Food & Agriculture Work Group meeting

The Sustainable Tucson Working Group on Food & Agriculture will meet for our regular monthly meeting on September 16, from 5:45 – 8 pm at the Woods Memorial Library on 1st Ave, south of Prince.

Special presentation by Vanessa Bechtol, Executive Director, Santa Cruz Valley Heritage Alliance, on local and heritage foods. Followed by regular business meeting. Come and join us.

Wet-Dry Mapping of Upper Cienega Creek

4th Annual Wet/Dry Walk of upper Cienega Creek

The Bureau of Land Management, The Nature Conservancy and Master Watershed Program are pleased to invite volunteers to help with the 4th annual wet-dry walk of upper Cienega Creek on the Las Cienegas National Conservation Area southeast of Tucson.

Las Cienegas harbors between 6 and 10 miles of perennial stream, depending on drought and other factors.

Annual mapping of perennial surface waters helps managers understand effects of these factors on stream systems and the wildlife that depends upon them. This year’s survey will be Saturday June 13.

We will meet at Empire Ranch Headquarters at Las Cienegas National Conservation Area.
We will have 2 carpool meetings locations:
6:00 a.m. – Central Tucson at The Nature Conservancy, 1510 E. Ft. Lowell Road Tucson, AZ 85719

6:15 a.m. – East Tucson at the informal park and ride on Houghton Road just north of I-10

Please click here for PDF flier with full details!

Carpools available from Tucson.

Karen Simms
Ecosystem Planner, Las Cienegas NCA
(520) 258-7210

Organic Initiative Funds Now Available! Sign up through May 29

Organic Initiative Funds Now Available!
First Sign up Period: May 11 – May 29

The Natural Resources Conservation Services (NRCS) has created a special $50 million pool of funding for a new Organic Initiative under the Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP). The Initiative will provide payments and technical assistance to transitioning and existing organic farmers who adopt NRCS conservation practices used in organic production systems.
Eligible Farmers:

* Farmers just beginning or in the process of transitioning to organic production;
* Existing certified organic farmers who want to transition additional acres or animals;
* Existing certified organic farmers who need to adopt additional conservation measures;
* Producers who sell less than $5,000 in agricultural products and are thus exempt from formal certification are still eligible for Organic Initiative payments.

Read More Here…

Book Talk: Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It

Robert Glennon, UA Professor of Law and Public Policy, will give a talk on his new book – Unquenchable: America’s Water Crisis and What To Do About It – hosted by the U of A’s Water Sustainability Program (WSP) and Water Resources Research Center (WRRC).
The talk, part of the “Brown Bag Series” will be followed by a book signing.
Attendees may bring their lunch to enjoy during the talk.

When: Friday, May 1 from 12:00 to 1:30 pm.

Location: Water Resources Research Center, Sol Resnick Conference Room, 350 N. Campbell, University of Arizona, Tucson AZ

More info here…

The Open Space Process

Open Space is a method for facilitating group sessions.

The 4 Principles of Open Space:

1. Who ever comes are the right people

2. Whatever happens is the only thing that could have
3. Whenever it starts is the right time
4. When it’s over, it’s over

The law of two feet. If you decide that you’re not that interested in what’s going on at the table you are located at, walk to another table or none.

There are two types of wanderers…
The bumblebees go from table to table cross-pollinating as they go.
The butterflies head for the snack table and hang out and talk. And that’s ok too.

The Power of Community (video /documentary on 1990 food & economy crisis in Cuba)

Urban Food Growing in Havana Cuba: >>See Video

How Cuba Survived Peak Oil: >> See Video

The whole movie:

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1990, Cuba’s economy went into a tailspin. With imports of oil cut by more than half – and food by 80 percent – people were desperate. This film tells of the hardships and struggles as well as the community and creativity of the Cuban people during this difficult time. Cubans share how they transitioned from a highly mechanized, industrial agricultural system to one using organic methods of farming and local, urban gardens.

It is an unusual look into the Cuban culture during this economic crisis, which they call “The Special Period.” The film opens with a short history of Peak Oil, a term for the time in our history when world oil production will reach its all-time peak and begin to decline forever. Cuba, the only country that has faced such a crisis – the massive reduction of fossil fuels – is an example of options and hope«

Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program coming to the Mercado

Diana Hadley writes:

I’m hoping that you can help me spread the word about a Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) program coming to the Mercado. This program can provide you with weekly bundles of fresh, locally grown produce at a reasonable price. This is a great way to be green, eat healthy, and support local farming.

Agua Linda Farm, located about 45 minutes away in Amado, AZ, is willing to set up a CSA pick-up site at the Mercado San Agustín as early as March! That means that you will be able to pick up your share of farm-fresh vegetables each week at the Mercado. First, however, we need to find more people in the neighborhood that would like to participate in this program. If you are interested, or you know someone who is, please visit the site: and go to the CSA page. Where it asks you to specify the pick-up location, type “Mercado San Agustín”.

Amy Graden, Mercado San Agustín Project Assistant, The Gadsden Company, LLC
127 West Franklin Street
Tucson, Arizona 85701
(520) 465-7091


Regional Sustainability Workshop with Brad Lancaster

The Pima County Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation
Housing Department invites you to attend a presentation by Brad
Lancaster who will speak on Sustainability as it relates to water
harvesting. Brad is the author of “Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands
and Beyond” and is a permaculture teacher, designer, consultant and
co-founder of Desert Harvester. He has taught programs for the ECOSA
Institute and Columbia University.

Date: June 26, 2008
Time: 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM
Place: Sam Lena South Tucson Library
1607 S. 6th Ave.


The 3-part workshop that will address the following:

Part 1
The eight universal principles of water harvesting along with simple
strategies that turn water scarcity into water abundance – and a whole
lot more.

* Examples and details of passive water-harvesting earthworks in the
private and public sector.

* Retrofitting of existing and new construction single family and
multi-family housing

* Landscape along public rights-of-way, off parking lots, in streets
with traffic calming structures.

You will see how these strategies can help reduce water consumption by
30 to 50%, avert flooding, help grow shade trees passively cooling
neighborhood temperatures in summer by 10 degrees, how such
rain-irrigated shade can reduce skin cancer risk in children at public
schools, local food-security and celebration can be enhanced, and how to
integrated water-harvesting with passive and active solar design/water
heating/power. All of this leading to substantial reductions in utility
use, while increase quality of life and health of the environment at the
same time.

Part 2
* Basics of highly efficient, low-cost, legal greywater-harvesting

* Greywater stubouts. ( simple plumbing connections put in during home
construction that allow the homeowner to easily and inexpensively
redirect their greywater to the landscape for passive irrigation of

Such stubouts will very likely be mandated in all new home construction
in Tucson by 2010. In addition, we’ll cover tax credits for such
systems, wise soap/detergent selection, and how to integrate such
systems with rainwater harvesting and sun harvesting systems. These
systems help reduce water consumption by 30 to 50%, and enable
home-scale fruit production without the use of potable water for

Part 3
* Questions and Answers
* Brainstorming session on how we can begin to develop strategies in
our various spheres of influence.

