by Jim Nintzel
The Pima County Board of Supervisors renamed the Davidson Canyon trailhead for Gabe Zimmerman and the Cañada del Oro linear river park for Christina-Taylor Green today.
Here's the press release release from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' office:
The Pima County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously today to name park facilities for an aide to U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and a 9-year-old girl, both of whom were killed in a Jan. 8 attack in which the congresswoman was seriously wounded.
The board voted to rename the Davidson Canyon trailhead for Gabe Zimmerman and to rename the Cañada del Oro linear river park for Christina-Taylor Green. Other victims of the shooting will be honored with markers at the Davidson Canyon trailhead, the board decided.
Gabe’s father, Ross Zimmerman, welcomed the board’s decision as a fitting honor for someone who grew up enjoying Arizona’s open spaces.
“Gabe was immersed in the natural world of the Desert Southwest from birth,” he said. “Before he could crawl, Gabe was carried in sling packs up the sides of mountains. Vacations tended to revolve around visits to National Parks, both inside and outside the United States. Emily Nottingham, his mother, became president of the Arizona Trail Association and Gabe helped her explore the passages of the Arizona Trail, including this one.”
Ross, a biologist and trail runner, noted that Gabe and his brother Ben were his favorite partners on numerous outdoor adventures.
“The spot chosen to memorialize our son is a fascinating confluence of Sonoran Desert edge and sheer canyon walls with beautiful vegetation,” he said. “Gabe visited the area with Emily on several occasions and we are touched that the trailhead there will bear his name.”
Pima County Supervisor Ray Carroll agreed, noting that the renaming of the trail for Gabe had bipartisan support and was the result of many agencies working together.
“This is an appropriate tribute for fine public servant who greatly enjoyed Arizona’s outdoors,” said Carroll, who represents the district in which the trail is located. “Those who didn’t know Gabe will know him through this trail.”
The 30-year-old Zimmerman was community outreach director for Giffords when he was killed at a “Congress on Your Corner” event hosted by Giffords. Zimmerman organized the event at a shopping center on Tucson’s Northwest side.
Zimmerman was a natural athlete who enjoyed hiking and running in the Sonoran Desert. The Arizona Trail Association asked the county to rename the Davidson Canyon trailhead the Davidson Canyon-Gabe Zimmerman Memorial Trailhead.
Zimmerman was a member of the association and, while working for Congresswoman Giffords, helped get the Arizona Trail designated as a National Scenic Trail. The Davidson Canyon trail links to the Cienega Creek Natural Preserve and the Arizona Trail.
The Tucson National Estates Improvement Association asked the county to rename the Cañada del Oro River Park to the Cañada del Oro Christina-Taylor Green Memorial River Park in honor of the 9-year-old girl who was killed in the shooting.
The park runs along the Cañada del Oro wash from North La Cholla Boulevard to North Thornydale Road.