Sabino Canyon could soon get a makeover - CBS46 News

Sabino Canyon could soon get a makeover

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TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - There could be some pretty big changes to Sabino Canyon in the near future. Forest Service officials are looking into ways to improve the experience there with an updated look.

A meeting was held tonight to discuss possible changes. Improvements to the parking lot, an expansion of the visitors center, adding more trails were among the several things discussed. These changes won't happen overnight and there still is the question about where the money will come from to pay for this, but officials are still looking ahead.

The beautiful desert scenery at Sabino Canyon is an international draw. 

"One time we came here there was a family, they spoke German, Japanese, and I think Greek! So yeah people come from all over the place to hike here,” said Alex Romo.

She is one of those hikers who comes here as often as she can. Especially during the winter months when it's not as hot out.

According to the U.S. Forest Service, there were 127,628 visitors between December and April. The daily average across those months is 871 people. Now, officials want to spruce things up for visitors. 

“We have a concept plan that was done in the 90's and quite frankly a lot of things have changed since then," said U.S. Forest Service spokesperson Heidi Schewel.
Forest officials held a meeting to ask the public how they want the recreation site to be managed and what they want changed.

Robert Kaufmann comes every summer to Tucson for Sabino Canyon from Boston to study reptiles. He'd like to see more trails created to allow access to some of the sites where reptiles are more popular.

“So one of the things that’s amazing about Arizona is that it has so many ecological zones. Especially here in Sabino Canyon, so if they can make sure they have a trail that goes through many zones or at least one trail that would goes through each zone, that would be great," said Kaufmann.

Also up for discussion? Updating the visitors center, turning the place into a mobile hot spot and using technology to educate visitors through apps.

“And then we will look at economic aspects, social aspects and environmental aspects to see what we actually want to implement,” said Schewel.

Schewel says there is no money designated for any of these potential projects at this time because it's still in the pre-planning stages. She said the comment period will go for thirty days and they would like to have a finalized draft concept plan by September.

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