Light lunch will be available


Green Building Seminars (w/Desert Green Builders)

Free “Green building” seminars!
Currently two are scheduled:

  • June 24th, 6:30 PM, at Councilmember Nina Trasoff’s ward 6 office on East First Avenue.
  • ???????? August 13th, 6:30 PM, at Councilmember Rodney Glassman’s ward 2 office on East Speedway.

    The seminars are open to anyone, but seating is limited to about 20 people per session.
    For more information or to sign up, interested attendees can visit our web site at

    Desert Green Builders is a local building company that encourages clients to use green and sustainable building practices. We are licensed for both residential and commercial, but our primary focus is remodels and custom residential homes (of any size), plus some light commercial and tenant improvement projects.

    We have teamed up with a LEED certified architect, natural building supply vendors and solar and water harvesting experts to host these seminars.

    More seminars are planned for every 6-8 weeks or so.
    Seminar announcements will be made as soon as those dates are available, check their web site.

  • Tour Solar Thermal Facility


    Tour the Arizona Public Service Solar Thermal facility at Red Rock (35 miles north of Tucson).
    It is a one-megawatt plant.

    Tour is being arranged with APS by John Kromko….
    Carpool group to leave Tucson at 8AM, Wed., May 28.
    Expected to return by 10:30/11 am.

    RSVP to John via email: jkromko [at] dakotacom [dot] net

    “Gas Hole” — Documentary & Fundraiser @ the Fox

    Support clean energy by going to the movies…

    This Friday, May 2, the Fox Theatre will be showing a screening of the documentary “”Gas Hole””.
    And proceeds from the movie will go to the PAG Clean Cities program to advance outreach and education of the use of alternative fuels in the region.

    As gas prices continue to climb, this is an opportunity to learn more about the workings of the oil industry, and a great opportunity to support Fox Theatre, downtown Tucson, and ultimately the community!

    Producers will be at the screening to speak with after the movie. Special tickets are available.

    Pima Association of Governments’ Clean Cities program is partnering with the film’s producers to hold the Tucson screening, one of many throughout the country.

    For ticket information, please visit and check out this Special Event! Tickets also will be available at the door.

    Related news coverage in other cities where the film is showing:

    What to do about world food crisis?

    (From the Desmoines Register)

    Food shortages are suddenly front-page news, but they are not new. Hundreds of millions of people were left starving or malnourished last year, and this has been going on for decades. The only change is that it has become more difficult for the institutions that control the global food chain to manage the situation with smoke-and-mirrors public relations, including celebrations of the low cost of food, that have masked a failed food system.

    Our current global food system was designed by U.S.-based, industrial-agribusiness conglomerates like Cargill, Monsanto and ADM. It has been forced into place over the past 50 plus years by the U.S. government, the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and the World Trade Organization. This has been a highly profitable enterprise for the major players who set up the system. It has been a disaster for poor people and for farmers in the United States and abroad who have been schooled to believe that their only hope of survival and prosperity is to produce cash crops for export and alternative fuels. Growing healthy food for local consumption and regional stability has been relegated to the fringes of the conversation, treated with benign neglect at best or open opposition at worst.

    We currently have 37 nations with food crises. Meanwhile, Cargill Corp. declares an 86 percent rise in profits and Monsanto reports record sales from its herbicides and genetically modified, patented seeds. Corporate-industrialized agribusiness has promised farmers for decades — directly and through grants to state universities — that the problems farmers faced would be solved by trade deals and technology, in particular genetically modified seeds. Astute observers of the situation have been raising flags about this approach for years.

    Recently, University of Kansas research has suggested that the New Green Revolution promised by genetically modified seeds actually reduces food production. And then there’s the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) Global Report. This report was commissioned in partnership with the United Nations after a group of biotech companies asked the World Bank what it thought of genetic-engineering technology as an agricultural strategy for developing countries. The IAASTD Global Report roundly rejects biotechnology and modern-industrial farming as a viable solution to the problems of soaring food prices, hunger, social injustice and environmental degradation. The IAASTD report calls for a major paradigm shift that would place strong focus on small-scale farming and agro-ecological farming methods to feed local communities, address social inequities and protect the environment while scaling back energy-intensive, chemical agriculture and addressing trade imbalances that hurt the rural poor.

    There are a few things we can do about world hunger right now. For starters, tell Congress to quit wrangling over the overdue farm bill and make sure that the version that goes to the president’s desk expands programs for getting fresh food from local farms to local consumers. Congress should also use the opportunity of a new farm bill to make sure that farmers can count on reasonable prices for growing the food that Americans need. Congress can do this by providing a safety net that helps farmers survive weather and market disasters, and set up a strategic-grain reserve (like the strategic U.S. petroleum reserve) that can serve as a buffer against inflation in food prices.

    Congress can also get off the free-trade bandwagon that has a lot to do with the world-food crisis we’re reading about these days. We need trade and development policies that help developing countries create domestic markets that feed the hungry first rather than feed multinational-corporate profits. This is called food sovereignty. We would do well to institute such a policy here in the United States and do everything possible to make it a centerpiece of our foreign policy and world-trade policy going forward.

    — Patrick Bosold,

    Sustaining Faith: Stewardship at Peace with the Earth (A Multi-Faith Conversation)

    Community Conversations Presents

    Sustaining Faith:
    Stewardship at Peace with the Earth
    A Multi-Faith Conversation

    Thursday, April 24, 2008 6:30-8:30 PM

    A vegetarian meal will be provided

    Catalina United Methodist Church
    2700 E. Speedway Blvd. Room H230
    (Located at Treat and Speedway Blvd with ample parking available)

    Non-perishable food donations for Community Food Bank welcomed!

    Sponsor: Tucson Multi-Faith Alliance
    A Project of COPA (Culture of Peace Alliance)
    2007-8 Sponsors: Catalina UMC, Community Food Bank, Congregation Ner
    Tamid, Gandhi Restaurant, Human Relations Commission Tucson,
    IRCSA (Inter-Religious Council of So. AZ),
    Dana Lim (Allstate Insurance), Pima Friends Meeting (Quakers), Sisters of
    the Heart, Lusia Slomkowska, Temple Emanu-El/Rabbi’s Discretionary Fund,
    Temple of Universality, and many anonymous donors

    Contact: Sat Bir Kaur Khalsa: 690-5715

    Conference: Water Resources Research Center (June 24)

    The Water Resources Research Center at the University of Arizona, in collaboration with the Central Arizona Project, is pleased to announce that registration is now open for our 2008 annual conference.

