Pima County Natural Resources Parks & Recreation conducts weekly Bird Walks at Agua Caliente Park every Thursday. The walk start time varies depending on the time of year and is listed on the Events Calendar. Bird Walks will be suspended at the Park from May through July or August due to Main Pond restoration at the Park. There will be walks offered in the Catalina Mountains on certain dates. Check the calendar for additional information and updates. Registration is required at: Pima County NRPR Registration
Check out the three historic buildings at Agua Caliente Park. The Ranch House is generally open to the public for touring and Art Gallery viewing several days during the week (operating hours are at the bottom of most of the webpages). The Rose Cottage and Bunkhouse are not open except for special events/activities, but you can see them through our pictures using the below link.
Overview. The Main Pond Restoration began late April 2019 when Pima County stoped pumping ground water for the Main Pond. The pond slowly drained. The contractors began the process of cleaning and shaping the Pond. During the restoration process when heavy equipment will be operating, the park may be closed. To minimize when the park is fully closed, Pima County may close portions to public access as specific tasks are completed. Please respect any fencing around the main pond. The County anticipates the timeframe of partial and full closures to be for a period up to four months. Closure notices will be posted at the front gate in advance and updates/notices posted on the Pima County NRPR Agua Caliente Park website and here on FOAC’s website. You can get additional information by calling Pima County NRPR at (520) 724-5000 M-F during business hours or from the Pima County NRPR Agua Caliente Park website at: Pima County NRPR Agua Caliente Park.For current pictures of the Pond 1 restoration, visit the Pond 1 Gallery page using the Gallery menu or this link: Main Pond (Pond 1)
Agua Caliente Park Closure beginning August 19, 2019 for several months.
Update December 2019.
Here is an update from Pima County on the progress of Agua Caliente Park Pond 1 Restoration. There is no specific timeline for reopening the park, but hopefully soon.
The pond excavation and grading work are nearly complete, the initial base coat of the polymer liner has been applied, and the wildlife island has been constructed. The abutments for the bridge are under construction and access improvements are underway on the shore.
Work remaining includes final grading and filling of pond; application of 2nd liner coat; completing bridge abutments; and access improvements and landscaping. Bridge construction will be scheduled once the other elements are completed.
The Park received nearly 1.5 inches of rain in the first November storm and additional rain around Thanksgiving. These storms are causing some delays in the remaining construction work.
The Agua Caliente spring continues to flow at the present time and the flow appears to have increased as we move into the winter months. The spring flow continues to be diverted to Pond 2 or to native plant areas in the park.
See our Main Pond (Pond 1) link in the overview above for current pictures. For additional information, see the Pima County NRPR Agua Caliente Park website at: https://webcms.pima.gov/cms/one.aspx…. Then select Natural Resources Park then Agua Caliente Park.
Update October 2019. Phase 2 of the Pond 1 Restoration will start October 14 and extend through the end of November. Equipment will be used to grade and deepen the pond, hauling soil from Pond 3; install the polymer liner to reduce pond seepage and conserve water; and construct the wildlife island. Traffic control will be in place and may cause delays for vehicles using Roger Road. Residents are urged to reduce speeds and watch for flaggers. Agua Caliente Park will remain closed during this phase of construction.
Update August 2019. Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation has completed the first construction phase of the Pond 1 Restoration which included the removal of select palm trees and cattails and dredging the pond bottom. Closure of the entire park is currently anticipated to occur on August 19, 2019 for the second phase of construction which will include excavation and installation of a polymer-amended soil lining to the bottom and sides of the pond to reduce water loss, installation of a wildlife island, and replacement of the bridge to the current island. Closure for the entire park during this phase is anticipated to last several months.
Video Link of Stage 1 work is on our Video Gallery and the Main Pond Gallery Page.
Update July 2019. Restoration is in full swing. Palm trees have been thinned & trimmed and cattails removed. Some Tamarisk trees have also been removed. The Pond has been dredged and contouring has begun. Pond 2 is full. The spring and stream continue to flow but at a decreased rate. Water is diverted around Pond 1 to other areas of the park. So far, complete park closures have not been required but probably will be in the near future.
Update June 2019. Pima County NRPR will be closing sections of Agua Caliente Park beginning June 12 as part of the restoration project for Pond 1. Partial closures will be in place through June 14 and may extend into early week of June 17. Areas will be cordoned off around Pond 1 while palm tree removal occurs. The park will be open on the weekend.
Pond 1 is mostly dry. Some of the Cattails have been removed from the south end. This process will continue and work its way north as the pond continues to dry. With our extensive winter rains, the Spring/Stream started flowing again at a rate of about 30 gallons per minute. The staff built a dam at the lower end of the stream to divert the flow around Pond 1 and into Pond 2. The Ranch House will close early July (subject to change).
Update May 2019.The Main Pond continues to drain. Pima County constructed a dam to divert the stream flow (about 30 GPM) around the main pond to flow into Pond 2. Ponds 2 & 3 are full. The design contract (to develop the construction and landscaping plan) has been awarded. The Construction contract (dredging the pond, building the bridge, and restoring the island & building the wildlife island) should be awarded this summer. The Park will be closed when the cattails are removed and palm trees (around the main pond) thinned and when the heavy equipment (required for dredging/bridge building/island restoration/building) needs to be operated within the park. Pima County should post a closure sign at the front gate in advance of the planned dates and closure dates will be posted here and on the Pima County website.
Update April 2019. The Information meeting scheduled for May 2 has been cancelled. Updates will be posted here and on the Pima County website.
Update April 1, 2019. The Main Pond will continue to have some water pumped until after Easter Sunday (Easter is typically a busy day at the park). Shortly after that, the pump will be shut off and the Main Pond water level should begin to drop. There is an Information Meeting scheduled for Thursday May 2, 2019 at the Kirk-Bear Canyon Library (8959 E Tanque Verde Rd @ Tanque Verde & Bear Canyon) from 5:30 – 7:00 pm. Pima County Staff will be on-hand to answer questions.