The Main Stream

Feb 7, 2013 11:02 PM by Sam Salzwedel

Rio Nuevo to pay $1.1 million to Mission Garden

TUCSON - Mission Garden will get $1.1 million after the settlement between the City of Tucson and Rio Nuevo District.

The City and Rio Nuevo have been fighting over the money for years. Voters passed Proposition 400 to create the district in 1999.

Mission Garden is on the West Side near Cushing Street and Grande Avenue.

The 4-acre site is the biggest continuously cultivated property in the United States. From Native Americans to Spanish missionaries, archaeologists found evidence of agriculture dating back 4,000 years.

A non-profit group called Friends of Tucson's Birthplace has raised money and rallied volunteers to restore the history. They built a brick wall around the garden like the one built by the San Augustin Mission.

Roger Pfeuffer lives on the West Side and is a board member for Friends of Tucson's Birthplace.

"I love the history of Tucson," he said. "I got into this because I think it's important for the children of this community to understand the history and culture."

He said the Garden will bring money to the Rio Nuevo District.

"This whole idea of cultural tourism and historical tourism is a huge part of the tourist industry," Pfeuffer said.

The end of the Rio Nuevo fight is happening just a few months before the Modern Streetcar construction is complete. West Side development is going to be very successful, according to Pfeuffer.

"It's been a very good day for Mission Garden," he said. "It's been a very good day for the friends and supporters of proposition 400, and it's been a very good day for the City of Tucson."

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