    The Importance of the Colorado River to Arizona’s Future
    Arizona Biltmore Resort & Spa, Phoenix, Arizona
    Tuesday, June 24, 2008

    We have put together an exciting and diverse agenda and lined up a roster of distinguished and knowledgeable speakers, including U.S. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner Bob Johnson, Central Arizona Project Board President Susan Bitter Smith, and Arizona Department of Water Resources Director Herb Guenther. Please join us for what we expect to be a wide-ranging and insightful discussion.
    The complete agenda, along with registration information, can be found on our website at
    Early Bird Registration (closes May 15th) is $125. Beginning May 16th, registration will be $150.
    Reduced rates are available for students. A limited number of scholarships are available.

    Please help us spread the word about this very timely and forward-looking conference by posting our announcement on your website, including it in your newsletter, and/or passing it on to others.
    Email Jane Cripps (Jcripps *at* or call (520)792-9591 for more information.

    Keira Corbett
    Water Resources Research Center
    350 N. Campbell Tucson AZ 85721
    Office: 520-792-9591 Fax: 520-792-8518

    Green Audit: Congregation Initiative Workshop

    Faith communities of the greater Tucson area are coming together to fight global warming. On this coming Earth Day, April 22, 2008, leaders from various faith groups will be offering a workshop for Tucson faith communities to reduce our carbon footprint.

    This all-day workshop at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church (3809 East 3rd Street) will focus mainly on how congregations can become more responsible stewards of the earth’s energy resources. We will learn what it means to be a community of faith in the First World facing the global crisis of climate change that threatens life on the planet.

    find out how you can help your faith community become more responsible stewards of the Earth’s precious resources. recrit 1-4 others from your congregation, and sign up for this workshop.

    Two of Tucson’s faith communities will share their journeys in becoming green congregations: the Unitarian Universalist Church of Northwest and St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church.

    At this environmental audit workshop participant teams from different congregations will have an opportunity to interact with other ecologically oriented faith groups around various related issues in addition to the responsible uses of energy. We shall talk about water conservation, transportation, waste, food and purchasing among other things. Congregational teams will be equipped with action plans to take back to their home faith groups to begin their own conversations regarding the greening of their communities.

    The workshop organizers are hoping that this event will not only transform the environmental impact of our different faith communities, but that it will inspire the many hundreds of their individual members to alter their personal lifestyles to be more sustainable as well. To this end, individuals attending the workshop will be able to take with them tools with which to carry out their own home energy audits. They will also be provided with additional suggestions for minimizing each individual’s or family’s carbon footprint.

    For further information about this Earth Day workshop please contact Pastor Stuart Taylor at St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church: (520)325-1001, extension 13 or stutaylor*at*mindspring[dot]com

    10 Personal Steps to Sustainability

    This list was developed in response to public demand for information about what ordinary citizens can do now to get started on the process of sustainability.

    (Just for comparison you might wish to read the article Ten Ways to Prepare for a Post-Oil Society, on this website under Articles.)

    Ten Top Things to Do to Make Tucson Sustainable attempts to answer this question: How can we motivate hundreds of thousands of people, beginners and advanced sustainability thinkers alike, to develop sustainable daily habits?

    Top Ten Things To Do To Make Tucson Sustainable

    Photo: Step 1 Harvest and conserve water(1) Harvest and conserve water
    Step One: Remove non-native species from your yard (like grass and oleanders) and replace with native plants watered as much as possible by rainwater only.
    At full sustainability Tucsonans will have cisterns, composting toilets, neighborhood water harvesting, and comprehensive water education.

    2(2) Use the sun’s energy
    Step One: Hang your laundry to dry in the sun.
    Note: Some communities have restrictions against hanging out laundry.
    At full sustainability Tucson will derive all its electricity and transportation from solar energy.

    (3) Eat local and native foods
    Step One: Visit a farmers market.
    Note: Farmers Markets are listed in Tucson Weekly.
    At full sustainability Tucson will have a Food Security Council to ensure access to healthy food for all Tucsonans. Large daily farmers markets with bioregional products will supplement neighborhood food production and neighborhood desert food harvesting.

    (4) Work outdoors with neighbors
    Step One: Organize a neighborhood walk/doorknocking to discover neighborhood assets
    and what projects interest your neighbors.
    Note: For tips on organizing neighborhood doorknockings, contact Pro Neighborhoods,
    (520) 882-5885.
    At full sustainability every neighborhood will be safe for pedestrians and bicyclists, have a workable plan for emergencies which cares for all dependents, and engage in sustainable urban food production.

    (5) Ride bicycle or walk to your eco-village hub
    Step One: Identify your local commercial hub and do errands there without using fossil
    fuel; take public transit if your destination is further or you are physically challenged.
    Note: As you walk and bike your neighborhood you may notice places which need shade trees. These locations can become urban agriforestry projects.
    At full sustainability Tucson will be organized into 60 to 80 complete eco-villages in which people walk or bike. These eco-villages will be connected by a comprehensive system of bike paths which do not mingle with auto traffic.

    fresh-lemons.jpg(6) Plant A Food Bearing Tree
    Step One: Dig a hole and bust through the caliche.
    Note: This is more fun if you dig with friends and throw a party when the tree is planted. Get hold of a caliche bar. Contact Tucson Botanical Gardens or Tucson Organic Gardeners for best species of trees to plant in your location.
    At full sustainability Tucson will be an edible urban forest.

    (7) Save food scraps and compost with worms
    Step One: Build a simple home made “worm farm.” Many websites teach how, e.g.:
    Note: Worms create worm castings and worm juice which are rich plant food.
    At full sustainability Tucson’s home kitchens, restaurants and cafeteries will be connected by a comprehensive composting program.

    (8) Grow food in home garden or community garden
    Step One: Contact Tucson’s Community Food Bank or Tucson Organic Gardeners for
    information on how to grow food.
    Note: We can garden year round in Tucson. Water is our limiting factor; therefore, water harvesting for gardening is crucial. Sustainable Tucson highly recommends Brad
    Lancaster’s book Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands, available at Antigone Books, Silverbell Trading, and through Sustainable Tucson in case quantities.
    At full sustainability, Tucson and the Sonoran bioregion will be largely food self-sufficient.

    (9) Educate yourself and Tucson’s representatives about sustainability.
    Step One: Read the voter’s guide when elections are coming up. Who takes sustainable
    positions on solar and wind energy, mass transit, bike paths, water conservation?
    Note: Sustainability education is enjoyable in a group. Potlucks are a wonderful way to share books, DVD’s, videos, and ideas with each other. Why not start a group in your neighborhood? Then invite a person running for office.
    At full sustainability any school child will be able to tell a visitor to Tucson how our
    sustainable city works.

    (10) Become an entrepreneur in the growing sustainable economy
    Step One: Identify your own art/passion/potential product or service.
    Note: Many entrepreneurs (self-employed people) market products and services.
    At full sustainability, Tucson (including its bioregion) will be mostly self-sufficient for
    water, food, energy, and transportation. Tucson’s sustainable infrastructure will need to be planned, installed, and maintained by local businesses attuned to our city’s terrain and culture. Tucson will have a local credit clearing house which keeps our region’s financial resources circulating locally.

