Sweetwater Preserve

Sweetwater Preserve, ArizonaPhoto credit: Josh Schachter

In 2001, the Tucson Mountains Association approached TPL to help protect a rare 700-acre property, the largest remaining tract of undeveloped land in Tucson and home to several vanishing wildlife species including the cactus pygmy owl, desert tortoise, and Gila monster. In the preceding five years, 23 separate residential subdivisions had sprung up in the Tucson Mountains and time was running short.

In November 2002, TPL purchased the property and held it until 2004, when Pima County voters approved a $174-million open space measure, funding the land’s addition to the Sweetwater Preserve. Located three miles outside of Tucson's city limits, and just a 1/2 mile from both Saguaro National Park and the area's newest residential subdivision, the property offers hiking, wildlife viewing, and horseback riding opportunities for nearby residents and visitors.

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Since 1972, The Trust for Public Land has protected more than 3.3 million acres and completed more than 5,400 park and conservation projects.