Help to beautify grounds around Himmel Park Library


From Sam Hughes Neighborhood Assn. website,

This Himmel Park Beautification is a  project initiated by three residents of the Sam Hughes midtown neighborhood: Denice Blake, Betty Guarraia, and Susan Peters. In an effort to meet our objective to spend a small amount of the resources from the biennual home tour, we first came up with four guiding principles that would ultimately benefit midtown neighborhoods: high visibility, aesthetic appeal, education, and collaboration. To meet those objectives, we have selected Himmel Park Library for external beautification.

Carolyn’s note: Himmel park branch library is at 1035 N. Treat Ave., in NE corner of Himmel Park (south of Speedway, between Tucson Blvd. and Treat Ave., going south to the alley north of E. 3rd Street). History of namesake Alvina Himmel is on the Sam Hughes Neighborhood website, written by me.


The library is a brick structure that anchors the popular midtown Himmel Park.  The building itself has very recently undergone interior remodeling.  The 52-year old library, the oldest branch in the Pima County Library System, is extremely well-used at approximately 25,000 door entries per month.  The library sits on a corner with all four sides visible from two streets.

Unfortunately, the grounds appear to be long-neglected.  There are two deciduous trees on the right-hand side of the entrance along with overgrown, woody lantana.  The left side of the entrance is covered with gravel.  The north side is comprised of weeds and several evergreen trees and bushes in need of pruning.

Collaboration began with Pima County Library System and Tucson Parks and Recreation, which manages Himmel Park. Working with graduate students from the University of Arizona School of Landscape Architecture, we solicited 10 landscape plans. Neighborhood residents and community activists viewed the plans, which our committee is now using to create a single plan to be approved by Tucson Parks and Recreation. This plan will guide us as we hire contractors and solicit donations to execute the project.

Ideas we’ve come up with so far: increased walkways, additional bike racks and seating, landscaping with decomposed granite and drought-tolerant plants placed in mounds and swales, additional trees, implementation of a drip system, and art work — including a memorial to a popular, recently-deceased children’s librarian. See accompanying before/after pictures.  The “after” renderings and landscape plan are by Malerie Gamboa, a University of Arizona graduate student.

Your donation to the Himmel Park Beautification Project is fully tax-deductible.  You may donate below using Paypal with your Credit or Debit Card.
If you wish to write a check, please make it out to SHNA but write “HPBP” in the memo area.
Mail to SHNA, PO Box 42931, Tucson, Az. 85733. You can also donate online at:

Before and proposed after pictures of the grounds around Himmel Park library are on the website.   A $500 matching grant has been made, with a donation deadline of April 30, 2014.

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Carolyn Classen
Carolyn Sugiyama Classen, a life long Democrat, was born & raised in the State of Hawaii, was a Legislative Aide for U.S. Senator Daniel K. Inouye on Capitol Hill, and practiced law for a while. In Tucson she worked as a tribal staff attorney for the Pascua Yaqui Tribe and later was the Interim Executive Director of the now defunct Domestic Violence Commission. In 2008 she became a “My Tucson” guest columnist for the Tucson Citizen newspaper, then continued blogging for for over four and a half years. Her blogsite was entitled “Carolyn’s Community” about community events and some political news, until Gannett Publishing shut down the site on January 31, 2014. She started with Blog for Arizona on Feb. 11, 2014. Part time she has been sitting as a Hearing Officer in Pima County Consolidated Justice Courts Small Claims Division since April, 2005. She is married to University of Arizona Distinguished Professor Albrecht Classen, a native of Germany. They have one son, who lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and daughter. She is also the Editor of the Southern Arizona Japanese Cultural Coalition website, (since Jan. 2013).