    Written by Nicole Christine, Bob Cook, Tom Greco, Lindianne Sarno, & Joanie Sawyer.
    ©Sustainable Tucson 2006.

    Comments and suggestions are welcome.

    ST Growth Question in AZ Daily Star, addressed by Bill Roe

    on March 14 at the UofA, the Arizona Daily Star sponsored a forum entitled “Tucson Growth: Decision at the Crossroads”, during which panelists discussed the issues raised by growth in the Tucson region.

    Sustainable Tucson prepared a comprehensive flyer of critical questions on the topic related to sustainability concerns, and distributed it to attendees. [View and download the flyer here]

    From these we also submitted questions to the panel. The AZ Start collected more than 100 questions from participants, of which they are printing and answering a few in each Sunday issue (timeframe for continuance undetermined).

    One of Sustainable Tucson’s submitted questions was answered the first week by panelist Bill Roe… read on.

    Ecological issues important to growth choices
    By Bill Roe – Special to the Arizona Daily Star

    Q: In none of the forum presentations was mention
    made of climate change and major shifts in ecosystems. How are we to talk
    about growth meaningfully, given the uncertainties we face regarding natural

    A: This is the heart of the issue! We have land enough, but water is the
    limiting factor … READ FULL STORY/RESPONSE

    How Churches can “Go Green” – being good stewards to creation

    The Arizona Ecumenical Council is compiling a list of churches who have “Gone Green” through various programs, hiking, camping and gardening clubs and more. One church we know of is Papago Buttes Church of the Brethren in Scottsdale who have even dedicated a special website for these issues. Check it out at

    Send a reply email to let us know what your church, neighborhood or organization is doing. Make sure to send along website links, too!

    Encourage Your Parish to be Good Stewards

    As evidence of global warming has mounted, congregations across the US are examining their habits and asking what their faith demands of them in
    response.  Here are a few ideas from parishes to help your parish be a good steward.

    • Include an "Eco-Tip of the Week" section in your bulletin. Concentrate on a certain topic each month such as water, heating, or travel.
    • Provide additional educational resources on green energy when possible. If your parish has an active website, consider posting the information there to reduce paper.
    • Host a forum on "Environmental Stewardship." This could include planting a tree
      in celebration of Earth, Arbor, or World Environment Day. Or consider showing the movie "An Inconvenient Truth" followed by a question and answer session. Be creative!
    • Coordinate a "Bag It" event after Mass to clean up litter around the parish
      Encourage kids to help coordinate the effort!
    • Provide an opportunity for parishioners to sign up to become active in a legislative advocacy effort specifically related to climate issues.
    • Network with parishes who have been successful in their sustainability efforts.
    • Replace incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) where possible; dust all the other lights, and install automatic shut-off switches in rest rooms.
    • Start composting! Add coffee grounds and filters, leaves and grass clippings.
    • Caulk or repair places where outside air leaks into buildings; weather strip all doors.
    • Place trash and recycling receptacles outside the school/parish/gymnasium doors to reduce litter.
    • Generously add or increase building insulation, especially in the roof.
    • Cover stained-glass windows with UV-filtering storm windows for insulation and damage-protection, and to protect the lead from being destroyed by ultra-violet sunlight rays.
    • Tune-up and service all heating and cooling units for optimal efficiency.
    • Convert all thermostats to time-controlled setback units to reduce heating and cooling expenses.
    • Plant trees for natural shade and to improve air quality. Use captured rain water for outdoor gardens and cemeteries.
    • Is your parish or school renovating old or building new facilities? Consider sustainable energy sources.  Look into rebate programs to save money and reduce use of therms and energy.

    This article appeared in the March 2008 issue of "Love Thy Neighbor" by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee.

    Hunger Walk (for food security) 3/29 – Register by 3/21.

    Join the first annual Hunger Walk to benefit the Community Food Bank’s Food Security Center programs

    Sat. March 29, 8am, Reid Park, Ramada 5

    at by Fri March 21st.
    $20 for Adults, $10 for children.

    Walkers can walk any portion of the track that circles Reid Park at their own pace, no need for sponsorts. You may also register but not walk, and still receive an event T-shirt.

    Bring the family for a stroll, and support programs working to bring long-term solutions to hunger and food security issues in our community. Programs such as:
    Home Gardening
    The Marana Learning Farm
    Family Advocacy
    Farmers’ Markets
    Nuestra Tierra Demonstration Garden

    Have excess fruit or vegetables on your property?

    Either donate your excess grown produce OR simply have your resource added to the database.

    Iskash*taa is an inter-generational group of refugees from Africa and Tucsonan volunteers harvesting approximately 20,000 lbs. of fruits and vegetables each year from backyards and local farms and redistributing to refugee families from many countries and other Tucson organizations that assist families in need.

    Volunteers invite the community to donate excess fruit. help spread the word.

    Public Forum: Tackling the Toxic Table: Foraging for healthy food

    Public Forum:
    Tackling the Toxic Table:
    Foraging for healthy food in a global economy

    Sunday April 13th 2-4pm
    Arizona Grand Resort (formerly the Pointe South Mountain Resort)

    Join nitrition and health experts for discussion, presentations, Q&A.

    Andrew Weil, MD, “The Optimum Diet”

    David Wallinga, MD, “Healthy Food in Healthcare: making change happen”

    To register and find out more, visit

    Tucson Electric Vehicle Assoc. Meeting

    Tucson Electric Vehicle Association
    meets the 3rd Sat of each month
    Visit our website to confirm details:
    generally 9am-noon
    at UMC Hospital
    (on Campbell Ave., just north of Speedway)
    Meeting Room E
    (directions: go in the main entrance, past the waiting room, past the reception, past the elevators, to the cafeteria; go to meeting room E on the south side; the first meeting room is F we are in E)

    Visit our website to confirm details:

    Farmers Markets in the Tucson Area


    Farmers Markets
    (in the Tucson Area)

    Civano Artisans and Farmers Market – Civano Nursery, 5301 S. Houghton Road. 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Sundays. 248-9218.

    St. Philip’s Plaza Farmers Market – 4280 N. Campbell Ave. 8 a.m.-noon Sundays. 918-9811.

    Community Food Bank Farmers Market, 3003 S. Country Club Road. 8 a.m.-noon Tuesdays. 622-0525.

    Downtown Farmers Market and Arts and Crafts Mercado – Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave. 8 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesdays. 326-7810.

    Santa Cruz River Farmers Market – Santa Cruz River Park, on the west bank of the river between West Speedway and West St. Mary’s Road.
    March-April, & Nov.: Thursdays, 3-6pm
    May-Oct: Thursdays, 4-7 p.m.
    Call the Community Foodbank for info: 622-0525.

