After the City of Tucson sold more than 170 acres of land to a developer, local cyclist groups are working to preserve the mountain biking trails in the area known as Fantasy Island Trails Park.
Mattamy Homes paid the City of Tucson $8.26 million for 173 acres of land in the Houghton Road Corridor. The developer plans to build a community of homes centered around an active lifestyle.
As far as the Fantasy Island trails go, the developer says they will work to preserve as many of the trails as possible. At this point, the development will not be removing any trails completely, and any trails that need to be disrupted will be rerouted.
Hank Rowe is a member of the non-profit Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, which works to build and preserve bicycling trails throughout Tucson.
The group has worked for ten years on building and preserving Fantasy Island. Rowe said while he is not concerned about losing trails at this point, he plans to stay active throughout the building process to ensure the preservation of the space.
"We're not going to assume that everything is rosy and wonderful and just let it happen, but we're having meetings and the best part is, the developers see the importance of trails and want to keep that element as much as possible," said Rowe.
The Mattamy Homes development will not begin construction for at least another 18 months.