Posted by Edward Duiven

This morning the Club was brought up to date with some goings on in Green Valley as well as a look at Green Valley’s past. These insights into the past and present were provided by Thao Tiedt, vice-president of the Green Valley Council (GVC), vice-chair of the Green Valley Park Task Force, as well as numerous other volunteer organizations. This morning Thao’s remarks focused on the new Green Valley Park, on the forthcoming bond issue (Proposition 463), and an overview of the history of Green Valley. The Green Valley Park, all 130 acres, is to be situated on property that belonged, at one time, to the Canoa Hills Golf Course. This park will be an open space park with minimal facilities. At this time the park boundaries are uncertain due to the lack of an accurate survey of the site. It is anticipated that the park will begin to take shape late this year or early next year once a survey of the property is complete. An organization called Friends of the Park is being established now and will, along with the GVC Foundation, help manage the park. You can keep up with the park’s development by visiting the GVC website - https://gvcouncil.org/. On another subject, it is well known that the roads in Pima County are not in good shape. The County is planning on selling bonds, if Proposition 463 passes this fall, to provide funds for road maintenance. The bonds will be sold over a five year period and will mature in 3.5 years from the date of issue. Funds raised from the bond sales will be used only for road maintenance in Pima County! Funds from the bond sales will be distributed to areas based on the percentage of roads in that area. With time to spare, Thao began what was perhaps the most interesting topic of the morning, a short history of Green Valley. Thao, it seems, sat down and read every issue of the Green Valley News from 1964 through 1980. From this reading exercise she found that the history books of the area are based on lore and not on history. Founded in 1964 by the Maxon brothers, Don and Norman, Green Valley was not originally envisioned as an age restricted community as it is today. The Villas East and West were constructed as apartments using funds from the Federal Housing Administration. In order to acquire the loan the FHA required non-profit sponsor(s) for the project. The sponsors, it turns out, were the New York Retired Teachers Pension Fund and University of Arizona’s Retirement Foundation. Because of this sponsorship many of the first residents of Green Valley were well educated individuals which impacted the ways in which Green Valley grew. A library was established 15 minutes after Green Valley was established. Two years after the founding of Green Valley the Maxon brothers defaulted on their loan and the FHA took control of the core of Green Valley for the ensuing six years and managed the area with a number of “malevolent and bumbling idiots” who nearly destroyed the community. I could have listened to Thao talk on this subject all day. When asked when her book would be available we learned that it will never be, but more historical perspective may be gained by attending the course on Green Valley’s history that Thao teaches at the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI). Course to be offered in early 2019.