    Tubac Farmers Market – Plaza de Anza, adjacent to the village of Tubac. From Tucson, take Interstate 19 south to Exit 34 and go east to the frontage road. 5-8 p.m. the third Thursday of each month. 398-2506.

    El Presidio Mercado – El Presidio Park, West Alameda Street near North Church Avenue, Downtown. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Fridays. 326-7810.

    Oro Valley Farmers Market – Oro Valley Town Hall, 11000 N. La Cañada Drive. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 918-9811.

    Plaza Palomino Saturday Market – 2970 N. Swan Road. 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturdays. 320-6344.
    Rincon Valley Farmers Market – 12500 E. Old Spanish Trail, four miles east of Saguaro National Park. 9 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. 591-2276.

    Bisbee Farmers Market – Vista Park in the Warren District. From Tucson, take Interstate 10 east, then take Arizona 80 southeast on Arizona 80. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 1-520-227-5060.
    San Manuel Farmers Market – In front of the Community Presbyterian Church, 801 McNab Parkway, San Manuel. 8 a.m.-noon Saturdays. 1-520-385-4463.

    Grant Road Planning

    Planning for our own destructionUrban Villages - New Urbanism in an existing cityElements of an Urban Village

    Sample Urban Village NetworkUrban Village Network - Climate change Un-Transport plan

    Mobility & Urban Villages – The new Face of Tucson

    Actions on Transportation

    The Grant Road Improvement Plan process is developing a vision and plan for major changes to Grant Road. This project is part of the recently adopted Regional Transportation Authority plan (RTA), funded by a 1/2¢ Sales Tax. Voters have already approved $160 million for the project, so it is likely that something will be done.

    The RTA includes a substantial increase in funding for transit, road repair, and support for pedestrians. It also plans to accommodate a doubling in car and truck traffic in the next 22 years that will result from an expected 30% increase in driving per person and a 50% increase in population.

    If this increase happens, it will mean that Tucsonans will:

    • Drive the equivalent of two round-trips to Pluto every year by 2030 (up from 7.5 billion miles / one round-trip in 2007),
    • Spend $5.5 Billion per year on driving at 40¢ per mile (up from $3 Billion per year today), and
    • Will produce an extra 39 million tons of CO2 over the next 22 years, because of all that extra driving.
    • Experience “severe congestion” that worsens from 6% of all trips (today) to nearly 30% of all trips by 2030.

    It is important that you participate and have your say, since this will affect your life in many ways. And there are some important ways you can participate. These include:

    Write Nina Trasoff, Karin Uhlich, and Rodney Glassman, the councilmembers along Grant. Let them know you want a different vision for Grant Road than the “same-old, same-old” that the current plan is developing. You can write each councilmember at the City mailing addressed, PO Box 27210 (85726) Tell them:

    • The final Grant Road plan should reduce car traffic, not increase it by 15,000 cars per day (an increase of roughly 20 million miles per year and 20 million pounds of CO2).
    • The Grant Road plan should specifically state its impacts on Tucson’s efforts to minimize Global Climate Change
    • The “alignment plan” being prepared now should explicitly allow several Urban Village Centers along Grant.
    • The “alignment plan” should be consistent with using the added two lanes of Grant as an alternate-modes corridor, rather than two more lanes of car traffic.
    • The City should increase investment in making our neighborhoods beautiful places to walk and bike.
    • The City should commit to funding better bus service along Grant Rd.

    Attend the Grant Road Segment planning meetings from 6-8:30 at the TAR offices, 2445 N Tucson Blvd. They cover different stretches of Grant and are on January 14 (Oracle to 1st Ave), January 16 (1st Ave to Tucson Blvd.) and January 17th (Tucson Blvd. to Swan). Tell your neighbors and the consultants you:

    • Do want more local businesses and less driving, not more traffic and big box stores along Grant.
    • Do want a plan that prepares us for much higher gas prices and doesn’t worsen Global Climate Change.
    • Do want Grant to become the first of a network of Urban Villages throughout Tucson.
    • Do want to be part of a design competition to create an urban village near you.
    • Do want Urban Villages to be added to the options studied by the Grant Road Task Force.
    • Do want to use the extra two lanes to make Grant an alternate modes corridor that accommodates bus rapid transit, bikes, wheelchairs, and pedestrians.

    Record your position on Grant Road Vision Statement and Guiding Principals at the Grant Road Improvement Plan website Let them know you:

    • Believe the goals of increasing Grant Road traffic by 15,000 cars per day and improving mobility for thru-traffic conflict with the goals of improving Grant Road for use by local people and businesses.
    • Believe that, as we move half the businesses to widen Grant, we should encourage them to move to places (Urban Village Centers) where they are closest to their customers and where their customers can easily get to them by bus, bike, walking and neighborhood shuttle bus.
    • Believe we should give highest priority to pedestrians and bicyclists who want to cross Grant at an Urban Village Center.
    • Believe widening Grant Road to 6 lanes of car traffic cannot be achieved within the budget, because cost projections do not include reasonable construction inflation.

    Sustainable Tucson Supported by a Pulliam Grant in 2008

    Sustainable Tucson Supported by a Pulliam Grant in 2008

    Sustainable Tucson will benefit from the support of a professional grant writer to bring operational funding to its leadership and affinity groups for providing sustainability education to the public in Tucson and Pima County.

    The Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust (NMPCT) in Phoenix awarded $45,000 to the Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) to support Sustainable Tucson’s mission to educate and advocate for sustainability in Tucson and Pima County. Funds to build capacity of Sustainable Tucson and AAEE to achieve sustainability objectives will be sought during 2008 by a team comprised of a grant writer and two project assistants (one from Sustainable Tucson and the other from AAEE).

    Another important goal of the project will link sustainability activities in Tucson with those developing in other parts of Arizona to facilitate learning and innovation and thereby advance the combined efforts of many communities and organizations toward sustainability.

    In 2005 NMPCT awarded AAEE a grant to convene a state-wide summit of leaders from a diversity of sectors to make recommendations for communities across Arizona to work together to achieve a variety of sustainability goals. The Arizona Crossroads Summit was held at the Heard Museum in 2006.

    After the recommendations and report from the Summit were published, AAEE called a meeting in the fall of 2007 in Tucson that was well attended. That meeting grew to a coalition of existing community groups working on sustainability-and hundreds of new citizens-to form Sustainable Tucson.

    Based on Sustainable Tucson’s outstanding record of community building and AAEE’s goal to support efforts like it in Arizona, Pulliam Charitable Trust awarded a second grant to AAEE specifically to support the development of Sustainable Tucson and to increase AAEE’s capacity to promote environmental literacy for the long term.

    Read the latest activities of the Pulliam initiative as well as access news about groups across Arizona working on sustainability objectives:

    For more information about the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust:

    Quote of the Month – Feb 2008

    February 2008 Quote:

    “The longer you postpone the necessary, the more expensive becomes the inevitable.” said Chancellor Angela Merkel, the German head of state, regarding the need for decisive, cooperative actions to stabilize the climate. This quote represents the kind of leadership we need much more of at all levels says SustainableTucson member Bob Cook. “We here in Tucson, like people everywhere, live in an unsustainable city, in an unsustainable country, in an unsustainable world. Without sufficient attention to the priority challenges – that is, the timely sustainability challenges – our problems are certain to multiply.”

