El Rio Open Space SWOT Analysis

Project: El Rio Open Space SWOT Analysis and Recommendations Report

Client Name:Town of Marana

Project Description: El Rio Open Space (EROS) is approximately one hundred (104) acres, and contains a former Interstate 10 (I-10) borrow pit. The Town of Marana (TOM) and its citizens have expressed an interest in beautifying the area and converting the borrow pit into a lake. Based on current conditions, future projects, and desired objectives, HELM determined that the most critical issue for EROS is the threat of diminishing water sources that that would be used to maintain the pit at an effective lake operating level. Therefore, HELM determined that water conservation is a key priority to maintain a successful long term aquatic amenity. As such, HELM has identified and recommended three credible water harvesting and water conservation strategies that would mimic natural patterns of water retention and infiltration. These strategies include 1) holistic management, 2) strategic planting of native trees, and 3) low impact development. Other recommendations included implementing both partnering and income generating opportunities to meet both social and economic objectives expressed by the Town of Marana. HELM has identified four approaches that could offer multiple benefits, which include 1) creating a national wildlife refuge, 2) developing a wetland mitigation bank, 3) identifying wetland grants to support sustainable wetland objectives, and 4) establishing education and public outreach programs.