaire be reported both verbally and in writing. The verbal presentation should cover those findings which are most relevant and interesting. The presenter can pull out critical pieces of information and leave the rest for a written report. It is also good advice the follow the following:

Concentrate only on useful information and avoid getting bogged down in insignificant results, and round percentages to the nearest whole number, so as not to bore listeners with data that is too precise, and rather let them focus on the broader points being made

(Dillman, 1994). Another bit of good advice to follow is for the author to recognize that the survey results are not perfectly accurate. At best, a survey reports close estimates of what people think or do. By making this point clear, it helps to prevent the audience fi-om misinterpreting the results and to increase the credibility of the presenter (Dillman, 1994).

The presentation itself should be done using graphics to communicate the results.

They offer excellent ways to condense and to convey important data. Bar charts, pie diagrams, sketches, and other graphic techniques are example of tools which can be used.

Slides and/or overhead transparencies are helpful in providing visual information for the audience as well as to support points being made by the presenter. They not only help the audience, but also help the presenter; visual props divert attention from the presenter, and help to change the pace of the presentation, thereby increasing the attention span of the audience.

Maintaining Perspective

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A very last bit of advice offered by Dillman and Salant regards maiiitaining perspective. Although every survey administrator would like to believe that his or her survey will change the world, it obviously may not. The goal of a survey is to discover general trends, attitudes or beliefs.

The Future of Urban Parks

There are numerous journal articles presently being written about the current state of urban parks and programs and initiatives being advanced to improve them. A particularly interesting article appeared in the January 1991 issue of Landscape

Architecture. The following paragraphs summarize some of the more interesting points.

The types of parks that do not work are the ones that are over-designed. They suffer from over planting that collects litter and provide hideouts for other types of loiterers, making parks havens for crime. Landscape Architects often lose control of the community plarming process, as they concede by over-designing and trying to make everyone happy. One suggestion by Lee Weintraub, ASLA of the New York firm

Weintraub and di Domenico, is to ask the constituent groups, from soccer players to community gardeners, to appoint representatives, and avoid a room of 300 screaming people. In this way, they begin "to see the reality of the space, the size, and the flinction."

Consequently, they scaled back demands, and prevented a design of a series of rooms for each activity to a more free flowing space with connections (Landscape Architecture,

1991).

In a similar approach, it is ideal for the Landscape Architect to establish an environment where each representative feels that they are in a working format, and not in

43

a presenter and audience situation. They will wrestle with others about their ideas and needs, and then when they realize that others are like them, they will be forced to step back and search for the common good. Consequently, a compromise emerges, and it is the job of the Landscape Architect to synthesize that compromise and elevate it into something that all can aspire to.

What about maintaining parks in an environmentally sensitive way? There is tremendous pressure on parks systems today. There are two primary problems: One is that maintenance people are not brought into planning conversations. The second is that landscape architects never write the maintenance plan when they do the design. Designer should take things one step further and produce a plan describing how the landscape is going to be cared for.

Also, is it as important to provide nesting areas and wetlands as picnic lawns, basketball courts and soccer fields? If the system is large enough, it ought to have all of these elements. There really is not strong city or regional planning which states that one or the other should be built. It is essentially on a case by case basis, and depends a lot on public input.

What about vandalism and security? Studies have found that well-taken care of parks are well taken care of by the public. The community was involved in the design, the site selection, and maintenance. A safe park site can be achieved by clustering activities in key areas near park entrances so that there is surveillance firom adjacent apartments, office and streets. It helps not to scatter everything everywhere. Also, good maintenance is crucial for security—derelict paths, trash, graffiti, and litter detract firom the perception of

44

safety, and discourages potential visitors. Security can also be achieved by placing a playground near the entrance to the park. The playground creates a filter of parents, tricycles, and children, and sends out a signal of safety, a place that is friendly. Security is also advocated by a sense of visibility, and sometimes this means that trees must be removed to create an openness.

The future of parks in Tucson depends a great deal on its citizens. People will continue to want to recreate, and will continue to do so regardless of the facilities available. It is the responsibility of the Landscape Architect or other park designer and planner to provide spaces which are not only aesthetic, but also functional. People will use the spaces; the challenge before us to make the spaces that exist more usable, and to be creative in producing new spaces for the fiature.

PARK PLANNING, DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT IN TUCSON, ARIZONA

45

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Current Trends and Issues in Tucson Park Planning

Now that it is known what other cities are doing to improve and expand upon their own park systems, it is time to address the City of Tucson and their efforts to manage its park system. In an interview with Glenn Dixon, administrative manager for the Parks and

Recreation Department in Tucson, several issues concerning park development were discussed. The single, largest problem with parks in the city today involves overuse. This occurs for several reasons. Most notably, as the population of the city grows at a rapid pace, the planning and development of parks lags behind; new neighborhoods and communities are built without neighborhood parks and a district park in close proximity.

Consequently, the existing parks are used by larger numbers of people than originally intended. The facilities become worn and the sites are often crowded, creating a less than ideal atmosphere in which to recreate. The parking facilities may be inadequate to accommodate the larger number of park users, and those frustrated by this may simply leave or go elsewhere, exacerbating the problem. Another problem mvolves transportation to the park facilities themselves. Since the public transportation in Tucson, generally speaking, is inefiBcient in both its time schedule and its reach throughout the city, city residents may find it difBcult to reach the park. The parks in Tucson for the most part stress the use of the automobile for user access.

Another issue which impacts the workings of the Parks and Recreation

Department involves citizen involvement. The general public has a great deal of input when it comes to the planning and development of a new park. Once the city determines where a new park facility is needed, a conceptual plan is created and presented before a

47

public meeting. Here, the citizens affected by the park have an open forum to express their thoughts and concerns regarding development. If the program is not acceptable, the citizens have the power to alter the content and design of the proposed park. This is exactly what occurred just recently with the proposal of a new district park in the area of

Tucson Boulevard and the Rillito River. The residents of the area felt strongly that the area should maintain a certain character, preferably one of mesquite bosques, natural open spaces, and more passive activities. As a result, the sports fields originally planned for the site were removed from the plan.

With regards to new ideas for the future, the Parks and Recreation department is also advocating the notion of creating parks while subordinating the presence of automobiles within park confines. The car creates the potential for more conflicts than any other element present on the park facility. By promoting parking arrangements concentrated on the perimeter of the park, not only are the conflicts more often averted, but also the park assumes a greater aesthetic quality and an environment more conducive to play and relaxation.

Funding for parks is also an issue which will continue to persist for a long time coming. Spokespersons for the Parks and Recreation Department in Tucson indicate that funding firom primarily bond elections has been and continue to be an adequate source of revenue. However, this does not mean that other avenues will not be pursued. The Parks and Recreation Department recognizes that alternative financing mechanisms may need to be pursued to mauitain the present quality of the City's parks and recreation system. In fact, private funding is a source of revenue realized by many cities around the country. In

48

Tucson, the city is currently working in conjunction with the Civano project on the east side of town. The city has provided a plot of land to the developers of Civano with the agreement that they will plan, construct, and maintain a park at the site. Other sources of funding include park dedication ordinances, impact fees, annexation agreements, and public/private partnerships. Hopefully, through the use of multiple funding mechanisms, the necessary revenues intended for park improvements and new park construction will be raised (G. Dixon Interview, 1998).

Programs and Recent Park Development Issues

In 1998, Pima County administrators announced one of the most aggressive land conservation plans known to this area, and perhaps to the entire country. It is called the

Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. The plan proposes the buying or otherwise preserving or restoring nine ranches, nine mountain parks and at least fifteen riparian areas in every comer of eastern Pima County, Arizona. Ultimately, this plan would expand or establish nine parks, which together would form a greenbelt nearly encircling Tucson.

The plan is mostly in response to a continuing pattern of low density urban sprawl which has consumed large tracts of pristine desert environment. It aims as preserving what many people value about living in Tucson—the mountains, the unique desert vegetation, the wildlife, and simply the desert itself

There have been two recent developments regarding park development which have occurred within the limits of the City of Tucson. These two instances seem to typify the current nature of park development in Tucson, and also typify the power of the community in park development, as seen in the previously discussed case studies.

49

First, a park named North-Central District Park will be developed at the north end of Tucson Boulevard near the Riilito River. The 40-acre piece of land was initially bought in 1984 by the City of Tucson using bond fiinds, with the intent to build a district park, which serves a larger area than a neighborhood park. The plan called for several lighted fields and even a golf course. A Challenger Little League field, intended for use by disabled children, was also part of the proposed design. However, the immediate neighbors rejected this plan, as they wanted to preserve much of the desert landscaping and wildlife. The people of the area expressed a strong desire to conserve this plot of land, and develop a park consisting primarily of open, natural space. Neighbors also expressed other concerns, such as an increase in traflBc and parking that would occur in the area along with the development of the site.

The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department went back to the drawing board, and developed a new conceptual plan. However, a meeting with the public once again resulted in a distaste with the local community. The neighbors of the site felt the plan was still too regimented and dominated by sports fields. Once again, they wanted to preserve a more natural feel to the area.

After the fourth plan was presented, the plan was approved. The approved plan keeps nearly half of the parcel in a natural state, with low-impact equestrian, pedestrian and bike trails. The other half includes an equestrian staging area, a dog-training site and a grassy field for pickup ball games. Ultimately, both parties, the local community and the

Cit>' of Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, have realized their goals. This case study is important because it demonstrates a shift in the development of parks in Tucson.

50

The Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, utilizing their formulas and standards, determined that this site should be developed as a typical district park. However, the local community was strong enough to alter these plans, and ultimately achieve their goal of having the park developed into a naturalistic open space. There are other issues raised by the North Central District Park situation. One involves the issue of sports fields, and a finding by the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department that there are inadequate number of sports fields in Tucson (G. Dixon interview, 1998). Since this park site will be developed without formal ball fields, those park users desiring such facilities will not be afforded the opportunity to play ball at North Central District Park. Although the needs and desires of the local community have been met, it may be argued that the needs of the larger community may perhaps have been compromised.

In another case, the battle has drawn on for several years. For nine years, local residents of the Broadway/Harrison area and the Tucson Parks and Recreation

Department have fought over how 40 acres of land ought to be used. The Parks and

Recreation Department, thought by many to be largely sports-minded due to the lack of adequate number of ball fields in the city, advocates a park that fits the traditional district park description. Local residents see it another way. The site contains a collection of ridges, and is dense with prickly pear, cholla, palo verde trees and saguaro cactus. They wish a more naturalistic park site, and are even more motivated after the recent events occurring with the approval of North Central District Park.

These two local case studies raise interesting issues regarding the planning, design, and development of urban parks in Tucson. I have developed an interest in the area of

park development through my studies in Landscape Architecture, as well as through reading articles on park issues, attending pubic meetings on park development, and speaking with representatives from the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department. I feel strongly about the issue of developing safe and enjoyable recreational spaces in our cities, and have chosen to develop the idea as a thesis study. Since previously mentioned case studies have shown that community involvement and input is critical to the success of any park site, I have chosen to seek the input of park users in Tucson. Through an intensive study of a local Tucson park. Fort Lowell Park, I intend to answer certain questions critical to the future development of parks in Tucson. These research questions will form the basis of the author's work, and be the driving force behind the development and administration of a survey, as well as the eventual development of new design guidelines for future park development.

RESEARCH QUESTIONS

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53

I have outlined several research questions which will form the basis of this thesis.

