Welcome to El Cortez Heights! We are a small, historic neighborhood in midtown Tucson, Arizona. This is the homepage of the Neighborhood Association.

Our primary communication is by email!
Email the address at right to be added:

We also have facebook and instagram:
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ElCortezHeightsNbhd
Instagram: @elcortezheights

Upcoming Meetings

We meet quarterly , usually on the second thursday of the month.
The next meeting is the Annual Meeting, date:
January 11, 2024, at 6 PM.
The location is indoors at the Donna Liggins Center in Mansfield Park.
(The association email address can be found above and right).

October Tree Planting

Our tree planting day with Trees for Tucson is coming up on Saturday, October 28. Everyone should have received a door hanger with information on how to sign up for the free trees. Those who wish to volunteer to help planting will meet that morning at 9 AM at Mansfield Park.

December Rolloffs

We will have 3 rolloff dumpsters in the usual places from December 1-5. We may or may not do a small cleanup that Saturday, Dec. 2 . At the last cleanup we discussed that it would make more sense to clean up for brush & bulky pickup so we don't have to haul things to the dumpsters.

April Meeting


Thanks to those who attended last night's meeting. For those who could not attend, here are the meeting notes (attached) and a quick summary of the important points:

-Roll-off dumpsters will be in the neighborhood June 16-18. The neighborhood clean-up will be the morning of June 17th.

-Marlene, our Ward 3 rep, is going to check with the city about a few things including abandoned homes, homeless encampments, and the city plans for the empty lots near Grant

-The Mansfield Park pool will be opening for the season over Memorial Day weekend, a request was put in for adult swim/laps hours

-Neighborhood Association leaders will follow up on roundabout installation/decoration that has been previously discussed

-Tucson is encouraging neighborhoods to make a neighborhood plan in collaboration with the city, something we might explore going forward

We also had representatives from the Community Garden of Tucson. Plots are available in the Mansfield Garden, please visit their website for more info (https://communitygardensoftucson.org) Full Minutes:

Meeting Notes El Cortez Heights 4/13/2023
Present: Neighbors, Ward rep, Community Gardens reps
(Folks signed in for the Ward office)
Brittany and Heidi with the Community Gardens of Tucson
-non-profit organization with 17 gardens across Tucson
-including the one in Mansfield Park (Mansfield Garden)
-plots are available in the garden
-please spread the word!
-As a nonprofit, they rent plots to individuals for a fee (that covers water, soil, and tools)
-Encourage growing of food and flowers
-They also do fundraising in the community, mostly for programming like
-“Kids in the Garden”
-Scholarships to lower barrier of entry
-5 of the gardens are located on school properties
-Volunteer opportunities every Saturday (work parties)
-General garden maintenance
-Workshops on topics like composting
-Price of a plot: $22/month (plot fee assistance for sliding scale)
-Covers drip irrigation, seeds, mulch, soil, system repairs, etc.
-Watering schedule changes seasonally with an automatic timer
-Good option for Parkside Terrace?
-Pest control assistance? Addressed in educational workshops + newsletter articles
-Example: Audubon Society says put out water to get birds to leave tomatoes
-Get in touch through general admin email admin@communitygardensoftucson.org
-They also have a website: www.communitygardensoftucson.org with general info
-Roll-offs are coming on Friday-Monday June 16th -18th (three of them)
-Saturday, June 17th will be the clean-up day
-Thing to learn: scheduling has to be pretty pro-active to get good dates
-Fall days are already scheduled!
-Other issue: encampment (one burned down in flames on the vacant lot @ Capitan & Grant)
-Martha has a story about encampments!
-There was one just north of the community garden
-Martha reported it
-Now, this morning, she got up at 4:40
-At 5am she went out to post the colors (American flag)
-The police were there! And then tent was gone
-www.tucsoncrimefree.org <-Martha’s suggestion for Elections information
-The other encampment at 2nd and Grant on the way to Frys
-“It’s a health hazard and a safety hazard”
-GIS homeless reporting online tool
-Ward rep will check on the last time someone went out to check on it
-The vacant lot is City of Tucson property so the city should be responsible
-Should there be construction there? What’s going to happen? How is it zoned?
-Insufficient parking for a business probably
-But no one wants to live there (maybe)
-Potentially zoned for 4-story (but not without parking)
-Rep will ask for an update on city plans for the lots
-Abandoned home may be being used as a drug drop
-Rep: Do CSO’s attend meeting? Rep will take emails to connect with the 5-0
-Any updates from the Ward office? The pool will be open Memorial Day Weekend!!! No slide
though. Still pushing for extended season but it will depend on lifeguard. Double last year but
still short of their goal. City will pay for certification ($17/hour) if folks are interested
-Fee to use the pool: free! Hours will be posted at some point (4 days a week typically)
-Lessons? Also possibility for Adult Swim
-Neighborhood Association update
-Neighborhood plan history: Worked with Drachman Institute for master plan for park and
neighborhood (things like traffic mediation)
-Neighborhood plan is something we may be interested in
-Speed limit on Mountain is being reduced (35 -> 25) w/ speed feedback signs
-Cyclovia is this Sunday! People from the neighborhood are attending
-Bike boulevards are being prioritized for re-pavement
-Keeling for stormwater infrastructure (more)
-We should try again to get another traffic circle and the person who blocked it before left
-Would help with traffic and with water flow
-Also doing something with the other roundabout (that was orig. put in in 1995)
-Markers are not repaired (Ward rep will put in an order for that)
-LSA: painting and potted plants?
-but someone has to sign up to water the plants
-Samos has steel butterflies!
-We’ll need some funding (Storm to Shade program has an allotment, there’s a GSI fee in our
sewer bills that is then divided among the wards) +Tucson clean and beautiful minigrant

