February 17, 2022

The Conservation Fund Acquires Former Vistoso Golf Course Property in Arizona

PIMA COUNTY, Ariz. — The Conservation Fund announced its purchase of the 202-acre former Vistoso Golf Course property in Oro Valley, Arizona.

Roughly two years ago, The Conservation Fund and its partners, including the Town of Oro Valley, residents and community leaders, and members of the organization Preserve Vistoso, set out to acquire and protect the property so it could be preserved as a wildlife sanctuary and public recreation destination. Thanks to the generous contributions of over 600 individuals in the community, over $1.8 million dollars was raised, and a challenging negotiation and successful acquisition are now complete.

“Support from the community was phenomenal,” said Mike Ford, The Conservation Fund’s Southwest Director. “We want to thank the Town of Oro Valley, led by Mayor Joe Winfield and Vice Mayor Melanie Barrett, as well as Preserve Vistoso and the hundreds of people who donated to this effort. Thanks to you, Arizona has gained another natural, cultural and recreational resource for all to enjoy.”

“I want to thank the community for their generosity, as well as my colleagues on the Town Council, Town leadership, The Conservation Fund, and the other parties in this transaction that helped this purchase come to fruition. Preservation of this land will benefit the entire Oro Valley community for generations to come,” said Oro Valley Mayor Joe Winfield.

The former Vistoso Golf Course property is a crown jewel in Oro Valley. Mountain views and varied desert vegetation, wildlife such as mule deer, bobcats, and birds, and rock formations bearing Native American petroglyphs can all be found on the site’s grounds. When the Vistoso Golf Course ceased operations in 2018, many in the community envisioned a future nature preserve in its place. It has become a popular open space for outdoor activities such as hiking and biking.

The Conservation Fund will temporarily hold the property, place a conservation easement on the land, and donate it to the Town of Oro Valley later this year. The conservation easement will ensure that the site will never be developed and will remain an asset for wildlife and the local community. The property will remain open for public access under The Conservation Fund’s interim ownership.

About The Conservation Fund
At The Conservation Fund, we make conservation work for America. By creating solutions that make environmental and economic sense, we are redefining conservation to demonstrate its essential role in our future prosperity. Top-ranked for efficiency and effectiveness, we have worked in all 50 states since 1985 to protect more than 8.5 million acres of land, including roughly 975,000 acres in Arizona.

Contact: Val Keefer | 703-908-5802 | vkeefer@conservationfund.org