Our Mission and Vision


“We believe that the path to sustainability can only be achieved by involving the full community in visioning and actions that preserve or enhance our quality of life while reducing our consumption of energy and other resources.”


Sustainable Tucson is a non-profit, grass-roots organization that builds regional resilience and sustainability through awareness raising, community engagement and public/private partnerships. Our members focus their action, advocacy and research through working groups addressing the unprecedented challenges of our time, economic meltdown, population pressures, climate change, and resource depletion.



The Mission of Sustainable Tucson is to create a community-wide network of people and organizations facilitating and accelerating Tucson’s transition to sustainability through education and collaborative action.



Our vision is for a community that survives long into the future, having re-established civil society, achieved ecological balance, economic fairness, and social justice.  People acknowledge and live in accordance with their interconnectedness with the web-of-life.

  • Food is safe, healthy and regionally produced.
  • People can safely walk, ride bikes, take public transportation.
  • Relationships are more important than stuff.
  • Neighbors know and support each other.
  • People feel empowered to use their energies and talents to make their community more resilient.
  • Education, healthcare, and meaningful work is available to every person.
  • Resources are equitably enjoyed through out the entire population.
  • Energy is sustainably created and used.
  • The community actively participates in all decisions related to the region.
  • Public policies are based on a sustainable vision for the region.
  • Everyone engages in peaceful conflict resolution.
  • Difficult issues can be addressed openly.
  • Decisions are made based on objective research.
  • Life-affirming cultural and spiritual practices are honored.
  • All people are respected, treated equitably, and protected from exploitation.
  • A regional plan is in place that assures water sustainability for future generations and the environment through rain water harvesting and conservation.


Operating Organizational Structure

(This information is evolving with our growth)Our all-Volunteer effort is currently managing organizational development from these committees (whose members unite monthly as the “core team” to coordinate committee work):

  • Structure & Organization
  • Financial
  • General Meetings & Events
  • Communications & Web

To send a message to any of these core committees, contact the “Core Team” through our “Contact Us” form.

Core Team Members Include:

Bio picture ST website 2010Ronald Proctor

Bio: Ron Proctor has been part of Sustainable Tucson since 2007. He is an architect and builder specializing in sustainable residential design, holding MArch and BArch degrees from the University of Arizona. Prior to receiving his degrees, Ron spent 12 years as a principal in Southface Building and Design Inc., creating custom solar homes in midcoast Maine. Ron also co-chairs Lend A Hand Senior Outreach Inc., a local 501c3, serving eight Ward 3 neighborhoods by helping local seniors stay in their own homes with local volunteer assistance. He is an avid backpacker who has logged more than 1000 miles in the Grand Canyon.

VsmallBob Cook

Bob Cook

Bio: Bob has wide-ranging community-related planning experience working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.  He is President of NEST, Inc, a non-profit community development organization operating in Tucson since 1989.  As a strategic planner for Pima Community College during the 1990s, Bob coordinated strategic and master planning during the institution’s rapid growth phase.  As a sustainability advocate, he served on the City of Tucson’s Cost of Growth Task Force; actively participated in the regional natural building movement; contributed to the early development of  Civano — Tucson’s Solar Village — as past-chair of the Tucson-Pima Metropolitan Energy Commission; promoted multi-modal transportation and transit-oriented development as Treasurer of the 2003 Citizens Transportation Initiative ballot measure; was committee chair of the local Sierra Club’s 2009 Climate Change Plan; and served on the 2008-10 Tucson-Pima Regional Water and Wastewater Study Committee.  Bob co-founded Sustainable Tucson in 2006 and currently serves on the Pima County Planning & Zoning Commission. Bob co- authored two books in 1975 on 1) environmental design and planning and 2) large-scale renewable energy development; graduated with distinction in economics from the University of Arizona; and received an M.S. in Systems Planning under a Dean’s Fellowship from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.  He was granted two U.S Patents on building structures and has been an active resident of Tucson since 1960.

Tres English

Bio: Tucson resident since 1961 Active in a wide variety of community issues, including transportation, water, landuse, neighborhoods, and energy. Recently completed a study for Pima County on the conditions of our aging housing stock. Currently director of the Teaching & Helping program, which teaches high school-aged and other volunteers how to fix old houses by pairing volunteers with experienced professionals to repair homes of low-income families.


Sarajean Harwood 

Bio: Sarajean Harwood came to Tucson in January of 1973 to go to graduate school and received a Masters of Library Science degree in July of1974. The desert became her permanent home and she has worked as a Librarian in the Pima County Public Library (originally Tucson Public Library) since graduating from Library School . An early member of Sustainable Tucson she has worked with and followed the progress of the organization for several years. On Friday evenings she is to be found volunteering at the Northwest Tucson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center where she has worked for many years. Deep commitment to the desert and the plants and animals therein brings her to ST and she believes that educating and informing people about the current threats to life as we know it are critical to making changes.