These questions will drive the Fort Lowell Park survey, and the answers will mold the creation of new design guidelines for future park development in Tucson. The research questions are as follows:

• Do people prefer the development of parks with natural open space or sports fields?

And if the community feels strongly one way or the other, how will this affect future park development? Should sites be developed vwth both sports fields and open space, or should special use facilities be developed?

• What types of activities do the most frequent users participate in? Are facilities for these activities being provided?

• Do people use the park to access recreational opportunities within the wash area by

Pantano Wash? And if so, is it important to link this area

Avith the trail system that is being developed along the dry river washes throughout the city?

• Do people who live the furthest fi-om the park feel that there are not enough park facilities within the city?

• Is there a relationship between fi-equency of use and park satisfaction?

• Are there recurring themes with regards to park improvement? If so, do these people support bond elections or user fees?

• Are people willing to accept parking along the periphery of the park (consequently walking further to facilities) to improve the park experience?

54

• Are park users satisfied with the balance between passive and active recreation areas?

Would they prefer park sites with both passive and active recreation areas, or would they prefer special use facilities?

• Is there a need/desire for more sitting/conversational/interaction/people watching areas?

• Are there park users who utilize both the passive areas (open spaces, riparian area) and the sports fields?

• Is there a relationship between those users who feel that the public does not have enough input in park development and fi-equency of park use? Are there ways that the community can be encourage to become more involved in the planning and design process of park sites in Tucson?

Before beginning to answer these questions through a survey (see appendix 2), I will study the policies and procedures of the Parks and Recreation Department in the City of Tucson (see appendix 1). I will then study the history of Fort Lowell Park, and will evaluate current conditions. This will allow me to form a base knowledge which will serve as a foundation to support and elaborate upon the findings of the Fort Lowell Park

Survey.

TUCSON PARKS AND RECREATION DEPARTMENT

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ASiocation of Recreational Facilities

There are three methods used to apply standards to a community in the allocation of recreational facilities and programs: the population ratio method, the area percentage method, and the demand projection method (City of Tucson, 1989). A set of national standards based on population ratio has been adopted by the National Recreation and Park

Association (NRPA), and most cities or municipalities adopt these and modify them to fit their particular needs. This is known as the population ratio method. The second method, the area percentage, is commonly used in areas of rapid growth and urban development and redevelopment. NRPA standards of 1989 state that 25 percent of all new development be set aside as open space (City of Tucson, 1989). This method is flawed in that the land allocated for open space may be unusable due to physical constraints. The last method, the demand projection method, uses a mathematical model to project user group participation rates and then bases facility construction on building standards. This method is sometimes difiBcult to apply and the projection may be inaccurate; such things as population growth, immigration patterns, and personal income levels highly affect usage rates (City of Tucson, 1989).

The City of Tucson, and more specifically the Parks and Recreation Department, is committed to the maintenance and provision of recreational facilities that will meet the needs of its citizens, both today and in the fiiture. For the most park, the City of Tucson has developed operational standards for its park system based on a population ratio method. In applying these standards, the department is focused on three categories of parks: neighborhood parks, district parks, and regional parks. First, the neighborhood park

57

covers an area of 0-15 acres and services an area one-half mile from the park. According to general plan standards, the neighborhood park should provide 2.5 acres per 1,000 people (national standards are the same). The district park can be described as being 16-

100 acres in size and servicing a 3 mile radius around the park. It too provides 2.5 acres per 1,000 people (national standards are the same). The regional park is classified as being over lOO acres and is used by all those within a twenty-five minute drive of the location. This type of facility provides 5 acres per 1,000 people (national standards are 20 acres per 1,000 people) (City of Tucson, 1989). According to a 1989 survey of the parks in Tucson, the population to facility ratio was as follows; .7 acres/1,000 for neighborhood parks; 3.8 acres/1,000 for district parks; and 4.9 acres/1,000 for regional parks (City of Tucson, 1989).

Visitor Demand

Another component of park planning involves methods to be used for determining visitor demand. The following are some of the methods of projection of recreation demand which have been developed to assist park planners. The first is the maximum carrying capacity method. When a park is located in an area of heavy use, the capacity of the land to sustain recreation use without deterioration of the resource must be determined. The maximum carrying capacity should be determined for all urban parks, so as to ensure realistic park use and to prevent both under-use and overuse.

The next method is known as the comparable demand method. One or more existing recreation resource is selected to be comparable to the resource under consideration. Expected recreation use at the proposed resource is computed by analogy

-with the existing, comparable project. This Involves first determining the population of travel time zones around the proposed park and the existing park for comparison. Then, the per capita use at the existing area must be determined from the total population serviced and attendance figures fi^om the park (use divided by population equals per capita use). Finally, attendance trends in the park and population trends in the proposed service area are checked and compared. This method is most reliable when the sites being compared are highly similar in recreation potential and type of population (City of Tucson,

1989).

Another method to measure visitor demand involves determining visitor day capacities. Since most large parks can only be reached by car, the daily capacity of these parks can be determined by multiplying the number of cars times the average turnover rate times the number of people per car. The formula says that the number of cars equals the turnover times the number of people per car equals the daily capacity.

In a paper entitled "An Asset Management Approach; Modeling Visitor Demand and Open Space Requirements" written by Dino Zanon, it was determined that there are three factors which affect most the visitation of urban parks in Melbourne, Australia. The first is catchment population. The research showed that sixty percent of the visits to the parks were by users within a fifteen minute drive of the urban park. The second, accessible size, is the size of the land area which is open and accessible without restriction and was measured from title data and maps using geographic information system. And the last factor was called service standard. This involved using a scale to measure the adequacy of the seventeen park attributes that were most important to park visitors.

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Among others, these attributes include safe access to park; adequate car parking; tracks, trails, and paths; picnic areas; signs and directions; and safe children's play areas. This information, though produced from a study in a foreign park system, certainly seems to have applications in other environments, including Tucson.

Needs Analysis

The City of Tucson has been proactive in their development of recreation standards as it has essentially employed the population ratio method, but has also factored in needs analysis. The intent is to study the needs of various socio-economic groups and develop recreation plans sensitive to the needs of various segments of the community.

Tucson has categorized these needs into four major categories: expressed need, comparative need, created need, and felt need (City of Tucson, 1989). Expressed need is determined by current user rates. If the City of Tucson serves an average of 5,600 golf rounds per month, that is the expressed need for city golf services. Comparative need is the recreational need for government-provided services as related to the supply offered to a citizen and his or her socio-economic characteristics. A created need occurs when a person who has not previously participated in an activity comes to value it. For example, current recreational trends indicate that aggressive marketing to the blue-collar population will bring about a created need for golf participation in that segment of the population.

And finally, a felt need is the stated recreational desire of a person, and is not necessarily linked to the constraints of time or cost. For example, a person may express the desire to spend z weekend on the ski slopes, but not possess the leisure time or money to make the weekend a reality. Overall, these classes of need serve to assist in the construction of a

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recreational needs analysis for Tucson. Ultimately, this needs analysis is intent on providing adequate recreational facilities with diverse type of recreation opportunities which will fulfill the desires on the entire Tucson population.

Methodology for Determining User Satisfaction-Survey

Another component of the Parks and Recreation Department involves the process whereby it is determined if the citizens of the city are having their needs met by the existing park facilities. The last survey was taken in 1989 and involved 600 randomly selected Tucson area households; the results are published in the Master Plan 2000 (City of Tucson, 1989). The respondents were queried on their knowledge, behaviors, attitudes, and needs pertinent to recreational activities. The results are broken down into several categories, and will be briefly discussed. First, the survey found that over ninety percent of the households reported at least some time spent each week on recreational activities, and the majority feel that the facilities available are adequate to suit their needs.

A.lso, over ninety-five percent of the respondents were able to name the facility nearest them, indicating a high level of awareness with regards to the availability of city parks.

And lastly, the propensity to engage in sports and activities was spread evenly throughout the Tucson area, being somewhat lower only in the Southwest perimeter (City of Tucson,

1989).

With regards to perceptions about improvements in the Parks and Recreation

System, sixty-eight percent did not have any suggestions about the needs for new parks, facilities, activities, or programs. However, when the survey addressed existing facilities.

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suggestions emerged. Most respondents wished for cleaner restrooms, better equipment maintenance, and more opportunities for safe night use (City of Tucson, 1989).

It is also interesting to draw conclusions from the questions in the survey addressing the financing of parks and recreation. In general, it appears that close to threefifths of the population would be in favor of charging a user fee; the most preferred method of fund raising is the use of general obligation bonds (a $14 million bond was passed in May of 1997).

METHODOLOGY

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In order to answer the research questions outlined earlier in this thesis, I determined that a survey (see appendix 2) would be the most effective and efficient tool for studying a typical distria park, that being Fort Lowell Park. Following the guidelines established by Don A. Dillman, I produced a set of questions that were intended to gather information on the typical park user at Fort Lowell Park. This information includes the following: demographic information on the park user, thoughts and ideas on park experiences, ideas for park improvement, frequency of use, and thoughts on funding, among other information. The goal of this author in administering the Fort Lowell Park survey is not to effect immediate change in the present condition of Fort Lowell Park or in the planning, design and development of future park sites in Tucson. Rather, the goal is to achieve a better understanding of the user's perceptions of this park facility as well as the perceived value of parks as a whole. This information will aid in bringing to light issues which must be confronted by Tucson if fliture park development is to be a powerful force in shaping the social and physical well-being of the city. It will also more than likely show that city residents desire open, green spaces, and that a collaborative effort between the

City of Tucson, Landscape Architects, community/neighborhood interest groups, local/state/Federal governments, and private/public funding sources will be necessary to provide the park sites in which people can pursue their recreational needs.

Fort Lowell Park was selected for study for a number of reasons. First, the park can be separated into two distinct areas, passive and active recreation. Since one of the goals of this thesis is to discover the thoughts of park users with regards to preferences for passive versus active recreation, this park facility was a logical choice. Also, since Fort

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Lcv/ell Park services a large area and offers a wide range of recreational opportunities, I thought that by studying this park I would reach a variety of different types of park users.

Furthermore, as indicated by the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, overuse is a major issue concerning parks today. Fort Lowell Park, according to officials at the

Tucson Parks and Recreation Department, is a heavily used facility and shows typical signs of wear and tear (G. Dixon interview, 1998). The park is also useful to study due to the master plan that was produced for the park in 1985. It is highly useful to compare the plan of 1985 with the park of today. There are many improvements outlined in the master plan from 1985 which, to date, have not been built. This demonstrates the long periods of time that elapse between the proposition of new facilities and the actual construction of facilities.

I then began the process of administering the survey itself Of course, the target population was clearly identified as those users of Fort Lowell Park. Several methods were used to administer the Fort Lowell Park survey. First, surveys were left in the mail boxes of houses in the neighboring communities. Although it was not expected that a high percentage of these surveys will be returned, they will allow for greater survey coverage.

In fact, only 5 percent of surveys left in mailboxes were mdeed returned.

The other method used will be on-site administration of surveys, which was accomplished in three ways. First, I remained stationery in an area of the park, and randomly asked passers-by to fill out a survey.

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as possible in the entire park. These surveys were either picked up later, or were returned via mail (postage was provided by the interviewer).

In the third method of administering the survey, I approached people who were settled. Instead of leaving the survey, I asked questions directly of whoever volunteered and recorded the answers on the survey. In this case it was helpful to give the respondent a copy of the survey so that he or she could read along as the questions were being asked.

