A #ONEHOURWALK IN GENE C. REID PARK
An Urban Oasis in the Heart of Tucson, Arizona
A Love Your Parks Tour #OneHourWalk Story by Nancy J. Reid and Lisa D. Smith, assigned by Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of the best-seller “Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story.”
It was the beginning of fall and we arrived early enough in the morning to watch the sun rise up and ignite the large fountain in the lake. It was beautiful morning magic coupled with the boisterous quacking and splashing of ducks and geese, as dogs walked their human families and the animals at the zoo next door alerted everyone to feeding time. There was a yoga group stretching out their weekday stresses, joggers running the lanes, eager birdwatchers focusing their binoculars, and park staff hard at work cleaning up after yesterday’s group gathering under the ramadas.
Warming up with movement, we walked around the two lake areas, and followed the paved pathways past the playgrounds, athletic fields and amphitheatre. We also spent some quality time in the rose garden where we were accompanied by a busy vermilion flycatcher who was on an avid hunt for breakfast among the early fall blooms. Our experience ended with a lovely picnic brunch, where we basked in the sunshine and watched all the happy people take pleasure in being active in their local park.
Spanning 131 acres that include 73 turfed acres and numerous shade trees, this historic park is named in honor of Gene C. Reid, the City of Tucson’s first Parks Director, who over his 30-year tenure expanded the city’s park system from 8 to 84 parks. With all of its amenities, it is no surprise that the park is on the Park RX list, a public health program under the National Park Service’s Healthy Parks Healthy People US initiative, which is a global movement to harness the power of parks and public lands in contributing to a healthy civil society.
When it comes to sports and athletics, the park is home to the Hi Corbett Field (home to Arizona Wildcats Baseball), 6 adult baseball fields and 1 adult baseball half field, 3 multi-purpose fields, and the Si Shorr segment of the Arroyo Chico Greenway, which is a developing urban trail. The park also features the Edith Ball Adaptive Recreation Center, a Therapeutic Recreation Center, the Georges DeMeester Outdoor Performance Center, and the award-winning Rose Garden that has over 100 species of roses and 800 individual plants. There are two ponds, a dog park, horseshoes courts and playgrounds, numerous picnic spots some with grills and ramadas, plenty of drinking fountains, and clean restrooms.
Gene C. Reid Park is located at 900 S. Randolph Way, Tucson, AZ 85716. For more information and a park map, see: https://www.tucsonaz.gov/parks/GeneCReidPark.
“Physical activity can lower your blood pressure, reduce your cholesterol, decrease your blood sugar and therefore your risk for diabetes, and overall reduces your chances of dying from heart disease related illness. The minimal goal for good heart health is 150 minutes per week of moderate physical activity or 75 minutes per week of vigorous physical activity.” Dr. Jacqueline Eubany, author of “Women & Heart Disease: The Real Story.”