Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Tucson 3rd Annual Green Festival Planning

Livin’ la Vida Verde Kick off Meeting

Let’s get ready to RUMBLE!!! The Green Team for Tucson’s 3rd Annual Green Festival will kick off their first meeting Feb. 23rd from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m. at Bentley’s House of Coffee & Tea on Speedway (there will be reserved tables but please RSVP for a head count). This will be our designated meeting place for now. Please feel free to join us on this great adventure!

Last years festival was a huge success!
*We had over 4,000 attendees (too hard to count exactly how many)
*2 separate stages (chock full of local performers)
*Great media coverage and Program Guide (thanks to Tucson Green Times)
*Kids’ Planet which was a mini-festival within the Festival just for kids
*Over 125 Exhibitors
*12 Media & Platinum Partners who contributed more than $2,000 dollars in cash, media and/or In-kind donations.
*37 Gold & Silver Partners contributing $100 or more in cash and/or In-kind donations
*Special Workshops & Demos on green building, local foods, rainwater harvesting, city chickens, gardening, etc
*Guest speakers who included: Mayor Walkup, Supervisor Elias, Chef Janos Wilder , Guest Dj's Laurie Starr, Jennie Grabel & DJ Jaime J & many more great community leaders who came out to support us

Now we have to ramp it up and raise the bar so that the Green Festival sets itself apart as a model for others to follow suit. We won’t have much of a budget this year, but as we all know, living green is about simplicity anyway and I think this is a great opportunity to show our community what that entails.

This year’s festival will be CARBON NEUTRAL and ZERO WASTE. No exceptions! In order to have a carbon neutral event, the energy going into the planning of the festival is as important as the energy that comes out of the festival. Keep this in mind as I have had to set some criteria for joining the Green Team that are guidelines I would like everyone to try and follow. The guidelines are by no means set to be judgmental or to pick out an individual’s lifestyle, just some criteria that will help the Festival stay true to its mission and to ensure that everyone is coming from the same place and facing in the same direction so we can achieve the carbon neutral goal set before us.

We will be using many permaculture principles in the planning piece as well and I have already begun conversations with both offices of Sustainability (Pima Co. & City). I am also going to meet with Lisette from Local First AZ to make sure local businesses, and this great organization, are kept in the forefront of the planning piece. Last year, over 70% of our Exhibitors and Partners were local so we have already started off on the right foot.

I would also really like to see a larger scale Transition Towns conversation take place so please start to think about how we can include this in the scope of the Festival as well as a Green Job Fair which my friend Scotty Johnson suggested.

In order to join the Green Festival committee we ask that you commit to the following:

~You are already living or are trying to live a sustainable lifestyle (this does not mean you have to drive a Prius and shop at Whole Foods:~)
~You will not push your own personal agenda or business during the planning process of the festival or in doing festival business with potential or existing exhibitors and/or partners (sorry but I got burned last year so I have to state this)
~You will try to make all of the Green Festival committee meetings
~You will try to carpool and/or utilize alternative transportation to help mitigate the Festival footprint as stated above, when coming to meetings or conducting Festival business (this is not mandatory but counts towards the Festival footprint)
~You will commit to the mission of Tucson’s 3rd Annual Green Festival

We will meet this month and then not again until May, then again in July. August we will start to meet bi-weekly and September will kick off weekly meetings up through the day of the event. If you can think of anyone who would like to join the committee please share this email with them.

Please email me if you have any questions and/or suggestions. theegreendiva@yahoo.com

Tucson’s 3rd Annual Green Festival is a Sustainable Tucson and Defenders of Wildlife signature event.

Keely Sinclair~Festival Director & the Green Team (Sally, Judy, Lee, Chet, Laura, Scott, Susan, & Paula)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


The Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) - Arizona's professional society for people engaged in promoting environmental literacy in our state and region - will preview a new online resource, DEEP GREEN. AAEE will feature people and organizations going a step further in finding innovative ways to educate and inspire Arizonans to create sustainble human communities. AAEE has selected twenty people/programs to feature with links and downloadable resources. Look here for an announcement of its online launch in December.
Check the AAEE website for training opportunities and breaking news from the EE world. Set September 19&20, 2009 aside in your calendars for our celebration of Aldo Leopold's legacy of conservation and wildlife management at the AAEE "Arizona's Fierce Green Fire - 100 Years of Leopold" annual conference to be held on the NAU campus, in the cool of the Colorado plateau region. Learn about the new Center for Biodiversity at NAU. Not to be missed!
Susan Williams

Thursday, June 05, 2008

A Summer of Green

Sustainable Tucson and Arizona Association for Environmental Education News and Updates

Summertime brings a new rhythm with film nights and meet ups around the Old Pueblo. Visit the website for ongoing activities and action groups meeting separately.

Water remains a central concern and so a contingent of Sustain-ers will be attending the Colorado River conference hosted by the Water Resources Research Center on June 24 at the Arizona Biltmore in Phoenix (http://ag.arizona.edu/azwater/events.php?rcd_id=65).

Members of Sustainable Tucson are participating in City/County water discussions, calling for incorporation of updated scientific data from climate change teams. Climate Code Red recommendations for action have been adopted by Sustainable Tucson leadership team. Read the full report on the ST website.

A Sustainability Plan for Tucson will be published on the Sustainable Tucson website by the end of the summer as a way of shaping community-wide discussion and action. The next three monthly General Meetings will be held at the Joe Valdez Main Library on Alameda in the community conference room. These are held on the second Tuesday of the month from 5:45 to 8 pm with networking beginning at 5:45. Check the website for dates and agenda.