This method was useful in that it also facilitated general conversation about the park and its facilities, providing the opportunity to gather qualitative information about Fort Lowell

Park.

With regards to the actual days that the survey was administered, the Fort Lowell

Park survey was distributed over a period on one month. I spent portions of four days distributing the survey, three on weekends and one during the week. By employing this strategy, I hoped to further the chances of gathering representative data by reaching a variety of different park users.

In the end, 100 surveys were distributed, and 50 were returned. I was satisfied with the 50% return rate, and felt that this number of surveys was adequate to achieve an understanding of the park user and some of the greater issues currently at hand.

The design of the survey was also important. The Fort Lowell Park survey was designed to be simple, short, and was intended to be completed in less than 10 minutes.

The questions asked in the survey generally fall into three categories: (1) park use (who

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uses the park, how often, when they tend to use it, and why); (2) attitudes, opinions, and problems regarding the park; and (3) suggestions and ideas on how to improve the park.

To begin with, the questionnaire will contain a brief introduction. In this case, the

Fort Lowell Park survey introduces the author and conveys that he is attempting to discover the feelings of the park user regarding existing park facilities, recreational habits, and attitudes on the park system in Tucson in general. The first question is important to making the respondent feel comfortable and not intimidated. In this case, the first question in the Fort Lowell Park survey is: Overall, how many hours per week to you and your household members engage in recreational activities away from your home?

It is also good to provide transitions in the questionnaire, to direct the respondent to a new area of questioning. For instance, a portion of this survey involves the inclusion of ideas which might make the park a better place overall for the user. This transition is made by making a brief statement just prior to several questions.

At last, once the data was returned to me, the survey administrator, it was necessary to develop and database in which to store and categorize the data. For the Fort

Lowell Park survey, Microsoft's DataBase Access program was used to catalog the survey data.

In producing the results of the survey, there are several steps. The first step is to analyze the questions one at a time. Percentages were calculated, showing how each question was responded to by all the respondents.

The next method used involved cross-tabulation, or examining two or more questions at one time. "The value of many surveys lies not in a single statistic for the

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sample as a whole, but in comparable statistics for groups within the population."

(Dillman, 1994). By comparing the results of more than question, I was able to draw more complex conclusions about the feelings and user patterns of Fort Lowell Park users.

Finally, upon receiving and tabulating the results of the survey, I looked for results that mattered. The answers to some questions, though interesting, proved to be not useful. In the case of the Fort Lowell Park survey, I had originally outlined several research questions listed earlier in this thesis. The data collected from the survey was used to answer these questions, and was instrumental in identifying the nnajor issues, which ultimately drove the creation of new guidelines for the redevelopment of Fort Lowell Park and the planning, design, and development of future park sites in Tucson.

Study Site

History of the Fort Lowell Area

Fort Lowell was abandoned on Jan 9, 1891. At this time, the Territory of Arizona acquired forty acres of the old fort, acreage which is now the location of Fort Lowell

Park. As early as the I920's, citizens became concerned about the deterioration of the buildings and the general condition of the area. The land served as a major tourist attraction, but was not well managed. Then, the Arizona State Museum took over the land and later sold it in 1944 to George Babbit. Babbit bought the land, and looked for someone to take control of it and make it an area which could be used by the public.

Babbit was, however, unsuccessful and sold the land to the Boy Scouts of America, who owned it only for a short period of time. On October 13, 1957, Pima County bought the land from The Boy Scouts of America who bought it from Babbit. Pima County had no

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formal plans at first, but by I960 developed a plan that called for the mins to be replaced by recreational facilities, and the idea to use the land as a park was bom. However,

Tucson citizens were not completely excited by the plans proposed by Pima County and formed a group called the Friends of Fort Lowell. Their mission was to get the county to modify their plans. In May of 1960 Pima County amended their plans, and by 1963

Cottonwood trees were replanted, and by 1969, there were six ramadas, ballfields, and playground equipment. The 1970's saw archaeological sites preserved, Hohokam sites preserved, and historical resources preserved.

In July of 1984 the City of Tucson acquired Fort Lowell Park from Pima County.

The city determined to make a thorough study of the park before making any changes, and subsequently developed the Fort Lowell Park Master Plan of 1985, as discussed in this thesis. Since the development of the park there have been concerns over protecting and preserving the historical and archaeological resources of the site. Residents pulled together, and fiinds were raised. The efforts of private citizens were most instrumental in spurring the preservation of resources at the park facility. The plan of 1985, then, called for many things to be added to the park. They included interpretive sites and preservation of buildings. The plans also called for the vegetation to consist of those species found at the site since the earliest settlements, and include Mesquite, Mexican elderberry, and palo verde.

The park itself occupies 60 acres, 5 of which are unused due to Pantano wash, 40 acres for recreation and park flmctions, and 15 acres are not developed. With regards to surrounding land use, there exists residential land of varying densities. To the north are

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low density suburban ranch tj-pe houses, and to tiie east is Tucson Country Club Estates, a low density residential area. Medium density development lies to the south, while the west contains a variety of housing types. The Fort Lowell Park surroundings, although varying in densities, still possess a rural quality because of the pork itself^ the Tanque

Verde and Pantano Washes, the lush vegetation, and the large areas of open space which still dominate the landscape. The Old Fort Lowell Neighborhood Plan recognizes this rural character and stresses the importance of preserving this character.

The City of Tucson has developed a manual of development standards as a means of ensuring that new development in the City follows certain guidelines. These guidelines

ait intended to promote development that respects historical, cultural, geographic and aesthetic characteristics of the region. Part of these development standards involve

Historic preservation Zone Development Standards, and Fort Lowell is one of the development districts. The Fort Lowell Historic District, an area of approximately one hundred fifty acres, is located southwest of the confluence of the Tanque Verde, Pantano, and Rillito Washes. The Fort Lowell District was established in total in the year 1992, and looks to preserve the neighborhood character, significant buildings, historical Fort remains, Hohokam sites, and several biological communities. The information is valuable to my thesis in that it contains information on the history of the area, and contains guidelines for development.

The Fort Lowell neighborhood is a unique area in metropolitan Tucson, reflecting a wide range of historic, scenic, rural, and natural resources. The relatively abundant waters at the confluence of three major desert washes were instrumental to the area's

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growth. The first documented remains of settlement show a large community of

Hohokam people, who lived and farmed in the area from about 300 to 1250 AD. In 1873, the military began to build Fort Lowell. During the Fort days, a number of adobe homes were built to the east of Swan Road—on the road from the Fort to Tucson. One of these houses is said to have been built by a Fort officer, another by homesteader; both are still in use. Just west of the Fort, the suiter's store, or the trader's store, was built by John B.

"pie" Allen, an important figure in Tucson and the Arizona Territory. This structure was restored and is in use as a home today.

Fort Lowell existed to protect Tucson and the surrounding settlers from Apache raids. After the Apache threat to the valley subsided, the Fort was abandoned in 1891.

Shortly thereafter, Sonoran and Chihuahuan farming and ranching families came north to the rich bottomlands of the Rillito and Pantano Washes. They found the deserted Fort buildings and adapted them to their own use. As time passed, they acquired land and built homes, spreading out to the west of the Fort, thus establishing the Village of El Fuerte.

At about the same time, members of the Church of Latter Day Saints were also attracted to the fertile soils of the area. They established dairy farms and maintained the several irrigation ditches which had probably been built even before the Fort by nearby farmers and ranchers. Coming from Utah and Colorado, as well as from the colonies in

Chihuahua, these Mormons established the community of Binghamton, near Fort Lowell

Road and Dodge Boulevard.

Much of the rural and scenic quality of the Fort Lowell area today is a reflection of this earlier cultural history. Early residents benefited from the area's prime natural

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resources—desert washes and rich alluvial soils. In spite of overgrazing and clear cutting of mesquite, the area includes vestiges of the old mesquite forest (bosque), which provides valuable habitat for a diversity of wildlife. Because later growth was incremental and low density, the cultural landscape generally developed in harmony with the opportunities and limits of the area's natural resources. Increased development in recent years and a rapidly dropping water table have placed the remaining groves of mesquites as risk. Development criteria included within the HPZ ordinance, review guidelines developed by the Historic

Zone Advisory Board, and policies established for the greater Fort Lowell area (in the Old

Fort Lowell Neighborhood Plan) together help to maintain the historic, cultural, and natural resources of the area.

Fort Lowell Park-Master Plan 1985

The information contained in the following paragraphs is extracted from the master plan produced in 1985 for the re-design and continued development of Fort Lowell Park.

This information will be compared with an assessment of the park as its exists today, in the year 1999. It will be interesting to note the similarities and differences with regards to the use and function of the park. Also, the map found in the illustrations section of this thesis will be helpful in understanding the information discussed in this section.

The following were the goals produced for the master plan for Fort Lowell Park:

• To preserve the unique character of the park

• To preserve the park's historic and archaeological resources.

• To expand the park's usability.

• To restore the spirit of the historic landscape.

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• To improve park security.

• To improve the infrastructure of the park (irrigation, potable water, sewer, etc.).

• To improve parking and circulation.

• To conserve water.

Fort Lowell Park represents the only major recreational facility in the Fort Lowell area. The closest major park facility is Morris Udall park which is approximately 2 14 miles away. Other public facilities within a 2-mile radius of Fort Lowell Park include

Northeast District Park, Whitmore Elementary School, Townsend Jr. High School, Fort

Lowell Elementary School, the Gump Adaptive Education School and Wright Elementary

School. The Lighthouse YMCA. (adjacent to Northeast District Park), the Tucson

Country Club and the Dorado Country Club are the only private recreational facilities in this area.

The importance of Fort Lowell Park as a recreational facility is apparent in light of the other recreational facilities available in the area. The lack of facilities and the growth anticipated for this area will place greater demands on Fort Lowell Park unless new facilities can be provided in the area.

Sports fields occupy most of the park's space and contribute a great dezil to the popularity of the park. The existing arrangement of fields is the result of a response to need and not to how they must function hi relation to the park as a whole. The end result is an inefficient field arrangement in relation to parking and other facilities.

The

Softball

fields located in the Historic Resource Area must be relocated. The southwest portion of the park served by the Craycroft parking lot is a logical location for

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these fielus.

In this location these fields can be better served by parking. Although the relocation of the softball fields will require the removal of the exiting baseball field, a Little

League field can be located in this area. A comfort station and a playground will be constructed to serve this portion of the park. This area will be lighted for night use.

Although the master plan does not call for the addition of more sport field activities, it does make better use of existing space and facilities. The additional field lighting in this area will expand sport field use but will not have a large impact on the surrounding neighborhood since the majority of this area is already lighted for night use.

Parking at the park is satisfactory for day-to-day use, but parking is not adequate for major park events such as the Arts and Crafts Fairs or Pioneer Days. These events attract large groups of people requiring far more parking than what is available within the park. The results are parked cars which overflow into the surrounding neighborhoods, creating problems for those neighborhoods.

Organized sports activities also create parking problems. Although adequate parking is available, it is not located conveniently to the activities, making parking elsewhere (Glenn Street) more desirable.

