Richland Heights East Neighborhood Profile

Richland Heights East by CJ Boyd 


Richland Heights East is bounded by Prince Rd. to the north, Tucson Blvd. to the east, Fort Lowell Rd. to the south, and Campbell Ave. to the west. It lies between Richland Heights West, with its intentional dirt roads, and Winterhaven, with its manicured green lawns. Richland Heights East features many upscale homes; homes in the neighborhood are being sold for an average of $568k this year, while the city-wide average is only $329k.

The Richland Heights East Neighborhood Association was started in 1994 by five neighbors - Mike Murray,  Marilyn Dinwiddie, Jay Van Echo, John Wilson, and Jon Guenther. They originally incorporated the association as a non-profit "to promote the interests of the residents of the Richland Heights East, and to represent these interests before public, and private entities and to provide for welfare of said residents."

Just before the first official RHENA meeting, Marilyn realized that she didn't have time to participate on the Board, and recruited Sandy Miller, firmly believing "the board should include a woman's point of view." Since then, most of the founding members have passed away, but Sandy sits on the board to this day. Now the board is much more gender balanced, with more women attending meetings than men.

A sculpture in the front yard of a home at the corner of Olsen Ave and Klein Rd.

While there are no elementary, middle, or high schools in Richland Heights East, Le Petite Academy of Tucson, a day care for infants, preschoolers, and kids of school age, is located along Fort Lowell Rd. Along Campbell, there is the Tucson satellite campus of Grand Canyon University, which has its main campus in Phoenix. Grand Canyon University is a private Christian university, 82% of their students enroll online, and 17% attend online.  

The Tucson satellite campus of Grand Canyon University on Campbell Ave.

Richland Heights East is home to three churches—Silverbell Baptist Church on Campbell Ave., Iglesia Penial Tucson on Prince Rd., and Tucson Chinese Baptist Church on Fort Lowell Rd. There are additionally two more churches immediately across the street—Northminster Presbyterian Church on Fort Lowell Rd. and St. James United Methodist Church on Campbell Ave.

The neighborhood has no parks of its own, but is situated very near Rio Vista Natural Resource Park in RilliotoBend, and nearly as close to Connor Park in Campbell-Grant and La Madera Park in La Madera Neighborhood.  

Figures of desert animals on the poles of the traffic circle at Greenlee Rd and Jackson Ave, with an artsy fence in the background.

Every year the RHE hosts a party, with various neighbors opening their yards to everyone in the neighborhood. They have a very active neighborhood listserv with over 70% of neighbors participating. Parties of the past have featured a garden tour, an Easter egg hunt, an ice cream social, and a chili cook-off, and the neighborhood encourage kids to decorate the traffic circles during the winter holidays. They’ve had chickens, tortoises, goats, horses and llamas joining the party as pets, as well as some of the many wild animals that can be spotted in the neighborhood from time to time—hawks, owls, bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes, javelinas, bunnies, bobcats.