Sustainable Tucson's 2nd Annual Green Festival is scheduled for October 25, Saturday, at the Tucson Convention Center. Contact Keely Sinclair at info@sustainabletucson.org.

The Arizona Association for Environmental Education is holding its Fall Event at Montezuma's Well in early September. This is a fabulous outdoor education weekend. Learn from the masters about the geological and ecological wonders of this beautiful Arizona treasure, and relax with fellow educators and interpreters. See the website to register: http://www.arizonaee.org/.

Please send any announcements about summer meetings or events by commenting on this blog.

Have a great summer and stay cool!


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Tucson Basin EE Groups Reconvenes

After more than ten years the Tucson Basin Regional Environmental Educators reconvened at La Cocina restaurant at Old Town Artisans. Lorna Kraemer, founding member of the group, gave a brief history of how it was formed originally and the work accomplished. She showed copies of a resource guide with two editions published during the TBEE's history. Lorna explained that TBEE formed to prevent duplication of efforts and promote awareness of what various groups are working on.

A similar rationale prompted this informal meeting to explore whether a similar group might help us coordinate efforts across the city and county to leverage our work to a community-wide campaign for sustainability.

About 30 people enjoyed an organic buffet and beverage together on the patio. Represented were city, county, university, museum, youth, social justice and arts representatives as well as members of Sustainable Tucson and the Arizona Association for Environmental Education.

Sarajean Harwood and Anne Aiken-Browning described a proposal to write for National Science Foundation funding for multiple projects to create sustainability education opportunities for youth, school children, and adult learners. We learned from Nicole Urban-Lopez, Education Coordinator for the City of Tucson, what the Office of Conservation and Sustainable Development is planning on the launch of their website in the summer. Carla Clark, Sustainable Tucson's web info architect, described what ST is planning on its website to support action teams and the general public.

We decided to start a blog to keep the discussing rolling along. Since AAEE already has the Arizona Crossroads blog to help link groups working on conservation education and sustainbility objectives across the state, we decided to adopt it as our communication tool.

Since we just began the discussion, let's continue now. Just use the comment section to add ideas that may have occurred to you during or after the meeting. Also, all the people who could not make the meeting but asked to be included in the followup are now in the listserv with us. There are currently about 80 of us.

Let's just see what comes of it!



Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Sustainability Socials and Sundry

Sustainability Social
La Cocina at Old Town Artisans
March 11, Tuesday
4:30 -5:45 pm
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.

Following the Sustainability Social
Walk to the Main Library
Sustainable Tucson’s General Meeting
6-8:00 pm

Please RSVP to Susan Williams by March 8:
400-4117 or send an email to susanleewilliams@cox.net.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Moving on in Pima County

AAEE held its annual conference in Tucson, October 25-27, at the University of Arizona campus. Educating for Sustainability attracted over 100 educators and students. Area experts on climate change, permaculture, water conservation, and local food production offered hands-on classes and field trips that advanced participants’ knowledge about principles of sustainability. Guidelines for Excellence was held on Saturday morning to help educators identify effective environmental education materials correlated to national and state education standards.

The Conference culminated in the Livin’ la Vida Verde Festival, held in conjunction with Sunnyside Unified School District. Over seventy green vendors provided opportunities to learn about new energy and home building technologies. Honor of the Frog certificates (Green Frog News) were awarded to outstanding students and schools working on sustainability projects.
AAEE Awarded Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust Grant
The Arizona Association for Environmental Education (AAEE) received a grant of $45,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust on November 16 to support conservation and environmental education in Tucson and Pima County.

During the project year, a Sustainability Coordinator will write grants to support the efforts of Sustainable Tucson.

The current funding supports a Models for Sustainability workshop to take place in Phoenix during 2008 that will feature Sustainable Tucson while inviting groups from around Arizona to come learn and to share what they are doing. The workshop will link sustainability efforts in Arizona cities and counties providing web site points of contact and downloadable resources to any community working toward sustainability goals.

AAEE will continue to provide regular professional development workshops such as Guidelines for Excellence in Environmental Education as well as other workshops and opportunities for networking that support environmental educators’ efforts to promote environmental literacy.

For more information on the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust: http://www.nmpct.org/

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Green October: Tucson's Sustainability Month

The month of October in Tucson is packed with events that focus on the city's transformation to a more sustainable place to live and work. The recognition that this activity is the beginning of what will become a lasting effort and a way of life is the shared sensibility among affiliates of Sustainable Tucson who recently attended a Special Action Meeting at the Main Library. Nearly 100 people gathered to form Affinity Groups focused on everything from water efficiency, to health and climate change impacts, to green faith initiatives in Tucson faith communities, to public education.

Affinity groups that formed will be supported by Sustainable Tucson with a list serve for each group, web space, and general support from the Core Team - a group of leaders whose focus is the administration of Sustainable Tucson and liaisons with city, county, university, and community leaders for coordinated action toward sustainability goals and objectives.

Sustainable Tucson will serve as the follow-up support to a Community Sustainability Forum organized by the City of Tucson, Pima County, University of Arizona, and Pima Association of Governments which will be held on October 31. This forum brings 150 representatives together from an array of community groups to held focus action on a few tangible goals for the next year. It is anticipated that people attending the forum will join Sustainable Tucson's affinity groups or form new ones that will come under Sustainable Tucson's supporting umbrella.

Here are links to upcoming events:

Sustainable Tucson Home Page and Calendar http://www.sustainabletucson.org/

Arizona Association for Environmental Education Fall Conference http://arizonaee.org/aaee-events/fall-conference
University of Arizona's Campus Sustainabilty Week http://www.sustainability.arizona.edu/

Community Sustainability Forum http://www.pagnet.org/calendar/SustainabilityForum/tabid/636/Default.aspx