Four parking areas are existing at Fort Lowell Park

Main Lot 150 spaces

Craycroft Lot

Tennis court lot

Hardy Site lot

Total parking

72 spaces

92 spaces

53 spaces

367 spaces

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The proximity of these parking areas to park use areas or park activities dictates the intensity of use placed on the parking area. The main lot is the most intensely used because of its central location and direct access from the park's main entrance from

Craycroft. The main lot is also located near most park activities and facilities (pool, ramadas, etc.)

The Craycroft lot is the least used parking area; its location in relation to park activities, and facilities and problems of ingress/egress makes use of the lot less desirable.

The tennis court lot is conveniently located to many park activities and facilities (Little

League, soflball, tennis, and racquetball) and as a result is well used.

Overall, parking at the park is inefiBcient because it is not located where park use occurs. The solution to the park's parking problems does not rely on the addition of parking spaces, but on the shift of park use areas to areas which can be better served by the existing parking lot locations. Vehicular circulation of the park is unlike most parks in

Tucson because of the reliance on large parking lots and the lack of intra-park drives. The park relies on Craycroft Road and Glenn Street as the principle connectors between park use areas. This arrangement of vehicular circulation has the advantage of minimizing moving traffic through the park.. Although the vehicular circulation system at the park has kept moving trafiBc to a minimum, trafiBc has still caused problems of speed control, congestion and pedestrian safety. Speed bumps have been installed throughout the park to keep vehicular speed at a safe level. However, they are poorly designed and can cause damage to automobiles even at acceptable speeds.

The pedestrian circulation system of Fort Lowell Park consists of the following:

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• Cottonwood Lane

• The Historic Walk

• The Fitness Trail

• The Riparian Woodland

AH of these systems will be connected to each other and some will be combined or shared.

The fitness trial will link all areas of the park a and for a large part of the historic walk.

This shared usage will mininnize cost and maximize use of the system. The surface of the pedestrian circulation system will be consistent with the historic character of the park.

Soil cement stabilized decomposed granite will be used for most of the pathways. An irregular edge of the paved surface will give the appearance of natural earth and allow flexibility to path widths to accommodate features along the path. The path width will vary from 8 feet to 20 feet. This variation in width will reduce the amount of turf to be irrigated and will facilitate maintenance adjacent to park features which previously were in the midst of turf The trees will be planted in the widest portions of the pathway to provide shade.

A new 20 station fitness trail will be installed to replace the existing trail. The new trail's exercise apparatus will be construaed of steel pipe and trail signage will be painted metal. The apparatus will be adaptive to use by handicapped persons. The fitness trail stations will be widened area of trail paving. Each station or pullout will contain one or two exercise apparatus. This arrangement offers a variety to the course, by staggering stations and length of time needed to complete exercises.

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Exposed aggregate concrete, and earth-tone, split face concrete block are materials not only durable but also visually compatible with the old adobe fort ruins. These materials are vandal resistant and impervious to weather. Structural steel trusses and metal roofing will be employed in all new park structures for durability.

The planting at the park is dictated by historic and practical guidelines. Although it would be interesting to restore the historic landscape, the parks department must provide a landscape usable by today's park user. Turf must be used for most of the park to provide a usable park surface. Turf must only be used where it is needed (sport fields, picnic areas and must be removed in areas that do not require it (fitness trail, natural area).

Any new tree planting at the park will consist of the following: Cottonwood,

Mesquite, Pecan, and Ash. This limited variety of fiature trees will help achieve the objective of restoring the spirit of the historic landscape and reinforcing the dominance of these tree types within the park's existing landscape.

An examination of the park today reveals that many of these elements are either missing or are in a condition indicative of extremely poor maintenance. Fort Lowell Park, a district park serving the needs of residents within an approximate three-mile radius

(further to the north due to the lack of recreational facilities), is a major destination or recreation seekers. It deserves to be studied with regards to its effectiveness in the provision of recreational facilities, not only for the well being of its users, but also for every other park user in the City of Tucson.

Fort Lowell Park-Current Evaluation

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Fort Lovy-cU Park is located in the northeast portion of Tucson, and represents the only major recreational facility in the Fort Lowell area. This park, traditionally characterized as a district park, serves more than a three mile radius. Since residents of the foothills to the north do not have a park nearby, the majority of them use Fort Lowell

Park. This places greater stress on the park, and places greater demand for the refurbishment of existing facilities and the construction of new ones. Fort Lowell Park is also unique in that not only is it a recreational facility, but also it is a site of historical significance and as such maintains a unique character. The park is also unique for another reason. This reason epitomizes an issue which is now being strongly debated in Tucson today. That is, the growing faction of residents who want future parks in Tucson to be developed with sports fields as opposed to those who wish to protect the natural environment and desire parks consisting of primarily natural open space. Fort Lowell Park is fortunate enough to fit both descriptions, with its more active western portion and more passive, natural eastern portion. It is for this reason that I have chosen to pursue a userstudy of Fort Lowell Park and identify the likes and dislikes of the its users. My hope is to discover trends and important issues which will not only be pertinent to Fort Lowell Park but also to other parks in Tucson. Ultimately, I wish to establish guidelines for park development based on my findings and observations of Fort Lowell Park. These guidelines may be used for making improvements to Fort Lowell Park or may also be used to guide future park development. I will also closely address the use or non use of the riparian area at the eastern portion of Fort Lowell Park. As the City of Tucson explores the creation of a greenbelt in peripheral areas as well as along the bank of its washes and

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dry rivers, this area at Fort Lowell Park my hold great significance in molding the way we think about the present and future development of our precious open space.

Circulation and Parking Patterns for Automobiles

The park has four primary entrances for vehicles, with the main entry being off of

Craycrofl Road and three subsidiary entrances off Glenn Street. The park does not contain any intra-park drives which are connected; as such, the park relies on Craycrofl Road and

Glenn Street as principle connectors between park use areas. The eastern most entrance ofif Glenn Street is linked with the entrance off Craycroft Road by the large parking lot situated at the approximate center of the park activities/facilities. All parking lots are accessed by long linear drives which cut through the park. There are no dead ends and subsequently vehicular traflBc can move with relative ease.

The main entrance on Craycrofl Road is important to look at further since it is the primary entrance to the park. If arriving by automobile, the driver will access the park by turning off Craycrofl Road (there is no turning lane by the way). They will pass through a black wrought iron gate supported on either side by large stone columns. Tiny Capsule

Eucalyptus trees fi'ame the entrance. The sign for the park is wood, and is easily seen firom the road.

With regards to the structure of each parking lot, all employ ninety degree parking stalls, and most are double loaded. Speed bumps have been installed throughout the park in an attempt to keep vehicular speed at a safe level.

Pedestrian Movement

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The primary pedestrian circulation system consists of an informal path which runs for the most part around the perimeter of the park. It is constructed of packed soil, except for an area in the southwest corner of the park where it is made of concrete. It is not clearly marked, and the path is not connected throughout the entire site.

Otherwise, the movement of pedestrians is linked to the circulation patterns for the automobile. The park has arranged its parking is situated near all the major facilities; thus, reducing the need for walking great distances. There are no established walking paths at the park, and there are no paths which lead park users away from the parking lots. Flat, open, grassy areas serve as the primary means for people to move around the park.

The entrances to the park are intended for use primarily by vehicles; there are no sidewalks along Craycroft Road or along Glenn Street. There are also no paths which serve to move people from the outskirts of the park to the inside.

Relationship of Recreational Uses to Automobile and Pedestrian Movement

The proximity of parking lots to park use areas or park activities dictates the intensity of use placed on the parking area. The main lot is the most intensely used due to its central location and direct access from the park's main entrance from Craycroft Road.

The main lot is also located near most park activities and facilities (pool, ramadas, etc.)

It appears that parking lot near Craycroft Road is the least used parking lot; its location in relation to park activities and facilities and problems with ingress/egress niakes the use of the lot less desirable. It primarily serves the soccer field just to the east. The central parking lot is conveniently located near many of the park facilities, including

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Softball fields, tennis courts. The parking lot to the east end of the park site serves the arts and crafts center, the riparian woodland, ramadas and the Hohokam exhibit.

In general, the ramadas at the park are located near the parking lots, making it easy for people who must unload things for picnics or other social gatherings.

Pedestrians who come from their vehicles will find the close proximity of the parking lots to activities a convenience. If they are walking the park, they will need to use the flat, open grassy areas previously discussed.

Range of Recreational Opportunities

The park serves the desired recreational needs of a variety of ages. The play area for children is equipped with climbing apparatus, slides, swings (it is particularly suited to children in the age range of 1 to 5). There are adequate open spaces for older children

(ages 5 to 9) to run around and play. However, there is a lack of play apparatus specifically intended for use by older children. Through observation as well as through my survey and personal interviews, it is obvious that parents are concerned about this issue.

There are obvious conflicts between older children and younger children. The younger children are often pushed around and are sometime too intimidated to play on the equipment.

There are tables situated near these play areas for adults to use as stations from where they can supervise their children. The soccer fields serve a wide variety of ages, and the same can be said of the ball fields appropriate for soft ball or little league. The swimming facility of course serves to provide recreation for all ages. The arts and crafts section is probably used more by adults than children.

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The eastern portion of the park exists as a largely undiscovered and uncelebrated portion of the park. It is an area where the park abuts the Pantano Wash. Presently, there is a loose assortment of walking trails in the area, probably part of the path which is intended to run along entire perimeter of the park, but does not. Recently, probably within the last year, a new ramada was built in this area. However, it's surroundings are less than ideal. There are no shade trees provided, and in fact, there is little vegetation period. The ramada location could be made more desirable. Also in this area is a stream, which was created through the introduction of reclaimed water. This stream starts near the parking area and meanders downhill until it reaches a small lake. There are palm trees and an assortment of grasses, as well as other riparian species which contribute to the lush look of the area. There is plenty of shade, and the area is far away from the sports fields, and thus suffers from no excess noise or activity.

Relationship of Recreational Uses to Each Other

The park can be characterized as having two broad zones. The first zone is the western half of the park, doniinated for the most part by active play activities, including soccer, tennis, and soflball. The other half is far more passive, as it contains a pecan orchard, arts and crafts center, and a riparian area in the Pantano Wash. These two zones ensure that conflicts between passive and active users of the park are minimized.

Ramadas are conveniently situated near the children's play area, though there could be more. For those exploring the historical sites of the park, the museum is highly visible from Craycroft Road, is easily accessed from the main parking lot, and enjoys separation from an adjacent soccer field.

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Conflicts in Circulation Movement

Vehicular circulation is generally positive around the site; vehicles can easily access the site from either Craycroft Road or Glenn Street. Once inside the park, vehicles can move easily and not get trapped in their search for an available spot.

Pedestrians can move around the site freely and there are adequate spaces for movement that do not introduce conflict between the pedestrian and activities.

Conflicts in Use Relationships

The most apparent conflict at the park is between the children's play area and the road which connects the central parking lot with Glenn Street. The potential for children to run into the road is good, resulting in possible injuries. General observation showed that children often wander off and become perilously close to the road. There is construction occurring in the eastern portion of the park, providing more active recreational facilities. This could detract from the passive quality that this portion of the park now enjoys. There are no other major conflicts with regards to the facilities present at the park.

Special Uses

Fort Lowell Park is home to the annual Fort Lowell Shootout youth soccer tournament, with 1999 celebrating the tournament's ninth year. The tournament is a three-day shootout, hosting teams and children, mostly under 13 years of age, from all over the world. This year, the tournament drew about 5,000 children from nine states and foreign countries such as Mexico, England and Poland. Fort Lowell Park serves as the tournament headquarters, hosting soccer games as well as the opening festivities.

