The Vision for the Sahuarita Farms Land/River Master Plan
Farmers Investment Co. (FICO) is preparing a comprehensive, long-term plan to guide the future of its 7,000 acres and its 12 miles of Santa Cruz riverfront over the next 40 to 50 years. FICO is seeking public participation in this process that will gradually evolve its lands into a sustainable community where people will want to live, work, and play.
A major component of FICO’s vision is to enhance portions of the Santa Cruz River, which will allow for access to and beautification of the river, a route for the Anza Trail, more open space and recreational opportunities, improved flood control, public safety, and rehabilitation of some of the native habitat within the river corridor. The Sahuarita Farms Land/River Master Plan follows a number of adopted planning studies that have been conducted over the last 30 years.
A prime inspiration was the “Sahuarita Vision Plan,” facilitated by the Sonoran Institute, and adopted unanimously by the Town Council in 2008. A diverse group of citizens, property owners, businesses, government officials, Town staff and consultants worked together for more than a year to craft a collaborative vision for the Town Center and Santa Cruz River corridor, an area of 3,600 acres.
FICO plans to continue farming for the foreseeable future, maintaining its current workforce and its considerable investments in machinery and high-tech equipment in its processing plant. Moreover, the plan will incorporate some of the pecan trees into future uses such as community groves, parks or gardens, to reflect the area’s agricultural heritage. It is probable that some of the lands will remain in agriculture permanently.