Colloquium on Critical Habitat

This is a Seven Event Series which traces the origins and current status of our landscape and cultural evolution, transitions into a focused conversation on local resources, scarcity and the regulations which address our use of these resources within the environmental design community, next moves into a specific discussion of our contemporary perspective on developing the built fabric of our community from the perspective of two local architects and historians and concludes with three conversations on the perspectives of local Architects, Planners and landscape Architects and their views of Critical Practice in Arid lands.

The Series begins with two of Tucson’s most accomplished critical observers: David Yetman and Corky Poster. Yetman and Poster will share their perceptions on our natural and cultural landscape and join an invited circle of guests from our community in the Colloquium circle which follows.

All Speakers will deliver their message between 4:30 and 6:00 pm at The Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Building on Campus(AME) at the N/E corner of Speedway and Mountain, Room S202.

Following the talks all attendees will be invited to attend the Colloquium Conversation which will follows from 6:00 to 7:30pm in the Sundt Gallery at the College of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (CALA) 1040 N. Olive Dr.

Green Infrastructure Showcase

Salpointe Catholic High School

Join Watershed Management Group (WMG) for a Green Infrastructure Showcase & Open House celebration with Samos Neighborhood, Salpointe High, WMG, and the City of Tucson, all leaders in green infrastructure for Southwest neighborhoods. This event will include an introduction to WMG\’s Green Streets – Green Neighborhoods program, an outdoor tour of Salpointe\’s new green infrastructure, and a Q&A session with a panel of local experts. For more information or to RSVP, please contact Tory Syracuse, 396-3266 or

Permaculture workshop

Introduction to Permaculture – In this one day overview of Permaculture design, ethics, and principles you will have the opportunity to put together a long term plan for your sustainable home and landscape – one that takes care of people and takes care of our environment at the same time.

Location: Mesquite Tree Permaculture Site, one and a half miles north of downtown Tucson.  Cost: $59 – includes all course materials, handouts, and mesquite bread cooked in our solar oven. Contact Dan Dorsey at or visit for more info on all our Fall classes.

Day of Reckoning Coming…

A New York Times article provides a stark warning about the impending water crisis facing communities in the southwestern United States.  The article provides some of the basis for concern:

“Adding to water managers’ unease, scientists predict that prolonged droughts will be more frequent in decades to come as the Southwest’s climate warms. As Lake Mead’s level drops, Hoover Dam’s capacity to generate electricity, which, like the Colorado River water, is sent around the Southwest, diminishes with it. If Lake Mead levels fall to 1,050 feet, it may be impossible to use the dam’s turbines, and the flow of electricity could cease.”

Read the entire article here.

Local Food Workshop & Tour

You are welcome to visit the San Xavier Cooperative Association’s unique and productive farm in the fields adjacent to the famous Mission. Here they grow both traditional and contemporary crops in the heart of the Santa Cruz Valley, where the land has been cultivated for over 4,000 years. Local aficionados wait patiently each year for the appearance of the popular yellow watermelons, 60-day corn, dried tepary beans, mesquite flours and other native crops of the Sonoran Desert.

To register, contact Judith Mattson at Local Food Concepts at:, or call 395.0663. Registration Deadline: Sunday, October 10, 2010.

Imagine Greater Tucson

Imagine Greater Tucson, a collaborative effort to define a publicly supported vision and clear action plan to help shape the region’s future is kicking off its multi-year campaign at the end of the month. There are many opportunities to get involved and to help ensure that sustainability is a fundamental concern of the campaign. Learn more about the effort here.

Challenges to Water Sustainability

You are invited to a lecture and discussion with Dr. Sharon Megdal, Director of the University of Arizona’s Water Resources Research Center. Discover what our current situation is and what can we do now, before we are in a crisis!

Hear Sharon Megdal, then meet with cistern installers, dual flush toilet venders and other people working toward the solution.

This timely event will be held at Milagro Cohousing, 3057 North Gaia Place (off Goret Rd.). For further information, call at 520.623.4310.

Imagine Greater Tucson Kick-Off Event

Hi Corbett Field, Reid Park

Oktoberfest Tent on the field

Please join us to celebrate the Kick-Off of Imagine Greater Tucson !

• Discover how you can help shape the future of our region

• Meet Eileen Fagan, the new Director of Imagine Greater Tucson

• Meet other supporters of Imagine Greater Tucson

All attendees of the Kick-Off are invited to stay and enjoy the Oktoberfest opening night festivities at 6pm. Families and friends are welcome. For more information about Imagine Greater Tucson , visit

ACC Candidates Debate

Sustainable Tucson, The American Association of University Women, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Tucson will co-sponsor a Forum for available candidates for the Arizona Corporation Commission at the Temple Emanu-El, 225 N. Country Club.

The five elected members of this Commission play an important role in the governance of firms providing major utilities and other goods and services that help to determine whether the goals of sustainability can be met. Commissioners have the ultimate responsibility for final decisions on granting or denying rate adjustments, enforcing safety and public service requirements, and approving securities matters.