Another special event held at the park is the annual car show. At this event, antique cars are displayed, and the public is welcome to come and look at the vintage automobiles. Yet another event is the annual craft show.

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FORT LOWELL PARK SURVEY RESULTS

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Fort Lowell Park User Survey-Results

The results of the Fort Lowell Park user survey are listed as follows:

1. Overall, how many hours per week do you and your household members engage in recreational activities away from your home?

10% 1-3 35% 2-4 28% 5-7 10% 7-10 17% More Than 10

2. Given the time you and the members of your household have to spend on recreational activities, would you say that Fort Lowell Park and its facilities are adequate to serve your needs?

83% YES 17% NO

3. How often do you visit Fort Lowell Park?

45% Weeklv 35% Monthly 20% Other

4. What is the primary reason that you visit Fort Lowell Park?

58% It is near your home.

55% It offers the types of recreational activities you and/or your family desire.

30% Other. Please explain...

Note: 30% of respondents answered yes to both the first and second options.

5. What activities do you or your family members undertake when visiting Fort Lowell

Park? (please check all that apply)

73% Children's Play Area

28%_Tennis Courts

55% Lake Area

23% Picnic Areas

25% Soccer Fields

10% Baseball Fields

10% Pool n^Riparian Area

15% Wdking Path

23%_Access to River parks

33%_Fairs/Other Events

25%_Historic Buildings

6. Do you or the members of your household participate in any organized recreational sports? Please list the outdoor sports in which your household participates:

Activity/Sport # Who Participate

Adults/Children

Frequency of Involvement

See Research Questions-Analysis section for results.

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7. How many times in the last week have you or your household members been to any

Tucson park, including Fort Lowell Park?

15% 0 30% 1 48% 2-4 5% 5-7 2% 7-10 0% More Than 10

I am also interested in your thoughts on improvements that would make Fort Lowell Park a better place for you and your children. The following two questions are open-ended:

8. Can you identify needs that your household has for new park facilities, activities, or programs that are not being met at the present time?

See Research Questions-Analysis section for results.

9. Can you name any improvements in Fort Lowell Park that would benefit your household?

See Research Questions-Analysis section for results.

10. Assuming that that the City of Tucson has funds and sites for new park development, which scenario would you prefer? (circle one) a) The city develops new parks with soccer fields, baseball fields, pools and recreation centers.. .13% b) The city develops new parks primarily of natural open space... 10% c) The city develops a strategy to promote new sites consisting of both sports fields and natural open space...77%

11. The following are comments which have been made about Tucson parks. Please read each statement and tell me if you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree, or if you have no opinion on it.

Strongly

Agree

Strongly Don't

Agree Disagree Disagree Know a) Fort Lowell Park's facilities are clean and well maintained. 10% b) Fort Lowell Park is safe to use at night. c) Fort Lowell Park has too

2%

60%

23%

18%

28% 3% 33%

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many ball fields and not enough natural open spacc. 5% d) Fort Lowell Park is crowded. 2% e) Fort Lowell Park is safe from vehicular traffic. 5% f) Citizens do not have enough say in the planning of parks and recreational facilities. 5%

35%

23%

50%

35%

60%

33%

7%

2%

2%

38% 20% 0%

12. Would you support a bond election for improvements in parks and recreational facilities, including Fort Lowell Park?

85% YES 15% NO

10%

5%

5%

30%

13. Would you be willing to pay a user fee for Fort Lowell Park if you knew that the money would be spent on making improvements to the park?

58% YES 42% NO

14. The quality of the park experience may be improved if parking is kept to the perimeter of the park. It would mean that less conflicts would occur between cars and people, and would also allow for a more natural setting by preserving the natural space to the interior of the site. However, it would also mean that you, the park user, would have to walk fiirther to reach activities. Would you be willing to walk a bit further from your car to reach park facilities?

90% YES 10% NO

Finally, I would like to ask you a few questions for statistical purposes only;

15. How old are you?

0% Under 20

13% 20-30

48% 31-40

28% 41-50

10% 51-60

1% Over 60

16. How many children do you have?

5% None

28% One

43% Two

20% Three

4% Four

0% Five Or More

17. Approximately how far do you live from Fort Lowell Park?

10% Within '/2 Mile

5% '/2 Mile To 1 Mile

35% 1 Mile To 3 Miles

50% More Than 3 Miles

18. Are you..

48% Employed Full Time

30% Employed Part Time

0% Retired

2% A Student

0% Unemployed

20% A Homemaker

0% Do Not Wish To Answer

19. What is your primary racial or ethnic identity?

83% White/Anglo ^Asian/Oriental

5% Hispanic/MexicanAmerican

2% Black

^Other

10% Do Not Wish To Answer

20. Which of the following categories describes your household income?

2% Under $20,000

28% S20.000-$40.000

35%7$41.QOO-$80.000

25% Over $80,000

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RESEARCH QUESTIONS-DISCUSSION

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Now that the results of the survey have been tabulated, I have gone back to the original research questions and attempted to formulate answers. The answers to these questions will then lead to fijrther discussion of Fort Lowell Park and its facilities. These discussions, found in the next major section of this thesis, will form the basis of and justify the creation of the design guidelines upon which future parks in Tucson might be developed. The answers to the research questions now follow:

Do people prefer the development of parks with natural open space or sports fields?

It is clear from the resuhs of the survey that people are essentially split in their opinions regarding the development of parks into open space versus formalized sports fields. There is a strong desire by park users for both types of facilities. 77% of survey respondents felt that park ought to be developed with both sports fields and natural open space. Recent developments in park design in Tucson have brought to light the fact that there is a strong group of people in town that want parks developed as open space. This group has received a great deal of media attention, and has made it appear that perhaps more people prefer this type of development. However, the results of the survey as well as conversations with park users reveal that there is also a group of park users that desire ball fields to fiilfill their recreational needs.

One suggestion for fiilfiUing the needs of both groups may be the development of special recreational facilities, consisting of either sports fields or natural open space. A facility with only sports fields might be developed and restricted to areas away fi-om those residential in nature. Ideally, they ought to be located in more commercial areas where increased noise and light levels will not disturb the sanctity of home sites. These special

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facilities should also not be built in areas of historical significance. They should not be built in areas with a preponderance of protected or significant vegetation. And they should not be built in areas where extensive grading must occur in order to place the ball fields.

The park containing only natural open space might be built in an area that would be unsuitable for sports fields, such as a site with steep slopes, an abundance of sensitive vegetation, or great historical significance. These sites would allow the designer to design with the land, rather than forcing a use which may be inappropriate and too costly to build.

What types of activities do tiie most frequent users participate in?

The top five activities at Fort Lowell Park are as follows: the children's play area, the lake area, fairs/other events, tennis courts, tie between soccer fields and historic buildings, and finally a tie between picnic areas and the river parks.

Do people use the park to access recreational opportunities within the wash area by

Pantano Wash?

Based on the survey results, 23% of the respondents use Fort Lowell Park to access recreational opportunities within the wash area by Pantano Wash.

Do people who live the furthest from the park feel that there are not enough park facilities within the city?

Through cross-analysis of questions in the survey (question #17 and question #8), nearly 60% of respondents who live more than three miles fi"om Fort Lowell Park feel that

Tucson lacks adequate numbers of park facilities. 79% of these respondents answered that Fort Lowell Park meets their recreational needs. Upon first beginning this thesis, one

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of my goals was to discover more about the methods that the Tucson Parks and

Recreation Department uses to determine when and where new park facilities are needed.

This process has been thoroughly covered in a previous section of this thesis. After understanding this process through reading material and personal conversations v^dth employees of the Parks and Recreation Department, I felt that there may be areas within

Tucson that did not have adequate park coverage. Although the Parks and Recreation

Department seems to have a formula for ensuring open space and recreational opportunities within close proximity to all Tucson area residents, it is obvious from this cross analysis that those areas lying in roughly a five-mile radius from Fort Lowell Park lack adequate park coverage. This necessitates that they travel to the nearest park (Fort

Lowell Park) to satisfy their recreational needs. Fortunately, however. Fort Lowell Park meets these needs. It provides a variety of recreational opportunities, ranging from soccer games to nature walks, and helps to make up for the lack of adequate numbers of park facilities.

Is there a relationship between frequency of use and park satisfaction?

It is found through the survey that regardless of frequency of use, the large majority of park users are satisfied with Fort Lowell Park.

Are there recurring themes with regards to park improvement? If so, do these people support bond elections or user fees?

Questions #'s 8 & 9 of the survey were intended to allow respondents the chance to provide feedback and ideas on park improvement. Upon tabulating the results of the survey, several recurring themes were found and will be elaborated upon further.

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First, as indicated by question #5 of the survey, the children's play area is the most heavily used area of Fort Lowell Park. It is not a surprise that this is the area of the park that generated the most comments and ideas for improvement. Among the improvements mentioned by the respondents are: a fence to enclose the play area; the relocation of the play area away from the road that serves as a park entrance from Glem Rd.; more

"adventure" type playground equipment which possibly might include pit houses such as those used by the Hohokam Indians; better slides; and play structures dedicated to older children. The current playground is suitable for children to perhaps the age of five. It lacks any equipment or play structures appropriate for larger and older children.

The children's play area is also an area for parents, since they must engage in the supervision of their children as they play on or near the facilities. It is evident that the respondents of the survey are not fiilly satisfied with the facilities currently provided for the parents. Many respondents expressed a need for more comfortable seating. They also expressed a need for more shade trees near not only the seating, but also near the play equipment as well. Tucson possesses a climate which offers the opportunity to recreate outdoors year-round, and conditions should be created that allow park users to recreate in comfort. Deciduous shade trees are a logical choice, providing relief from the blistering summer sun, yet allowing for warmth of those cooler winter days.

Another recurring theme found in the survey results involved sitting areas, food, and shade. Respondents reported that Fort Lowell Park lacks an area where people can sit, read, people watch, or just relax. This area logically might also be one where food would be served and a sitting area provided for dining.

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Another area for improvement involves the riparian area at the eastern portion of the park. Since people feel strongly about open space and recreational opportunities within it, it was communicated through the survey that people want more walldng trails, jogging and biking paths, multi-use paths, and exercise trails. They also want more sitting areas and picnic areas within the riparian area.

Other items mentioned in this portion of the survey include the following:

• additional Softball fields

• multi-use path around the perimeter of the park

• preservation of natural areas

• additional tennis courts

• more/cleaner drinking fountains

• cleaner restrooms

• bicycle area for tots

• lighted fields

• improved parking lot facilities

• area for skateboarding and roller-blading

• better pool

100% of the respondents who answered question #' 8 and 9 also support bond elections for improvements in parks and recreational facilities in Tucson.

Are people wiiiing to accept parking along the periphery of the park (consequently walking further to facilities) to improve the park experience?

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Yes, 90% of respondents are willing to park along the periphery of the park, hence walking a bit further to park facilities, to improve the park experience. This shows a strong commitment by the park user to sheltering the parks in the city from the outside harsh elements, including the automobile.

Are park users satisfied with the balance between passive and active recreation areas?