Tom Mendola 

Bio: Tom is father to 4 boys and a tucson resident since 1972 engaged in the process of community, he has an educational background in biology, philosophy, and environmental psychology, and is currently engaged as a board member of the Tucson Peace Center, is president of Arizona Yoga Association, sits on the Ethics Committee for Tucson Medical Center, and is an advisor to Terra Sante Village Community and Harmony & Health Foundation. His current passion is in the realm of cultural change as a reflection of the evolution of human consciousness, and he firmly believes that humanity is poised on the edge of Peace, Sustainability, and compassionate joyful living….AKA …The Great Shift…he invites your direct correspondence.

Networking: Organizations, Citizen Iniatives, and Projects

  • Affiliated and other organizations: You can find sustainability-related organizations (both local, and general) through our “Affiliated Organizations” page. This resource will be expanding and more searchable. Check back often.
  • Citizen-initiatives: These are brought to our attention by our membership, and many have been initiated by our members as a result of networking through our meetings and discussion board.Find when these initiatives may be meeting and needing your help through our Events listings for Community Sustainability initiatives.
  • Projects: If you would like your initiative to be affiliated as a “Sustainable Tucson Endorsed Project”, Please contact the Core Team with a summary of your plans, and we can arrange for review/discussion.[Basic guidelines coming soon]Thanks!


    [definition coming soon]

    Consultants and Other Volunteer Contributors

    Many members of the community at large also contribute time and expertise to helping Sustainable Tucson, either as consultants, advisors, or otherwise donating their skills. We thank you all.

  • 3 comments on “Organizational Info

    1. Hi Folks — just read your May and June ST invitations and they’re sounding…a little loopy at this point. In my own advocacy work, I introduce Dave Ewoldt as THE world expert on matters of sustainability and relocalization. It would be important, I think, to continually endorse his ongoing contribution in plain view and with confidence.

      The Tucson, Pima County and Southwest regions have everything to gain from sustained exchanges and associations with all of you backyard gems!

      I feel comfortable in expressing that Dave has influenced my views deeply over the years.

      Thank you for your time.


      Danielle Charbonneau

      Danielle Charbonneau, B.A., M.Ed.
      Community and Environmental Advocate
      Saint-Jérôme, Québec

      A radically different advocate for action to protect People & Planet and prepare for the impact by Peak Oil and climate change

    2. Hello Sustainable Tucson!

      Just checking in again to see if you would like to join us at the Historic Y on December 13th for the annual Gathering of the Greens!

      Please let us know! Thanks.

      ——– Original Message ——–
      Subject: *******SAVE THE DATE****** Gathering of the Greens 2012
      Date: Thu, 15 Nov 2012 09:13:17 -0700
      From: Gabe Wigtil
      To: Diana Hadley

      Season’s Greetings All:

      It’s holiday time and time for another Gathering of the Greens! This is the annual holiday party at The Historic Y sponsored by groups in the building and other like-minded organizations in the community. If you have attended before, you know it is a blast and “the” event of the year. As usual, there will be food, beverages, music and plenty of fun with old and new friends.

      So, we are once again asking for sponsorships and volunteers! The party will be held Thursday, December 13 from 5pm to 10pm. We are asking each organization that wishes to be a part of the festivities to please contribute $100. Shawn Burke, owner of The Historic Y and Joey Schwanz have agreed to be the clearinghouse for the contributions, and Joey will be coordinating collection of funds. Once we have a list of all the sponsoring organizations — and some money to spend on the party — an invitation with each sponsor listed will be prepared and sent out to all of us for distribution.

      What we need from you now:

      1. Will your group be a sponsor? If so, please respond ASAP to Joey Schwanz at to give your pledge. He can then send you an invoice for a check if needed.

      2. If a sponsor, please send your contribution by December 1. Checks can be made out of The Historic Y LLC and sent to The Historic Y, Attn. Joey Schwanz at 738 N. 5th Ave.,Tucson, AZ 85705 or physically dropped off at The Historic Y. The Party Planning Committee will be following up on all promised sponsorship so please save us a call and get your check in early!

      3. Please volunteer a person from your organization to help with set-up on the day of the event or give a hand with other logistics. Provide Joey with this person’s contact email soon!

      4. Let us know what you can help with regarding pre-party organization: prepare food, bring additional treats, contact businesses for in-kind donations of food or drink, etc.

      Thanks so much! We hope you can help and enjoy the festivities!

      The Historic Y
      Party Planning Committee

    3. I would like to contact someone from your organization. Preferably someone interested in Fresh Air Cooling and indoor air quality. I can also be reached by cell at 208.954.6133.

      As you know, Tucson is a great climate for ventilation cooling. We have a calculator that can help convey this opportunity. Uses TMY3 data.

      Looking forward to talking with someone there.

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