    A Sustainable City

    2008 State of the City Address
    Mayor Robert E. Walkup
    February 1, 2008

    “A Sustainable City”

    The state of our city is strong.

    We increased our investments in key areas-public safety, transportation, parks and water-after decades of neglect.

    We diversified our revenues and cut costs. While Arizona state and city governments face steep deficits this year, Tucson’s deficit is manageable.

    We should not raise taxes. Instead, we should cut costs internally to balance our budget and preserve programs and services for our people.

    Your City Council has made tough choices in recent years. But they were the right choices. Each has put Tucson’s needs above any political agenda. Tucson is better and stronger because of all of their leadership. I’d like for all of them to stand now and be recognized.


    Our vision for Tucson is clear.

    Tucson at its best is a desert city that balances the needs of its people and its environment. Our mission is to be a recognized leader in a knowledge-based global economy. And our top goal is the highest quality of life and place for all of our people.

    Therefore, our policies must promote economic opportunity for all—for this is the foundation of a high quality of life.

    And our policies must promote environmental stewardship of our land, our water and our air—the foundation of a high quality of place.

    My honest assessment is that we are doing well. But we can do better. And we must do better.

    There is a great focus these days on environmental sustainability. Specific steps to defend open spaces, preserve wildlife habitat, protect our water supply, promote energy-efficient construction and reduce our carbon footprint are all being aggressively pursued by the City, the County, the towns and the Native American Nations.

    There is more to be done to protect our environment, of course. It is our duty, as a Boy or Girl Scout might say, to leave Tucson better than we found it.

    But we should be proud of how far we have come.

    I can tell you that other mayors across America are impressed with what we are doing in Tucson. We are capturing methane at our landfill and converting it to electricity, running a reclaimed water system, powering our buses with natural gas and biodiesel. Pima County’s Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan is recognized nationally. And the City Council is now working on additional water and energy conservation measures that will set a national standard.

    Tucson is also recognized internationally. I have discussed water-treatment and alternative-energy projects with Israeli government and business leaders. Tucson and Israel have similar water and energy needs.

    And I was recently invited to London along with five American mayors whose cities are recognized as environmental leaders. I got a good laugh when they quickly pointed out their rooftop solar panels through a break in the fog. J

    Now what about our economy?

    Much is being done across Tucson to improve our economy. Thanks to our hard-working people in business and labor (and the work of TREO), we have 57,000 more jobs and average earnings have increased 38% since 1999.

    Our Gross Municipal Product, which measures the value of our local economy, is now above $31 billion.

    That may sound like a lot. It is actually larger than the entire economies of five American states.

    But, in my opinion, it is not big enough. Tucson’s economy is less than half the size of Milwaukee’s, Mike Hein’s hometown ($64 billion), and Austin’s ($66 billion).

    A stronger economy is required to bring more opportunities to our working families. A stronger economy will help keep our best-educated children in Tucson. Our quality-of-life and our community’s sustainability are dependent upon it.

    We must continue to focus on the areas that add to our economy and increase our quality-of-life. Retaining, expanding and starting new Tucson businesses is a vital community objective. Training our people for the jobs of the 21st century is essential. Improving our education and health care systems is critical. Supporting the arts and sciences to feed our minds and our souls is vital.

    Many believe that economic and environmental initiatives are always in conflict. I strongly disagree.

    Too many choose sides and divide the community. We must bridge the divide.

    The truth is that economic sustainability and environmental sustainability are equally important. Both are required to achieve a sustainable Tucson.

    We must pursue policies that improve our economy and serve our environment at the same time. And we must do so regionally, strategically and comprehensively.

    Given our limited resources, I strongly encourage our City Council and our region to pursue the following five policy areas that serve both our economy and our environment simultaneously:

    Fiscal Sustainability:

    Investing in public safety, street repair and our parks and open spaces serves both our economy and our environment.

    Better infrastructure and more crime fighting improves neighborhoods, increases property values, lowers insurance rates and protects businesses.

    And a stronger central city provides residents an alternative to more urban sprawl.

    We are entering year three of our ten-year plan. This year’s investments include:

    • 40 more police officers
    • 31 more firefighters, paramedics and other fire personnel
    • 16 more square miles of neighborhood street repair
    • 14,000 more hours of park maintenance and
    • 10,000 more hours of parks department programs for seniors and children

    I strongly recommend to the City Council to stick to the Fiscal Sustainability Plan as our top priority. It is our job to maintain public safety, good streets and safe parks in this city—no one else’s. And all Tucsonans—not just some Tucsonans—depend upon these investments.

    As we now know, the failure to invest leaves payday loan-like debts for future generations.

    For example, the failure to maintain a city street regularly at $2 per square yard now costs us $46 per square yard to replace.

    The failure to invest properly in our Tucson Water system in the 1970s and 1980s contributed to the CAP debacle of the early 1990s. We saved our predecessors a few dollars a month from regular maintenance costs twenty years ago. But we are now paying hundreds of millions of dollars to fix the problems we inherited.

    Water rates should be as low as possible. But we do Tucson no favors by deferring today’s problems, leaving sky-high debts to our children and risking future catastrophes.

    Regional Land Use Plan:

    I propose that the City, County, towns and Native American Nations all join together to form a consistent, unified land use plan for our entire region.

    It would help our economy and our environment at the same time.

    The plan would identify where homes and jobs and fire stations and hospitals and roads and parks and water lines should go—and where they shouldn’t.

    It would provide certainty to homebuyers and business owners and reduce infrastructure costs. It costs our taxpayers far more to come back and fix the problems caused by unplanned growth than it does to do it right the first time.

    And a unified regional land use plan would help our environment as well. Open space reserves and protected washes and trails should be continuous no matter what jurisdiction they happen to be in. Native species and hikers and bikers don’t care about the lines in the sand that serve politicians. They need a regional and comprehensive system.

    A unified plan may also help us merge separate planning concepts into a seamless whole.

    For example, the City employs Desert Village concepts in planning the southeast side. Desert villages aim to serve many human needs—jobs, parks, hospitals and fire stations—in compact areas.

    Both economically and environmentally, it is unwise to approve residential developments where the future residents have to drive seven miles to the nearest supermarket, or ten miles to work, or many miles through traffic to the nearest emergency room.

    Pima County’s land uses are guided by the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan. Concerns for habitat and natural resources help determine the location of future growth. Its goal is to balance economic and environmental concerns.

    I propose that we work to put together the best of both ideas.

    I believe that there is a way to use the Sonoran Desert Plan to help guide development in the city. I believe that it can evolve to be more relevant to urban development. And I believe that Desert Village principles can assist in the planning of suburban, unincorporated communities.

