Green Valley, a retirement community, was established
in 1964. In the fertile Santa Cruz River Valley at an elevation of
2,900 feet, Green Valley is midway between Tucson and Nogales. It
is a successful modern community built in an area full of historic
lore. Green Valley occupies part of the vast (46,696 acres) San Ignacio de
las Canoa grant which was given to New Spain by the Spanish
Crown in the 16th century.
Because Green Valley is primarily a retirement community, much of
the income to the town is in the form of transfer payments, Social
Security payments, private retirements benefits, stock dividends and
withdrawals from savings. Many of the retirees are former corporation
executives and are retained as consultants by their former
employers or other companies. Many full-time employed persons travel to Tucson or are employed in one of the service facilities in the community. Major employers in
the immediate area are the two open-pit copper mines nearby; the
home-building industry; the Smithsonian Institution's Fred Lawrence
Whipple Observatory on Mt. Hopkins, 20 miles southeast; Fico
Pecans; and Caterpillar, Inc. Training Center. Three main shopping
centers are now located in the Green Valley area with approximately
350 shops serving the residents.
The country-surrounding Green Valley abounds with historic attractions–
early Spanish missions, frontier outposts and old mines. Tubac,
located 25 miles south, is the oldest Spanish settlement in the
Southwest. It has been a frontier town and an army outpost, and is
now an active artist colony. The San Xavier del Bac Mission, 18 miles north, and Tumacacori National Monument, 30 miles south, are both Spanish missions built
by Jesuit priests in the early 1700s.
Scenic drives and recreational opportunities are plentiful near Green
Valley: Pena Blanca Lake, 40 miles southwest; Arivaca Lake, 33 miles
southwest; Madera Canyon, 12 miles southeast; Kitt Peak
Observatory, 40 miles west; Tohono O`Odham Indian Reservation,
12 miles north; and the Mexican border at Nogales, 45 miles south.
Tucson, 25 miles north, offers many cultural and recreational attractions,
sporting events, and a broad range of services. Within Green
Valley, the Titan II Missile Museum (the only one of its kind) is open
Several annual golf tournaments are held in Green Valley.
Additionally, the three-day Country Fair and Parade is held in Green
Valley every October. For the culturally minded, art events and activities
from Tucson are available year-round in Green Valley.