$14 million Santa Cruz restoration

In 1997 the idea of restoring the banks of the Santa Cruz river was born.

Now, 16 years later, work has begun.

Voters passed a $14 million bond issue for the project but the recession and federal dollars set it back a few years.

But ground has been broken, the plans on the table, the money approved and the need to restore he ecosystem agreed on.

"Things will look a lot different with an additional 10,000 new trees and shrubs," Deirdre Brosnihan, the Project Manager.

The project is called Paseo de las Iglesias and it will change a lot of things around the river.

It will gather and protect the wildlife, lizards and native vegetation.

There will parking, restrooms and several additional miles of The Loop, a bike and pedestrian path encircling Tucson.

The first phase is a mile and a half from Silverlake to Ajo. But future projects will extend the bank restoration and preservation from Ajo to Camino del Cerro.

"it's going to look a lot different than it does today," she says.