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Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve encompasses Oro Valley slogan: It's in our nature

Hiking trail
Posted at 11:14 PM, Nov 02, 2023

ORO VALLEY, Ariz. (KGUN) — The love for nature among Oro Valley residents is unwavering, and this passion may not be more apparent than with the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve—a former defunct golf course.

"We say that we have a high regard for public safety. We just as strongly have a high regard for the natural environment," said Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield

As the current mayor of Oro Valley, there may be nothing he loves more than the passion of the town’s residents and more specifically their love for the outdoors.

"The fact that I'm a landscape architect. I worked for the National Park Service, so the natural environment is important to me," he said. "To be a part of a community that shares that value is incredibly gratifying."

Mayor Winfield's appreciation for the natural world is shared by many Oro Valley residents and was a driving force behind their efforts to preserve the Vistoso trail.

In 2022, Winfield declared the preservation of the property a 'huge win' following a three-and-a-half-year endeavor to safeguard the property.

"Not only their voices but their pocketbooks, right? It's one thing to say we want to preserve an area," he noted.

The Oro Valley community took action by generously donating over 1.8 million dollars to the conservation fund, facilitating the purchase of the former golf course for preservation.

Others involved in the project included a national conservation nonprofit; Ross Rooney, a local developer and Rompsen Vistoso LLC, the property owners.

The mayor said the support demonstrated a profound commitment to the town's slogan, 'It's in our nature.'

"The mountains are important, the views. The open space, the Sonoran desert. The Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve really captures that," Winfield emphasized.

Kenny Darr is a reporter for KGUN 9. He joined the team in January 2023. Before arriving in Arizona he was an Anchor and Reporter at KADN in Lafayette, LA. Share your story ideas with Kenny by emailing or by connecting on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.