The response to question #1IC answers this question quite clearly. It seems that people are equally split when it comes to deciding whether Fort Lowell Park has too many ball fields. 35% say that it does and 35% say that is does not. This seems to once again indicate that there are roughly equal number of park users who desire natural open space versus sports fields. It does seem, however, that at Fort Lowell Park, the natural riparian area at the eastern portion of the park remains relatively unknown. Through casual conversations and informal interviews with park users, many were not aware of the riparian woodland area (as it is signed at the park). This area deserves to be used more and should become a more prominent part of Fort Lowell Park.

Is there a need/desire for more sitting/conversationai/interaction/people watching areas?

Yes, as evidenced by respondents who answered questions #8 and 9, there is a need for more social and interactive space at Fort Lowell Park. I also gathered feedback on this issue through casual interviews. Many people expressed the desire for more social spaces, away firom the sports fields and children's play area. There are people who use the park who do not have children and are not sports minded, but who want to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors or the company of others. A central plaza with seating, shade

trees, and perhaps even food would seem appropriate for Fort Lowell Park, and appreciated by its users.

Are there park users who utilize both the passive areas (open spaces, riparian area) and the sports flelds?

Through cross-analysis of questions 5 & 6 and 8 & 10, it is found that only 5% of respondents use both the soccer/baseball fields and the riparian area/river parks. It is obvious that people generally are focused on one type of recreation; it should be noted that this focus may change depending on life circumstances (children get older and begin to play fonmal sports, or children get older and parents recreate on their own, etc.)

Is there a relationship between those users who feel that the public does not have enough input in park development and frequency of park use?

No, there does not seem to be any strong relationship here. The point that can be made, however, is that 30% of respondents did not know if citizens have enough say in the planning of parks and recreational facilities. As evidenced by recent events in Tucson with regards to new park development, it seems fair to say that citizens are becoming more involved in the planning process of parks. Citizens feel more passionate about their recreation and outdoor experiences, and subsequently want more involvement in the processes that create these recreational spaces.

Research Question Analysis as a Foundation and Justification for the Creation of

Park Design Guidelines

Now that the original research questions have been answered through analysis of the survey results, I have a greater understanding of park user's feelings regarding the

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adequacy of the facilities at the park and the recreational opportunities afforded by it.

However, the work of this thesis is not done. Another goal of this these is to produce a set of design guidelines which will promote successful park sites. I feel justified in producing these guidelines for several reasons. First, I have uncovered several major issues and trends through analysis and cross-tabulation of survey responses. These issues and trends represent what is important to the park user, and deserve to be addressed further. Also, by producing a set of design guidelines, I will reinforce what is wanted by the user in parks. By providing ideas and strategies within the design guidelines, I will encourage the park planning and design process to abide by what is desired by the park user. These guidelines are intended not only for the redevelopment of Fort Lowell Park, but also for the planning, design, and development of new park facilities across Tucson.

DESIGN GUIDELINES

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One of the goals of this thesis is for the author to gain a thorough understanding of the needs and wants of the typical park user. It is the user, who, in effect, is the reason that a park site is developed. Once the user is understood, or at least once a general comfort level is developed regarding the desires of the park user, another set of issues must be comprehended. These issues center on design and development of the various components of the park site itself, such as the children's play area, a sitting area, and passive area. The design itself must meet several criterion, including both functional and aesthetic considerations, with the ultimate goal being a combination of the two to satisfy the senses of the people, the users of the park. After all, the Landscape Architect wishes the park not only to be used, but also to be experienced. The following section covers guidelines which the author has established as being critical to the successful planning and design of a park.

General Considerations

The following is a broad overview of issues which must be considered by the park designer. The first involves purpose. The park itself is being designed for a purpose, which is that people desire parks for recreation, sport, and relaxation. All of the elements of the park, the natural elements (land, water), the use areas (ball fields, parking lots, walks), the major structures (buildings), tlie minor structures (benches, fountains), must all be designed with purpose (Rutledge, 1971). It must be realized that no single part works in isolation, but rather they work together to make the park site and experience for those who use it.

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Also, since land is a premium these days, no part of the site should be wasted. All parts of the site must have a use, whether it be passive or active. And appropriate uses should be assigned to areas of the site, such that sports fields occupy the relatively level portions of the site, while areas with topographic variety be used for walking paths, for example.

The relationship of use areas to other use areas is essential to a well working park.

By locating common uses together and segregating them from non-compatible use areas, activity enjoyment is enhanced. Also, movement orientation is simplified. Those park users wishing a particular type of recreation will find themselves in an area offering a fiillrange of recreational pursuits. And finally, supervision is simplified. The designer is on the road to successful design if the matters of the relationship of use area to use area and use area to the park site are resolved in a logical and systematic manner (Rutledge, 1971).

Citizen Involvement

First and foremost, every future park planned and designed in Tucson must involve the participation of the citizens of Tucson, and not only local residents. In virtually all case studies, residents provided input and often times resistance that ultimately made the park a better place. (Urban Land Institute, 1997) The Tucson Parks and Recreation

Department must hold fi-equent public meeting and inform the public of decisions. As many of the issues/concems/needs/wants of the potential park users must be heard and every possible avenue should be exhausted to incorporate these ideas into the park design.

It must be assumed that for every person who wants parks developed as natural open space there, there is another person who wants parks developed as sports fields. Ideally,

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park sites adjacent to residential areas should incorporate both natural recreation areas as well as sports fields. The meetings also ensure that the park site is developed in a manner respecting the needs and desires of all users. Some of the goals of meetings with citizen groups and park officials involve the following:

•To develop a park site that satisfies community requirements.

•To develop a park which reflects the unique culture and character of Tucson and the Southwest.

•To ensure that no physical barriers limit access or participation.

•To maintain natural ecosystems and protect them fi'om the impacts of development.

•To employ energy and water efficient designs.

•To provide for the safety of park users and the security of park property.

•To protect the adjacent neighborhoods from an undue increase in noise or light.

•To make the site unique, and to build a sense of community pride in the facility.

•To encourage the development of volunteer programs to provide maintenance and upkeep of the park facility.

It is probably true that some park developers feel that involvement by the community holds up the planning and design process. However, it can be shown that communities feel more of a sense of ownership when they have been active participants in the development of the park (Urban Land Institute, 1997).

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If neighbors or community groups are active in not only the development and planning of a park, but also in the maintenance and upkeep of the facility, a sense of pride will be developed. This sense of pride translates into the maintenance of a park facility which continues to award pleasurable recreational experiences for the user. Through the analysis of the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department as well as through the Fort

Lowell Park user survey, one thing becomes quite clear. Parks are for people and used by people. The Landscape Architects and other professionals who plan and design parks and open space are doing so to meet the needs of people. People have the desire to recreate and enjoy the outdoors, but they do not have the tools to develop these spaces. They do, however, have the ability to develop a strong link with them and subsequently a great sense of pride. Of course there is park staff to maintain the park, but there is more to simple maintenance in maintaining a park's appeal. This appeal is a direct result of the energy focused on the park site by those people who use it most frequently.

This is not a new concept. In the early 1970's, President Richard Nixon promoted a Volunteers in Parks program (Phillips, 1996). These volunteers would assist in a variety of park upkeep tasks, including pruning, trash collection, and general park upkeep. They might also organize special events, or just help others in organizing labor intensive events.

Citizens of any city are to be viewed as allies who should be used to promote parks and open space management among other residents. Cities can promote Adopt-A-Park programs and become involved in maintaining and improving the park. As Margaret

Mead, columnist, says "We live in a society that always has depended on volunteers of different kinds—some who can give money, others who give skills, fiill time or part time.

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If you look closely, you will see that almost anything that really matters to us, anything that embodies our deepest commitment to the way human life should be lived and cared for, depends on some form—more often, many forms—of volunteerism." (Mead, 1975)

Circulation

The movement of people throughout the park is a key element to its design and uhimate success. A park provides activities and facilities which people must access to use; therefore, people must be able to access these facilities easily and without distracting others from their activities. The landscape architect then must do the following: anticipate flows, eliminate obstacles and confusion, provide unobstructed, well-defined and logical routes (Rutledge, p. 71)

The primary obstacles present in a park are use areas. Similar uses ideally should be placed next to one another, and likewise different and conflicting uses be placed at a distance. Furthermore, areas such as parking lots, should be strategically located such that they are used for parking only and not used as paths or shortcuts to access park sites.

This creates dangerous situations and potential conflict zones. Parking lots become a focal point since most people arrive at the park via the automobile. Although it is convenient to have them located at the center of the park, as is the case at Fort Lowell

Park, it can be demonstrated that parking on the periphery is a more sound design concept. It will do several things. First, it will eliminate any conflicts within the park, where users wish to access other facilities and travel thorough the parking lot to get there.

Also, it will actually increase the amount of usable park space since the number of

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collector streets necessary to connect the parking lots will be reduced. This means more green space within the park and a better park experience.

Parking

Parks are intended for use by individuals who desire open space, recreation, relaxation, and enjoyment of nature. People who use parks express their desire to find relief fi"om the automobile dominated urban environment. As such, parking for future park facilities should be designed at the periphery of the park. By confining it to the outskirts of the park site, conflicts between the automobile and park users will be reduced and the overall park experience will be enhanced. Park users will be able to enjoy more open space, and will encounter less asphalt pavement. In designing the parking configuration, the designer should consider placing several smaller lots near park facilities, rather than creating a large, centrally located parking lot. The road connecting the satellite parking lots will be two-way, of course, and will be designed using the minimum road widths permitted with subde curves emphasizing land forms and appealing views. This will serve to discourage high speed traffic through the park, thereby reducing noise levels and the potential for dangerous conflicts between park user and the automobile. The road should be lined with berms and plantings, including shade trees, thereby softening the presence of the asphalt and helping to blend it into the natural park environment. This road will further enable the park user the opportunity to drive by park facilities and determine where they wish to recreate. They then can locate the available parking closest to this activity.

Through the results of the author's survey, it was determined that there are certain activities which should be located fairly close to parking facilities. These areas are the

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children's play area and picnic facilities. The children's play area needs to be located within close proximity of parking, but not too close so as to create potentially dangerous conflict between playing children and passing automobiles. Since picnic goers usually have a lot of stuff such as coolers, food, barbecues, etc, it would be most convenient if the raraadas and picnic tables were close to the parking lots, making transportation of the aforementioned items easier.

Children's Play Area

There may be no single, more important element of a park than the children's play area. Subsequently, this area demands careful and well thought out design. It became apparent through the responses of those park users who filled out the survey that the children's play area is one of the most popular and widely used areas at Fort Lowell Park.

It deserves special attention and demands a design and facilities which allow for safe and enjoyable play for children of a variety of ages.

One of the most important improvements to be made to this area at Fort Lowell

Park involves that of safety. One of the entrances to the park (off Glenn Street) passes within twenty feet of the children's play area. This creates a potentially hazardous situation as children often wander toward the road and become endangered as they approach a place where vehicles drive into and out of the park. One solution is to fence off the area, thereby preventing any conflicts between children and vehicles. A better solution is to either relocate the play area away from the road or to reengineer the road to another location in the park. In short, the design solutions for this area should address a

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redesign of the road system in the park to reduce the chance for conflict and injury to children.

Another area of concern involves the play facilities themselves. As the area exists presently, there are adequate play facilities for children under the age of five years.

However, once beyond this age, children will find no adequate play apparatus available.

These areas must be designed to meet the needs of a range of ages, and ought not just address the needs of the pre-schoolers. It is proposed that first, the children's play area be segregated in such a way as to keep the younger children separate fi-om the older children.

