Dodge Flower Neighborhood Profile

Dodge Flower Neighborhood by CJ Boyd


The Dodge Flower neighborhood is bordered North to South between Grant Road and Glenn Street and East to West from Alvernon Way to Palo Verde Avenue. In a strange anomaly, homes on the east side of Palo Verde Ave were actually left out of the official Neighborhood Association because one person who lived on that block insisted on not being included when the Association was formed in 2001. 

Normally when a neighborhood association is being formed, a vote is held among all of the constituents in the proposed area. As long as the majority of homes on a block are in favor of being included, they will all be included. But apparently this one neighbor made such a stink about it that the Dodge Flower Neighborhood Association decided to honor their wishes and exclude their whole side of the street on that block. That resident has since passed away, and so the current Association has been working on officially changing the boundary to include Palo Verde Avenue. 

Named after Dodge Boulevard and Flower Street, Dodge Flower is the one Ward 3 neighborhood that abuts the Grant/Alvernon intersection (the other three are in Ward 6). As most Tucsonans know, the Grant/Alvernon intersection has a less than flattering reputation when it comes to crime. This year Tucson Police Department launched a program called Place Network Investigations (PNI). . PNI attempts to reduce violent crime by looking at environmental factors in specific locations that contribute to a disproportionate amount of crimes involving gun violence in a particular area. The police have chosen  three areas of Tucson with especially high gun violence to start the PNI program. One PNI is located in Dodge Flower.


"The Flower House" on the corner of Dodge Blvd and Flower Street, where Jason Lee Nolan has covered his home and van with flower paintings.

Because the Grant/Alvernon Area is widely recognized as an area where poverty and crime disproportionately affect residents, many organizations have designated it as a high needs area. There are service providers located nearby, including the recently opened El Rio Health Center on Grant Road and Dodge. El Rio brings affordable health care services to an underserved part of town. This Health Center has extensive resources aimed at low-income residents, including one of the largest numbers of behavioral health specialists operating out of any health center in Tucson. Just up the road on Dodge is Community Partners, an organization that specializes in behavioral health and partners with the city to bring resources to unhoused neighbors.

Tucson Lighthouse Church is the one church currently active in Dodge Flower. Catalina Heights Church of Christ in Christian Union was active until recently, but has closed its doors this year and is being sold. The neighborhood doesn't have any parks or much in the way of green space, so some neighbors are hoping to help turn the former church property into a park or something the community can enjoy with vegetation and open space.

Like most Tucson neighborhoods north of Grant, most of the homes in Dodge Flower began being built in the late 40s and early 1950s. Former Co-Facilitator of the Neighborhood Association Deirdre Brosnihan said, “What I like most about Dodge Flower is the sense of community. It's a neighborhood where you know most of the people on your block. The community is also diverse. I'm also a fan of mid-century architecture (even if not by a notable architect) and appreciate the 1950s/1960s solidly built homes that line our streets.”


The Little Free Library on North Winstel Blvd, maintained by Maggie and John McKiernan.

Maggie and John McKiernan have lived on North Winstel Boulevard for 17 years, where they built a little free library outside their home. “Everyone said it would get wrecked in our neighborhood, but we've had it for over 3 years now and everyone has been very respectful,” said Maggie. “We have even had canned food and clothing items in there. Many people use it and take or bring books regularly. I am so happy to know that people like to read in our neighborhood and enjoy our little library.”


Neighbors Lisa Madore and Gretchen Ronnow talk over the fence on North Winstel Boulevard.

Recently-elected Neighborhood Co-Facilitator Gretchen Runnow has lived in Tucson since 1981, and moved to Dodge Flower just five years ago to live down the street from her son and grandchildren. When asked what she loves about living in the neighborhood, she said, “My favorite aspects of Dodge-Flower are all the people I’ve met walking our dogs (one lady used to walk her pet pig!). Whether it’s unhoused people, renters, or home-owners, all are friendly and want to stop to chat. The dogs—large and small, mutts and purebred—have names like Kodak, Bronson, Rocket, Daphne, Piddles, Zeus, Ruby Tuesday, Gravity, Sweet Potato, Sparkles, Holmes (as in Sherlock), Jada, Tyrone, Buddha, Oreo, Winston, Delilah, Money, Clive, Quasimodo. Who could resist hanging out with such fur friends and their humans!”