Everyone is invited to this important meeting.

See “A Sense of Wonder” at the Fox

Historic Fox Theatre, 17 West Congress, Tucson

A Sense of Wonder: a celebration of children and nature, a film about Rachel Carson will be shown at the historic Fox Theater. This gala evening event for adults and youth 12 and above will include appearances by Pete Mesquitey and Eb Eberlein. The event will be catered by Cafe 54.

Tickets will be available through the Historic Fox Theatre online or at the Box Office. $20/adult, $10/youth

Water Sustainability Action Plan: Comment Invited

The City of Tucson and Pima County have completed a draft Water Sustainability Action Plan to implement the recommendations from the City/County Water and Wastewater Study Phase 2 Report. The public comment period on the Action Plan extends from September 16th to October 7th, 2010. Below are ways in which you can review and comment on the Plan:

1. Online: The report will be posted on September 16th and comments can be submitted via the website.

2. Printed copies are available at the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave.

3.  By Phone: 740-6845

The City/County Water and Wastewater Study was a multi-year effort to begin evaluating with experts, stakeholders, and the public how to develop a sustainable water future for our community. The draft Water Sustainability Action Plan describes specific steps the City and County plan to take toward water sustainability over the next five years.

The Action Plan will be presented to the Tucson Mayor and Council on October 26, 2010 and to the Pima County Board of Supervisors on November 2, 2010.

Trouble coming every day…

The New York Times reports on a massive flow of money into California to defeat its recent legislative efforts to control green house emissions in that state. Out of state oil companies are the major sources of millions of dollars supporting an initiative to suspend application of the law until unemployment falls below, and stays below a level we are not likely to see any time soon. You can read that article here

Green Infrastructure Tour

Tucson is emerging as a regional and national leader in the implementation of green infrastructure strategies. Green infrastructure uses natural processes to provide environmental services. Many local examples use small basins to capture, clean, and infiltrate stormwater from streets and parking lots, while providing passive irrigation to gardens of native plants.

Join Watershed Management Group’s Green Streets-Green Neighborhoods Program Manager James MacAdam on a tour of some of Tucson’s finest applications of green infrastructure, including business parking lots that demonstrate Tucson’s new Commercial Water Harvesting Ordinance; residential neighborhoods that have been extensively retrofitted with street-side rain gardens; University sites that capture and utilize rainfall from rooftops and parking lots as well as waste water from AC units and water fountains; and green infrastructure in Tucson’s downtown redevelopment projects.

The cost of the tour is $20 per person, and includes van transportation as well as light breakfast and snack foods. The tour is limited to 14 participants, and registration is required. To register, contact James MacAdam at 520-396-3266, For more information, visit

Rinse Smart: Pre-rinse Spray Valve Program

Tell the folks at your favorite restaurant that Tucson Water is now offering free replacement valves & installation for commercial kitchens. As part of the Rinse Smart Program, Tucson Water will replace inefficient high water-use pre-rinse spray valves with low-water use valves saving water, sewer and energy costs. They will install it in less than one hour.

For more information, contact Tucson Water at 520.791.4331

Local Climate Change Symposium

A symposium examining recent evidence that climate change may be affecting desert ecology in Saguaro National Park will beheld from 9 am to 4:30 pm, October 2nd at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum’s Warden Oasis Theater.

Jonathon Overpeck, co-director of the Institute of the Environment and leader on the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Travis Huxman, director of Biosphere 2 and professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at the Universiy of Arizona, will be keynote speakers addressing reecent research that led to Saguaro National Park being listed among the top 25 national parks most threatened by the Rocky Mountain Climate Organization.

Admission is free but RSVPs are required: call 733-5153 to attend.

This event is not to be missed by the sustainability community!

To find directions to the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, go to their website:

Film and Discussion Night: The Age of Stupid

The Age of Stupid
September 12th, 5:00 pm. Film starts at 5:45

Sunday Night at the Movies at St. Francis in the Foothills Church, at Swan and River Roads. Bring a potluck dish to share in the main meeting space. Questions? Call Liz 299-9839

Pete Postlethwaite stars as the narrator of the film, an old man living alone in what is a devastated world of 2055, looking at archive footage from 2008, asking why didn’t we stop climate change when we had the chance?. Pete’s character is the founder of the Global Archive, a storage facility located in the (now melted) Arctic, dedicated to preserving all of humanity’s achievements in the hope that the planet might one day be habitable again. The stories Pete’s character uses to illustrate the plight of planet earth when something could have been done, include those of six individuals across the globe, whose lives have been affected in some way by climate change. NR 92 min.

The discussion after the film  will be facilitated by Bob Cook, co- founder of Sustainable Tucson. Long an activist for sustainable development in the Tucson area, he will help us relate the messages in the film to what is happening now in our local environment and how choices made today will impact our quality of life in the near future.