    A unified regional land use plan also presents the opportunity to develop new guidelines for new development. For example, if we are serious about addressing climate change, we should consider requiring that all new development—City, County or town—has reasonable access to transit.

    If we are serious about making growth pay its own way, we should consider requiring that growth only occur in areas that offer the highest return on tax revenues, especially state-shared revenues.

    Impact fees only address the cost of the original infrastructure. But tax revenues pay for the police, fire, paramedic and street repair services the people will need year after year. We must plan new growth with an eye towards economic and tax-revenue sustainability, too.

    Our region has come together to consolidate transportation and economic development efforts. Now a unified land use plan for our entire region is the next big step we must begin this year.


    Support for infill is a key strategy to deal with growth and serve both our economy and our environment.

    It costs taxpayers less to steer growth where the streets and roads and fire stations already exist. And central city development means less demand for sprawl development and all the environmental issues that come with sprawl.

    Almost 33% of the land within the city limits is undeveloped. It ranges from empty lots within neighborhoods to large tracts of State Trust Land.

    Also, many Tucson neighborhoods were built without any planning. The houses were not subject to any building codes. Too many of these homes are substandard in quality and energy-inefficient.

    I believe that we have an opportunity to transform our central city into a 21st century model for balancing economic vitality, historic preservation and environmental stewardship. But new approaches and attitudes towards infill are required.

    The partnership between the City, State Land and Westcor to plan 12,000 acres of state land is a good model for planning undeveloped land. This is an infill area. It is surrounded by existing development: Vail on the east, Corona de Tucson on the south and central Tucson to the north and west.

    There are some important environmental assets in this area that must be protected. But fewer than in other areas in our region targeted for development. And development inside Tucson will absorb some demand for thousands of new homes in sprawling Pinal County, Benson or Tubac.

    But what about infill in developed areas? I believe that this is one of the biggest challenges facing the City Council and the City of Tucson right now.

    Housing stock across the central city is aging and falling into disrepair. Layers of city codes have accumulated over the decades. They have made new development, redevelopment, home additions and even home repair more difficult.

    It is frustrating to both neighborhood leaders and infill developers that the only projects that can get through the system are the mini-dorms that each side says they don’t like.

    The system is dysfunctional. The cost of lower property values to homeowners, the city and the county, is immense.

    The City’s new Neighborhood Preservation Zone program is a great opportunity to address the need for infill. But it must balance preservation of existing neighborhoods with the promotion of density and mixed-use development along major roads. One without the other is incomplete. Neighborhood and development leaders must work with each other and together with the City Council to ensure that the program is a success.

    And the City must finally engage in a comprehensive reform of its land use code. We have put this off for far too long. Our code must promote the economic and environmental sustainability we seek. That means more density where appropriate, more “green” water and energy-efficiency requirements and clear design standards to match new, creative designs with existing neighborhood patterns.

    We must also continue our current major infill project: Rio Nuevo. Downtown is the heart of the effort to build a larger local economy and an alternative to urban sprawl. It is far, far better to grow up than grow out.

    The Council unanimously approved key infrastructure investments and new facilities last year. These include a new $200 million convention center hotel, a $60 million expansion of the convention center, a $130 million UA Science Center and a $130 million new arena. $37 million in infrastructure work is already underway.

    Now a unified private sector, the Tucson Downtown Partnership, is at the table. Business leaders from downtown and across the region are now partnering with local government to bring the region’s top talent together for this key project.

    Community leaders understand that we all have a stake in a successful downtown revitalization. They understand that transparency and public participation are required when tax dollars are being utilized.

    And they know that we are committed to not repeat the mistakes of urban renewal projects decades ago. Downtown redevelopment will be for all of our people, not built on top of our people.

    Of course we have a ways to go. But we are making steady progress:

    New homes are being constructed right across the freeway and along Congress. Historic downtown theatres have been restored and are open for business. Roads and underpasses are being improved. Water, power and telecommunication lines are being upgraded.

    You can see it as you drive home today. Something is happening downtown. And thank you for coming downtown during all the construction. J

    Regional Water Planning:

    As always, water policy is critical to the success of our economic and environmental objectives. Here, too, a regional approach makes sense.

    More cooperation between Tucson Water and Pima County Water Reclamation is the best first step towards maximizing our water resources. Working together, we can lower costs, establish quality standards, improve conservation and coordinate our investments.

    However, this is just the beginning of the process. Patience is necessary. And public input is essential.

    We must take advantage of the unity that has been achieved through support of the County bonds, the RTA and the opposition of Proposition 200. Any decisions must be made with considerable public input: business, environment, human services and leaders from other jurisdictions. As always, the private and public sectors must work together for any new policies to ultimately succeed.

    In my opinion, the goal is simple: safe, appealing, abundant and affordable water. And determining the best way to manage every drop of water throughout the water cycle—from the ground to the tap, down the drain and through the treatment plant and back into the ground—is the way to achieve that goal.

    I am repeatedly asked: How will we govern our water in the future? Will there be a regional water authority?

    Frankly, these questions are important, but they are premature.

    The more basic question is this: how should our water policy meet our goal of the highest quality of life and place for all of our people? Or, in short, what is our water for?

    From there the questions become far more complex:

    How much water should be allocated towards economic goals, and how much toward environmental goals?

    How much to support residential growth and how much to support commercial and industrial growth?

    If a new manufacturer needs water, how much water is each new job worth?

    Should growth be allowed in areas where water conservation requirements are legally unenforceable?

    Once the community answers these and other questions, then we can analyze the strengths and weaknesses of the current system and decide whether a new system is warranted.

    Green Economic Development & Green-Collar Jobs:

    One of the key recommendations of the TREO Economic Blueprint is to focus on the Environmental Technology industry cluster.

    A strong community focus on Environmental Technology will directly benefit both our economy and our environment.

    According to TREO, worldwide clean-energy markets will quadruple in the next ten years, from $55 billion in revenues to $226 billion. Demand for biofuels, wind power, solar power and fuel cell technologies will increase. Tens of thousands of new jobs will be created.

    Tucson has a golden opportunity to become a global center for Environmental Technology. Public-private partnerships on research and development, the manufacture of environmental technologies, solar power generation and the application and utilization of environmental technologies are all necessary.

    Other cities are already scrambling to build their own Environmental Technology clusters. Albuquerque, for example, just announced an agreement with a German company to build a $500 million, 1,500 job factory there. The product: solar modules for utility-scale solar installations.

    Tucson has greater natural advantages than Albuquerque. But it’s not enough to have a lot of sunlight. Lots of places have a lot of sunlight. And lots of places can announce that they are the “solar-con valley” or the “Saudi Arabia of solar.” People see through gimmicks pretty easily.

    Instead, we have to be competitive or we will lose out. We have to move quickly and smartly.