Perhaps facilities ought to be designed such that preschool activities be in one area while 5 to 12 year old activities be in another. This will prevent any injury to younger children, and will allow children to find appropriate play activities with other children of similar ages. If need be, a physical barrier should separate the two areas, thereby reducing the opportunities for conflicts between the two age groups. However, access fi"om one area to another must be provided. It must be known that parents or guardians may be supervising more than one child, and children of different ages who may be using both play areas. Parents must be able to supervise both areas simuhaneously, and be near both areas in case their children should need them.

Also, the children's play area presents a unique opportunity to provide play activities that serve to allow children to use their imaginations and creativity. At Fort

Lowell Park, the site holds tremendous historical significance, which could be celebrated in this area. For older children, forts could be built which would emulate the old fort structures once present at this former military post. Or perhaps structures such as the pit

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houses used by the Hohokam Indians might be built. Children could use these structures for play.

The play equipment itself is obviously important to the success of the play area.

The designer ought to provide traditional play equipment, such as slides and swings, as well as more adventure type play equipment. A traditional piece of play apparatus which has decks, grab bars, rails, slides, and swings is more than adequate. Also to be included are sand boxes, game areas, and even a gathering place. This place might be used to gather a group of children for telling stories or special projects, both of which foster social development and cooperation among children. The other "adventure" type activities will be left to the creativity of the designer, and might include a small scale basketball court or baseball field, or a circular bicycle riding track. The area intended for use by older children should be designed to accommodate active, inquisitive children, who, although seeking a challenge, also need to succeed. This area should be made more challenging and interesting to older children so they will not be tempted to use the pre-school area.

Also, critical to the success of the children's play area involves location. As previously discussed in the parking design guidelines, the children's play area should be strategically situated conveniently near parking facilities. Also, if possible people passing by the park should be able to see the children's play area and see how much fun is being had at the park. This will encourage people to stop in and use the facility.

The area designated for parents and guardians is another integral part of the children's play area. This is the area where parents and guardians will spend their time, watching their children as well as socializing with other parents. Therefore, the area must

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be just as inviting to the adults as the play area is to the children. In addition, there should be plenty of shade trees and comfortable seating for parents/guardians to enjoy their supervision. This calls for plenty of comfortable seating and plenty of shade trees, especially in a climate as harsh as that of Tucson. The children's play area, then, is not only one of the most used facilities at the park, but also is one of the most challenging to plan and design. It's design requires careful thought in order to achieve appeal to the user.

The Entry

The entry to the site should be designed in such a way to "announce the site."

People on the outside must be drawn into the site, and an easy way to do this is to make the entrance pleasing and attractive. The entry should be made special through plantings, walls, gates, sculpture; something to let people know that there is something unique about this area and to entice people to visit. It does not have to be extravagant, but rather a simple idea that extends an invitation. The entry should not only accommodate the automobile, since it is the most popular means of transportation in accessing the parks in

Tucson, but also the pedestrian. Park users should not feel intimidated by the large trees which often line the edges of parks. Thus, shrubs and groundcovers, or even smaller trees which respect the human scale, could be used at the entry to lure those on foot or even bicycle.

Sitting Areas

Sitting areas are an important element to any social space, parks included.

Although many people come to parks to use the children's play areas, or to utilize the

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sports fields, or to exercise, many people seek quiet time or wish to spend time just conversing with others. These areas require spaces with seating, plenty of shade, food, and private and more open spaces. Perhaps most importantly, however, these places demand the right location.

Locations for seating are places where there are people, especially in areas where people can watch other people. In his research of activities in public plaza in New York

City, William H. Whyte found that people like to sit and have conversations, or sit in the mainstream of pedestrian paths and flows. He states: "All things being equal, you can calculate that where pedestrian flows bisect a sittable place, that is where people will most likely sit. And it is not so perverse of them. It is by choice that they do so. If there is some congestion, it is an amiable one, and a testimonial to the place." He also says:

"Circulation and sitting, in sum, are not antithetical but complementary." (Rutledge, 1971)

Seating should be placed within view of the action, but out of the way of the flow of pedestrian traffic. Placed in relation to other amenities, such as concessions, shehers, kiosks, telephones, waste receptacles, water fountains, and bathrooms, seating can be used as a way to create catalysts for social activity in particular areas. Providing a cluster of amenities attracts people and activity, and helps to increase people level of social comfort.

Social comfort, can in turn, help to facilitate spontaneous social interactions and activities.

The actual placement of benches and other seating types in relation to one another requires consideration, however. Research done by Project for Public Spaces suggests that benches tend not to be used when they face one another directly (Urban Parks

Institute, 1998) Similarly, lining benches up in a row makes it difficult for a group to have

110

a conversation. Where there are many passersby or where there is an outstanding view, however, benches in a row do work. In areas where handicapped people are likely to sit, benches should be spaced so that wheelchairs can be acconunodated on the side or front of the bench. This placement allows for people in wheelchairs to talk with people on the bench without being in the way of the passersby. People who use walkers also need space to rest their walker adjacent to the bench while they are seated. Placing movable chairs of lightweight seating gives people a choice to sit in the sun or shade, protection from strong winds, social distance, privacy or group sociability, providing people with a level of social comfortability by allowing them the opportunity to chose. William Whyte suggests that in addition to benches and chairs, choice should be incorporated into the design by maximizing the seating possibilities in the inherent features of the place. This means making ledges to be sittable or surfaces usable for multi-purpose such as tables (Urban

Parks Institute, 1998). Experimentation with the location and grouping of seating combined with evaluation is recommended to see what works well and what does not.

Seating by itself will not make these places successful, but they will certainly contribute to the atmosphere of the place as a passive or active social ground. If it is comfortable, then indeed one may say that it is successful.

Landscape History

The park itself should respect ecology and the cultural landscape history of its site.

The Landscape Architect designing the park facility should thoroughly research the history of the site and develop and understanding of how the land was used in the past. The site should be planned and designed in a manner which celebrates the prior use or uses of the

I l l

land. For instance, Fort Lowell Park is unique in that it fronts the Pantano Wash. In its present state, very few are aware of the wash and the many recreational opportunities it offers. This area should be made more prominent and should be a focal point of the park.

It is an area to view wildlife and a variety of diflferent plant species. It is an area to appreciate the rugged topography of the Tucson basin, and understand its complex system of dry washes and their purpose of removing water from the valley floor. And it is an area prime for picnicking, hiking, walking, or relaxing. Future park designers and planners ought to identify what makes its particular site unique, and then promote a concept which celebrates this feature. It can be simple, the goal is to make the place unique and allow for park users to associate with the site and in turn become repeated users.

Fort Lowell Park is also the former site of a Hohokam village as well as the military post known as Fort Lowell. The site was chosen due to its rich farm land and its location near two major washes, the Rillito and the Pantano. Currently, buildings remain from the old Fort Lowell, and provides a glimpse of life in the past. There are also remnants of the Hohokam village, such as pit houses and burial sites. These special landmarks are not integrated into the park facility as a whole, however. The buildings could easily be refurbished for use as sitting areas, picnic facilities, concession stands, or even play places for children. The Hohokam ruins are described to the park user through the use of informational plaques that arc placed near the pit house site. Once again, however, the site is situated in an area of the park where there is little trafiBc or use.

Consequently, the park user missed out on the opportunity to experience the history of site and perhaps enhance the overall park experience.

112

Water Features

Another important component of the successful park involves the use of water. As shown through the survey, the lake area is the second most used area at the park. Of course, water is a scarce resource in the Tucson basin, and its use should be practical and not wasteful. Water is an experiential attraction for most people, involving all senses except taste. The lake at Fort Lowell Park contains reclaimed water, which is used to irrigate the turf and to feed the small riparian area at the eastern end of the park. The use of turf, by the way, could also be limited to the sports fields and perhaps the children's play area, thereby providing appropriate recreational opportunities offered by grass, and promoting the important notion of water conservation. The lake in itself explains why so many people are attracted to it; park users seek relief from the heat by sitting in the cool grass and viewing the water. The water itself also provides a tranquil effect, and even provides recreation for children who feed the ducks. If possible then, a lake should become an integral part of the park design, as it provides recreational opportunities, and a certain tranquility, especially during the peak of the summer. It also is practical in its use as a reservoir from which to irrigate the park turf and vegetation.

Another use of water involves an interactive fountain or spray pad. This idea involves a flat, circular area where spray jets shoot water vertically at random times. It is fun for both children and adults, and provides a cool activity, especially desired during the hot summer months. The runoff from this spray pad could be collected and reused or could also be used to irrigate surrounding vegetation.

113

A final appropriate use of water involves tlie creation of a stream or riparian area.

Aqua Caliente Park on the east side of Tucson is an excellent example of a successfiil riparian area, which is actually fed by a natural spring. The area contains lush vegetation, plenty of shade, picnic areas, and recreational opportunities at the lake at the end of the stream, such as paddle boating and viewing of birds, fish and other wildlife. There is an area at the eastern portion of Fort Lowell Park, as previously discussed, which is very similar to this area at Aqua Caliente Park. The riparian area at Fort Lowell Park is, once again, not part of the most heavily used area of the park, and consequently does not get much use. It is, however, an excellent recreational opportunity, and should be made a more integral part of the park. Signs ought to be placed at the park entrance, announcing that Fort Lowell Park has a unique recreational facility. This may encourage park users to explore the area. Also, the road by which automobiles access the park should be directed in such a way that more people pass by the riparian area and in turn see its recreational value. Walking paths connected to the other parts of the park should pass through this area, and more sitting/picnic facilities should be placed in this area. Water has strong appeal, and the park user should be provided opportum'ties to enjoy it in both passive and active capacities if possible.

Funding

The traditional means of fimding the development of new parks and open space is no longer adequate to maintain the high quality recreational spaces that the people of today demand. The budgets of local, county, and Federal governments are burdened by many social travails, and as a consequence, the fimds available for park development have

114

diminished. Some city councils are still forward in their thinking, and realize that parkland when secured and located as it can be now at comparatively small expense, will in the near future add millions to the real estate value of the city (Urban Land Institute 1997).

Others, however, are not; but there are other options. Bond elections and user fees can contribute monies to the development of parks; however, other more unique and creative strategies must employed in order to raise the funds necessary for park and open space improvement.

CONCXUSION

115

116

The intent of this thesis was to study Fort Lowell Park, a typical district park in

Tucson, Arizona. In short, I wished to capture the thoughts and beliefs of the typical park user on current park issues and use trends. A set of research questions were formulated, and then needed to be answered. I felt that if these questions were answered, I would achieve an understanding of the park user as well as some of the greater issues present in the planning and design of today's park. This information was sought by production and administration of a survey, which contained three major areas; park use (who uses the park, how often, when they tend to use it, and why; attitudes, opinions, and problems regarding the park; and suggestions and ideas on how to improve the park. These answers to the research questions allowed me to focus on what is important to the park user, and what determines the success or failure of a park facility. These answers later served as the justification for the production of new design guidelines intended to steer the planning and design process in the direction of a successful park site.

As a means of concluding this thesis, I will list each research question individually, and provide a brief response based on the information obtained from the Fort Lowell Park survey.

Do people prefer the development of parks with natural open space or sports flelds?

77% of survey respondents feel that parks should be developed with both sport fields and natural open space; 13% feel that parks should consist of mostly sports fields, while 10% answered that parks should remain natural open space. When asked if Fort

Lowell Park has too many ball fields and not enough natural open space, 35% of the

117

respondents answered "yes" while another 35% answered "no." This indicates that roughly equal numbers of people desire sports fields as opposed to natural open space.

