ST History

Sustainable Tucson

Sustainable Tucson is an emerging network of networks — to facilitate and accelerate Tucson’s transition to sustainability through community-wide education and action.

Many more people are coming to the conclusion that we are in a transitional phase from an era of rapid growth and consumption of resources to a future where we have a smaller — more sustainable — impact on our environment.

Sustainable Tucson (ST) is for us. As a community resource, ST will connect everyone to Tucson’s sustainable assets, resources and best practices.

Sustainable Tucson is also for all of those who have not yet examined the evidence of limits within our environment. ST will help provide continuously updated information on climate change and global warming, resource depletion, environmental degradation, mounting debt and currency challenges, the end of cheap energy, and unfolding food and water shortages.

Tucson is now ready to address sustainability. In future weeks, this website will display contact information about hundreds of individuals, organizations, and institutions that are involved in sustainability activities. will post updates on its ongoing actions and solutions pages. Check this website regularly for Tucson sustainability news.


Prominent Guest Opinions in the Arizona Daily Star and the Tucson Weekly during 2005 and 2006 stimulated many Tucsonans to further examine Tucson’s vulnerability to increasing environmental changes.

During Summer 2006, Lindianne Sarno’s many potluck dinner discussions and presentations and Tucson Peak Oil Project’s three community conversation events at the Main Library led to the evolution of Sustainable Tucson.

In September, ST became an official project of NEST, Inc, a community-based non-profit since 1989. NEST provides fiscal sponsorship as a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

During Fall 2006, Tucson Crossroads led by Susan Williams of the Arizona Association for Environmental Education and Arizona Crossroads merged with Sustainable Tucson to form a community-wide coalition of all individuals and organizations in the bioregion committed to facilitating education and sustainable options for the area.

The UA College of Science’s seven-part Global Climate Change public lecture series during October and November provided additional confirmation that we are facing significant challenges at every level of governance.

For us in Tucson, it became increasingly clear that we all share a common interest in the question of what kind of community do we want to have and live in as the future unfolds.

After viewing the situation comprehensively, more people saw that sustainability may be the only desirable future. And because complex change requires that people work together to accomplish significant results, the turning toward one another began.

Now, ST is an inclusive coalition of diverse individuals and organizations, bound by a sense of urgency, mutual support, and cooperative actions energizing Tucson’s transition to a more sustainable bioregion. General meetings are monthly and multiple initiatives are already ongoing.

Invitation to Sustainable Tucson

Sustainability is a process. Beginner or expert, skilled or unskilled, you have a place in this process, for all hands are needed to build Sustainable Tucson.

Sustainable Tucson’s website plans to map all the sustainable activities going on in Tucson. This web-based map will be interactive so that users can easily find who and what they want and where. Student interns will play an important role in this mapping project.

If you are a beginner, check out Who We Are or our Article, Top Ten Things To Do To Make Tucson Sustainable.  We are putting together Sustainability 101, a broad program of public education in sustainable practices.

If you are an expert, educator, investor, permaculture wizard, engineer, architect, or simply, a serious observer, kindly consider contributing articles, website links, and book/DVD reviews to our website. You may communicate with us here.

To become active in our lively committees, general meetings, and working groups, check out our events/meetings listings.

And, of course, every Tucsonan can help sustainably on the ground by harvesting rain water, conserving tapwater, using solar energy, growing food, and creating vibrant neighborhoods where folks can accomplish the business of daily life while reducing Tucson’s dependence on fossil fuels.

In future weeks, this website will display contact information about hundreds of individuals, organizations, and institutions that are involved in sustainability activities. will post updates on its ongoing actions and solutions pages. Check this website regularly for Tucson sustainability news and blogs.

Original Coalition

Sustainable Tucson began as a coalition growing to more than 100 organizations, representatives of which have attended our meetings. The list below includes the original groups and people who formed the original coalition. If you know an individual who has done substantial work towards Tucson’s sustainability, or if you yourself have done such work, please let us know so we may extend an invitation to join us. We currently have no formal membership program. We hope to include everyone in Tucson who is treading the path to sustainability, expressing the variety and depth of Tucson’s dedicated sustainability workers.

Christine Conte, Tucson Sonoran Desert Museum
Bob Cook, NEST, Inc.
Kevin Dahl, Native Seed Search
Barbara Eiswerth, Ishkash*ta
Tres English, Tucson’s eco-village wizard
Dave Ewoldt, Natural Systems Solutions
Arizona State Representative Steve Farley
Tom Greco, Community Information Resource Center
Ronald Frederick Greek, our dedicated yahoogroup moderator
Madeline Kiser and Oscar Beita, RioArte
Kevin Koch, Technicians for Sustainability
Gary Kuitert, facilities consultant
Brad Lancaster, author, Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands
Vera Lander, Pima Friends Meeting House, National Board of Directors of Church Women United
Leslie Liberti, Tucson Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development
Professor Guy McPherson, Universty of Arizona Department of Natural Resources
Tony Novelli, Development Center for Appropriate technology
Desa Rae, Kuumba-Made
Barbara Rose, Desert Permaculture Guild
Lindianne Sarno, Music Garden, Sonoran Kitchen Gardens
Joanie Sawyer, Pro Neighborhoods
Catlow and Lisa Shipek, Watershed Management Group
Kitty Ufford-Chase, Faith Co-ordinator, Tucson Community Food Bank
Susan Williams, Arizona Association of Environmental Educators

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