The $79,175 grant approved by Arizona Parks & Trails in May 2018 will soon be available to fund several projects that will beautify and increase the recreational value of both Doc Mock Park and Richardson Park.
The grant provides funding for six projects: splinter-free mulch in Richardson Park; a concrete pathway through Doc Mock Park; a ramada over the existing Doc Mock Memorial; five educational signs; a trail map sign; and three workshops.
All the funded projects are part of a master plan developed four years ago under the leadership of Caleb Weaver of Borderlands Restoration, L3C. The plan is the product of a collaborative effort by various community organizations and individuals and approved in concept by the Patagonia Town Council.
Under Weaver’s guidance, a draft implementation plan has been developed in cooperation with the town’s Tree and Park Committee and Town Manager Ron Robinson. Preference will be given to local contractors, crafts people and artisans to implement all components.
By far, the most expensive element funded by the grant is the six-foot wide concrete pathway that will meander in snake-like fashion the length of the park from Fourth Avenue to Beaty Lane, anchoring all elements of the improvements included in the master plan. At an estimated cost of $60,175, the pathway is scheduled for completion before this year’s Fall Festival.
Also slated for completion before the 2020 Fall Festival is the ramada to be erected over the Doc Mock Memorial at the east end of the park. The ramada’s metal posts will double as trellises to support climbing vines which, along with benches to be installed under the ramada, will create a shaded, visually appealing place for visitors to sit and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.
The five educational signs envisioned for the park will be patterned after the pollinator sign across the street from the Gathering Grounds and will interpret the natural and human history of the area. The trail map sign will show the hiking/walking trails in and around Patagonia. Borderlands Restoration Network is contributing $2400 toward the cost of signage.
Three workshops open to the public will be offered under the grant. Final decisions on topics to be covered have yet to be made but suggested topics thus far include fruit tree pruning, Doc Mock history, trail orientation, and concrete patch.
Barring unexpected impediments, all projects are expected to be completed by the end of 2021. All funds must be expended by June 30, 2022.
Approval of the grant was contingent on the town’s providing a cultural survey of the park grounds. The survey was underwritten by Borderlands Restoration Network at a cost of $3600 and revealed no significant cultural features on the site.