Brush & Bulky Pickups

Our 2023 pickup weeks are Feb 27 and Aug 28.
Please do not put items out more than one week in advance

January Meeting

Our Annual Meeting was well-attended and we welcomed one new officer, Julia, as secretary (and bid goodbye to retiring vice-chairperson Martha). Michael moved into the vice-chairperson spot, while Will remains as chairperson for another year.

We have official minutes for the first time in a while (thanks Julia!)
Summary is below; (read full version here):

El Cortez Heights Neighborhood Meeting 1/12/23, Meeting Minutes

Neighborhood Attendees: Julie, Jacob, Bonnie, Andrew, Will, Julia, Michael, Gregory
Ward 3 Reps: Marlene (Avelino Council Aide), Eryck Garcia (Mayor’s community engagement advisor)
Takeaway points:
  • Neighborhood officers are President Will, VP Michael, and Secretary Julia
  • You can get in touch with them via the email on the website
  • We will try to set up a Google Group or similar to make it easy to communicate
  • There is interest in doing a Trees for Tucson event for the neighborhood, look out for information on this
  • Instead of weekly walks, we will do monthly clean-up walks (and one potluck party) on the Third Thursday of each month. Reminder emails will be sent two days before each event.
  • Marlene, our Ward 3 Council Aide, is checking in on the following items:
    • getting the process rolling to decorate the Calle Chico and 2nd Ave roundabout;
    • connecting us with Tucson Mesh about providing affordable internet in the neighborhood;
    • A couple Grant Road questions: trimming the vegetation to provide better sightlines,
    • asking the city for their plans on the vacant lots next to Grant

December Rolloffs/Cleanup

Thanks to everyone who turned out for the cleanup Dec. 10! We had a good turnout
and got quite a bit of lopping and dumping done and the streets look much better
as a result.

Lead Police Officer

Each neighborhood has an assigned Lead Police Officer who is supposed to track and respond to reports of ongoing problem areas, for example houses with problematic activity like drugs or squatters.
Our current LPO is:

LPO Edward Small
Phone: 520-589-8711
Email: edward.small@tucsonaz.gov
On Duty: Tues-Fri, 2100-0700

If you do not hear back from your LPO within 5 days, please call the substation for your 
division and request to speak with the supervisor of the officer for whom you left the message:
West Division: 520-791-4467

2021 Annual Meeting

The meeting took place Jan 7 via Zoom, with c. 10 in attendance.

Erin Peters, our TPD Community Service Officer, discussed neighborhood crime statistics from the past two months, which thankfully have not been too bad. She has also provided a list of helpful resources which I will forward separately.

Following this, Gabriella Barillas of Tucson's Transportation & Mobility Department discussed the thinking behind the "Slow Streets" restriping project that has been completed on 4th Ave. 

We then discussed the Association Officers for 2021, although we did not follow the usual process due to meeting by Zoom and because no other volunteers were apparent. The officers will remain the same in 2021 (everyone is encouraged to consider volunteering at some point,  it is a great way to get better connected to the neighborhood! It takes really only as much time as you want to put into it. )

Lastly we discussed goals for 2021, and aside from continuing weekly neighborhood walks it was suggested that we should put together a postcard to mail to people who move into El Cortez, welcoming them to the area and giving them information about the Assocation etc. 
Meeting ID: 853 4791 2929
Passcode: 608179

Quarterly Meetings

Regular Association meetings will be held quarterly.

Due to the pandemic, the 2021 meetings have not been scheduled yet; dates will be announced by email and on this website.

Nextdoor Website

All neighbors are encouraged to sign up to the Nextdoor website. This is a website that is organized according to neighborhoods and it enables residents from El Cortez and nearby neighborhoods to exchange information more easily. Also, city and police officials have a presence on the site.