    Our community must be united and must demand a comprehensive strategy. Who are our competitor cities? What are they doing? Who are the top environmental companies? What do they need in the short term and the long term? What partnerships are required? What financial and regulatory systems must be in place to assist and protect these companies? Overall, what must we do to make Tucson the best place in the world to start or relocate environmental technology companies?

    We look to TREO to answer these questions. But the community, and especially the private sector, must support TREO at a higher level. A greater investment in our economic future is required.

    Local government may have other resources that can support this effort. The City of Tucson has approximately 20,000 acres of undeveloped land in Avra Valley that was purchased for water rights decades ago.

    The Council has recently discussed a solar-energy pilot project in this area. That is excellent. But we can go farther.

    I strongly believe that the City should consider any and all proposals for how to put this land to use for solar and other environmental technology projects—public and private—as long as these projects are consistent with current water system and environmental protection efforts in the area.

    The UA could locate solar research and development facilities there. TEP could expand its proposed pilot project and provide enough solar power for our water distribution system. Leading companies can use the land for manufacturing, development and possibly even power generation.

    Also, in order to compete we need a trained workforce to support this industry. “Green-collar” jobs–building, assembling, installing, operating, maintaining, transporting and manufacturing green technologies and products.

    We must work together to provide the skills and training necessary for these new jobs. Here, too, I welcome our friends in Pima County, job-training organizations, faith-based job trainers such as Jobs-4-Life, construction trade organizations and unions, and all other interested parties to come to the table now. We need their leadership and expertise to transform our economy, help our environment and strengthen our workforce.


    These five areas offer significant opportunities for our region to achieve the highest quality-of-life and place for all of our people.

    It is an aggressive agenda. But it is achievable.

    This community has come together in recent years to accomplish great things. Business groups, environmental organizations, non-profits and even political parties rallied together to support our County bond projects, improve our transportation system and defend our water.

    That spirit of unity must expand in order to face new economic and environmental challenges. And we must go further.

    We need the business community to engage on environmental issues. Smart business owners are learning more about how climate change is affecting consumer attitudes, methods of production and the bottom line.

    And we need the environmental community to engage on economic issues. An environmental agenda that focuses solely on habitat restoration and open space protection is good. But transforming our local economy from one deeply dependent on land development to one focused on high-tech, clean industry is more sustainable.

    Our leading public institutions—and especially the City and the County—must continue to work more closely together, too. I am very proud of the progress we have made. President Shelton, Chancellor Flores, fellow Mayors and tribal leaders and Supervisors and Councilmembers—we are all colleagues and friends. Our shared mission is to serve our people and this place as best we can.

    For decades, our community was split on transportation issues between roads and transit. Many plans failed because we could not bridge that divide. Finally, community leaders on both sides realized that we had to come together. We needed both roads and transit. The RTA Plan included both, and our voters approved it.

    Now we need to bridge other longstanding divides in our community. The business and environmental communities must come together. Neighbors and developers must come together. We must move forward.

    I have laid out today the opportunities I see to begin to bend old swords into plowshares and build a better future for all of Tucson. I ask all community leaders with the vision to see past these old divisions to join with me in this great work.

    Thank you. God bless all of you, and God bless Tucson.

    Sustainability Social – Tucson Environmental Education Regional Planning Group

    Sustainability Social
    (In coordination with the Arizona Association for Environmental Education)

    Tuesday, March 11, 4:30 -5:45 pm

    La Cocina at Old Town Artisans
    Buffet and Beverage
    $10 each at the door

    Help re-convene the Tucson Environmental Education Regional planning group. We’re dusting it off and dressing it up in GREEN to work together.
    Come enjoy great food, good company, and discuss the possibilities.

    Please RSVP to Susan Williams by March 8:
    400-4117 or susanleewilliams[at@]cox[dot.]net

    *NOTE: It’s just a short walk to the Sustainable Tucson General Meeting afterward, 6-8pm.

    Economy Group

    Economy Group
    March 12, 6:30-8:30,
    Lotus Massage and Wellness Center, 2850 E. Grant

    We will continue with folks bringing short presentations (with concise handouts
    if relevant and possible) on research/organizations/agencies/etc. that group members
    feel would be useful to guide actions or projects of the group.

    On Abolishing Corporate Personhood – Democracy Organizing Group

    Corporatism has power & control over war & peace, Earth & space. What can we do as individuals and as groups?

    Meetings 6pm, Wednesday March 12, and again April 16th.

    Martha Cooper Library – 1377 N. Catalina Ave
    (1 block east of Columbus 2 blocks north os Speedway)

    An issue of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF)

    ** Subscribe to discussion group at “ApolishCorporatePersonHoodAZ [at]”

    ** Sign up for the next Study Group for background on corporate power and responses to it in the U.S.

    Economy Group Meeting

    Wednesday February 20, 2008
    6:30 to 8:30
    Lotus Massage & Wellness Center
    2850 E. Grant (see below for directions)

    We are dedicating the next meetings to exploring and learning about existing programs & organizations to look at approaches that might inform one (or more) projects for the Economy Group.

    Each of us is asked to look at one program/project/research/model/organization (in most cases, looking at its website), and give a 5- to (at most) 10-minute presentation to the group, focusing on aspects that could be applied to work here in Tucson.

    If possible, it would be helpful to prepare a page of concise bulleted information (highlighting what seems most salient, useful, relevant) and bring copies to share.

    Some of the kinds of programs mentioned have been Co-op America, BALLE, LocalFirst Arizona… If you want to stake a claim to a particular topic, please e-mail the group.

    And, if you are not yet on the ST-Economy yahoo list, please join — for ease of communicating with each other, and referencing notes from previous meetings. Visit the ST-Economy yahoo group here:

    Lotus Massage and Wellness Center is on the south side of Grant, between Country Club and Tucson Blvd.
    You’ll be looking for a classic little 1930 adobe set back from the street.
    Visit the Lotus Center website if you’d like a map and directions or info about the best bike and bus routes.

    Relocalization Meeting

    Sunday, February 10th, 2008
    Campaign For Our Lives meeting
    3-4:30 pm
    1929 N. Forgeus Avenue, Tucson (near Elm and Tucson)

    Campaign For Our Lives , a project of Natural Systems Solutions, is affiliated with Post Carbon Institute’s relocalization network , and is a Sustainable Tucson affinity group. Our mission is to address the underlying and connected issues that are currently threatening our planet and create responses that are aligned with Earth’s answers. CFOL is a place for people eager to work on building “lifeboats” to a sustainable future according to the principles of natural systems–building relationships of mutual support for reconnecting our lifestyles and relocalizing our social infrastructure.

    Among other things, we will:
    * rediscover how to be in “right relationship” with our inner selves,
    others, and the rest of the natural world
    * discover how responses that transcend the personal are healthier and
    have a greater impact because they are more fulfilling
    * inspire others to share this process as our growing numbers impact local
    government and other forces that shape our lives locally.

    For more info call (520) 887-2502 or see