What types of activities do the most frequent users participate in?

The top five activities at Fort Lowell Park are as follows: the children's play area, the lake area, fairs/other events, tennis courts, a tie between soccer fields and historic buildings, and finally a tie between picnic areas and the riparian/wash area.

Do people use the park to access recreational opportunities within the wash area by

Pantano Wash?

23% of respondents answered that they use the park to access recreational opportunities within the Pantano Wash.

Do people who live the Furthest from the park feel that there are not enough park facilities within the city?

60% of survey respondents who live more than three miles fi"om Fort Lowell Park feel that Tucson lacks adequate numbers of park facilities.

Is there a relationship between frequency of use and park satisfaction?

No definitive relationship was found here.

Are there recurring themes with regards to park improvement? If so, do these people support bond elections or user fees?

Survey respondents reported that park improvement should primarily be concentrated in the following areas: the children's play area, sitting areas, and the wash area. 85% of survey respondents support bond election referendums, while only 58% support user fees.

118

Are people willing to accept parking along the periphery of the park (consequently walking further to facilities) to improve the park experience?

90% of survey respondents are willing to accept parking along the periphery of the park.

Is there a need/desire for more sitting/conversational/interaction/people watching areas?

Improved sitting areas is one of the popular requests when it conies to suggesting improvements for Fort Lowell Park.

Are there park users who utilize both the passive areas (open spaces, riparian area) and the sports fields?

Only 5% of survey respondents indicated that they use both sports facilities and the passive areas.

Is there a relationship between those users who feel that the public does not have enough input in park development and frequency of park use?

No strong relationship here; however, 30% of survey respondents are unsure as to whether citizens have enough say in the planning of park facilities. This seems to indicate that park users may be unsure as to the avenues available for providing input to the decision being made about parks.

In short, I feel strongly about parks and their impact on quality of life issues which are becoming more important as our cities grow, and urban areas consume suburban areas.

The park is a refuge used by the large majority of people not only in Tucson, but also across the United States. This research has clearly identified that parks are important to

119

people, and that citizens take pride in becoming involved in the planning, design, and management of park spaces.

I feel that Tucson needs to administer a survey city-wide which will identify how the city as a whole feels about parks and open spaces. The last survey conducted by the

Tucson Parks and Recreation Department was nearly a decade ago; much has changed over the last ten years, and these changes no doubt mean changes in the attitudes and needs of the park user. People seem to want to know that their local park agencies are interested in creating new and enjoyable park sites, and that they are compelled to maintain existing facilities as well.

I also feel that should others follow my research, it would be interesting to further explore the funding issues presently at hand. This thesis briefly touches on some of the new and innovative methods being explored to fiind new park sites. However, it would be of great value to take this a step further and actually pursue avenues which Tucson might take in the area of fimd acquisition for new park development.

And above ail, I would encourage all flirther research into the area of park plaiming, design, and management. Parks are an essential ingredient to the making of enjoyable lives. As a student of the profession of Landscape Architecture, this thesis has produced solutions which I am confident will work in real world applications. I also know that this thesis has contributed to my development as a professional in the field of

Landscape Architecture.

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APPENDIX 1

127

128

Tucson Parks and Recreation Department Policies and Procedures

It is worthwhile to examine in depth the workings of the Tucson Parks and

Recreation Department. The functions performed by the Tucson Parks and Recreation

Department are orchestrated by a director appointed by the City Manager. The following is a list of goals of the Tucson Parks and Recreation Department:

• Provide adequate opportunities for leisure enjoyment to the growing general population by mdntaining existing parks and related facilities, as well as developing new facilities.

• Offer recreational and cultural activities that meet a variety of needs for all ages and neighborhoods.

• Maintain and continue to improve the Reid Park Zoo for the public's enjoyment and education

• Maintain the beauty of street median islands and the grounds surrounding many public buildings of the City of Tucson (City of Tucson, 1989).

The Parks and Recreation Department in the City of Tucson serves to provide the city and its people with opportunities for beauty, relaxation and aaivities. The City of

Tucson is growing at a phenomenal rate, meaning that the existing facilities are being stressed by overuse; as the requirements for facilities increase, the city must provide services and facilities that appeal to the greatest number of people. The primary philosophy of the department has been and will continue to be to provide broad opportunities for all.

129

With regards to park planning on a national scale, national standards for parks and recreation facilities have been created primarily by traditional approaches to recreation planning which are closely tied to population and usage rate formulas. These formulas then prescribe facilities for certain population or involvement levels. In this format, commonly known as the "normative need method", recreation planners produce minimum standards for the provision of facilities. For example, a standard may say that one tennis court must be provided for every 5,000 people. It is generally accepted that this method may be arbitrary at best and does not serve the needs of the community as a whole (City of

Tucson, 1989).

APPENDIX 2

130

131

Fort Lowell Park User Survey

I am a graduate student in the Program of Landscape Architecture at The University of

Arizona. I am conducting research on parks in Tucson, and would like to know how you feel about the current condition of Fort Lowell Park and the Tucson park system in general. The information collected will help me better understand your needs, and help to ensure that the parks you visit are fun, safe and enjoyable. Please take time to help me learn more about your thoughts on Fort Lowell Park.

1. Overall, how many hours per week do you and your household members engage in recreational activities away from your home?

1-3 2-4 5-7 7-10 More Than 10

2. Given the tune you and the members of your household have to spend on recreational activities, would you say that Fort Lowell Park and its facilities are adequate to serve your needs?

^YES NO

3. How often do you visit Fort Lowell Park?

^Weekly Monthly Other

4. What is the primary reason that you visit Fort Lowell Park?

It is near your home.

It offers the types of recreational activities you and/or your family desire.

Other. Please explain...

5. What activities do you or your family members undertake when visiting Fort Lowell

Park? (please check all that apply)

.Children's Play Area

Tennis Courts

Lake Area

Picnic Areas

Soccer Fields

Baseball Fields

.Pool

.Riparian Area

Walking Path

.Access to River parks

Fairs/Other Events

.Historic Buildings

132

6. Do you or the members of your household participate in any organized recreational sports? Please list the outdoor sports in which your household participates:

Activity/Sport # Who Participate

Adults/Children

Frequency of Involvement

7. How many times in the last week have you or your household members been to any

Tucson park, including Fort Lowell Park?

^0 1

2-4

5-7 ^7-10 ^MoreThanlO

I am also interested in your thoughts on improvements that would make Fort Lowell Park a better place for you and your children. The following two questions are open-ended:

8. Can you identify needs that your household has for new park facilities, activities, or programs that are not being met at the present time?

9. Can you name any improvements in Fort Lowell Park that would benefit your household?

10. Assuming that that the City of Tucson has funds and sites for new park development, which scenario would you prefer? (circle one) a) The city develops new parks with soccer fields, baseball fields, pools and recreation centers... b) The city develops new parks primarily of natural open space... c) The city develops a strategy to promote new sites consisting of both sports fields and natural open space...

11. The followring are comments which have been made about Tucson parks. Please read each statement and tell me if you strongly agree, agree, disagree, or strongly disagree, or if you have no opinion on it.

Strongly

Agree

Strongly Don't

Agree Disagree Disagree Know a) Fort Lowell Park's facilities are clean and well maintained.

133

b) Fort Lowell Park is safe to use at night. c) Fort Lowell Park has too many ball fields and not enough natural open space. d) Fort Lowell Park is crowded. e) Fort Lowell Park is safe from vehicular traffic. f) Citizens do not have enough say in the planning of parks and recreational facilities.

12. Would you support a bond election for improvements in parks and recreational facilities, including Fort Lowell Park?

^YES ^NO

13. Would you be willing to pay a user fee for Fort Lowell Park if you knew that the money would be spent on making improvements to the park?

YES NO

14. The quality of the park experience may be improved if parking is kept to the perimeter of the park. It would mean that less conflicts would occur between cars and people, and would also allow for a more natural setting by preserving the natural space to the interior of the site. However, it would also mean that you, the park user, would have to walk further to reach activities. Would you be willing to walk a bit fiirther from your car to reach park facilities?

Finally, I would like to ask you a few questions for statistical purposes only:

15. How old are you?

^Under20

^20-30

^31-40

^41-50

^51-60

^Over 60

16. How many children do you have?

None

One

^Two

^Three

Four

Five Or More

17. Approximately how far do you live from Fort Lowell Park?

^Within V^ Mile

Vi Mile To 1 Mile

1 Mile To 3 Miles

^More Than 3 Miles

18. Are you..

Employed Full Time

^Employed Part Time

Retired

A Student

Unemployed

A Homemaker

Do Not Wish To Answer

19. What is your primary racial or ethnic identity?

White/Anglo

Hispanic/MexicanAmerican

Black

Asian/Oriental

Other

Do Not Wish To Answer

20. Which of the following categories describes your household income?

^Under $20,000

^$20,000-540,000

^$41,000-$80,000

Over $80,000

THANK YOUl I APPRECIATE YOUR TIME SPENT IN ANSWERING MY

QXJESnONS!

ARE YOU INTERESTED IN RECEIVING THE RESULTS OF THIS SURVEY? IF

SO, PLEASE PROVIDE YOUR NAME AND ADDRESS BELOW:

134

REFERENCES

135

136

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Cranz, Galen. 1982. The Politics of Park Design: A History of Urban Parks in America.

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DeMaio, Bill. 1993. Meeting the Fitness Needs of the Inner City. Parks and Recreation, vol. 28, no. 5, p. 23.

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137

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Times, vol. 140, March 12, P. A1(L), col. 1.

Gold, Seymour M. 1974. Fate of Urban Parks. Parks and Recreation, vol. 11, no. 10, pp. 22-28.

. 1980. Recreation Planning and Design. McGraw-Hill Book Company,

New York, 322 pp.

Gray, David E. and Seymour Greben. 1974. Future Perspectives. Parks and Recreation, vol. 9, no. 6, p. 12.

Guggenheimer, Elinor C. 1969. Planning for Parks and Recreation Needs in Urban

Areas. Twayne Publishers, 261 pp.

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Chicago, IL, 492 pp.

Landscape Architecture. 1991. The Reality of Space, vol. 81, no. 1, p. 60.

Langdon, Phillip. 1995. The Leading Edge of Parks. Landscape Architecture, vol. %5, no. 3, p. 74.

Lazarus, Bruce I. and Jane Kaufinan. 1992. How Are We Doing? Parks and Recreation, vol. 27, no. 9, p. 80.

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Park. Journal of Leisure Research, vol. 27, no. 2, p. 155.

Mead, Margaret. 1975. "Do We Really Need Volunteers?"

1975:60.

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138

Martin, Douglas. 1997. Good Overall Report Card for Public Parks and Playgrounds.

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9-10, Sept-Oct, p. 19(2).

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Parks and Recreation, November 1998.

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Parks and Recreation, November 1997.

Phillips, Leonard E. 1996. Parks: Design and Management. McGraw Hill, New York,

229 pp.

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12(2).

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Quinlin, Michael P. 1993. Boston Parks—Still Bringing Them In. Parks and Recreation, vol. 28, no. 9, pp. 76-82.

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Leisure Services^ John Wiley & Sons, NY, 486 pp.

Rothstein, Mervyn. 1993. Creating Parks in a Crowded Metropolis. The New York

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