Pima County Park with Historic Railroad Connection will Open on Wednesday, May 3rd
Esmond Station Regional Park will open Wednesday, May 3rd. As you may know, the park is named after the historic Southern Pacific Railroad and will serve southeast Tucson, Corona de Tucson, and Vail. Offered at the 274-acre location will be walking trails, five separate fitness stations with exercise equipment, and a ramada that can be used for picnics or other outings.
The 2004 voter-approved bonds funded the land acquisition for the “Southeast Community Park” as well as a master plan that calls for a library, sheriff’s substation, multiple softball and baseball fields, soccer fields, dog park, swimming facility, tennis courts, and the Esmond Station historic area – which will be developed in the future as funding becomes available.
The park is located near Empire High School on Mary Ann Cleveland Way, east of Houghton Road. Its ties to the railroad run deep. Several historic buildings in the area were part of the Esmond Station stop, which was constructed in the 1880’s along the Southern Pacific rail line through southern Arizona.
Esmond Station became notorious in 1903 when a deadly train wreck occurred near what is now Houghton Road. Two trains collided head-on, causing a fiery derailment that killed more than a dozen and injured many more. Also featured, is a one-mile long segment of the old Southern Pacific rail bed, the adobe crew quarters building, and foundations associated with other historic structures. A plaque, commemorating the lives that were lost that day can be found at the Pyramid Federal Credit Union at Houghton and Rita Road.
Undoubtedly, the southeast region has been under-served in terms of recreational space. I am excited to share that these amenities are just the beginning of a much larger plan to provide robust services to your community.