Earth Day AZ is a statewide collaboration celebrating the ways Arizona’s communities support the Earth and inspiring Arizonans to take action for Earth Day throughout the month of April.
Ten Arizona mayors are joining together to celebrate Earth Day AZ, a new statewide collaboration celebrating the many ways Arizona communities support the Earth with the goal of inspiring residents to take action for Earth Day during the month of April and beyond.
As members of and in partnership with Arizona State University’s Sustainable Cities Network (SCN), Arizona mayors and communities are showing that there is power in unity and that we all have a role to play in ensuring our planet’s health now and in the future. Collectively, we can protect our precious and diverse natural resources and secure a thriving future for our state and world.
“It is impressive and encouraging to see so many Arizona communities and mayors celebrating the importance of Earth Day and highlighting the importance of local actions,” said Anne Reichman, Director of ASU’s SCN. “We’re both honored and thrilled to support this statewide partnership and look forward to the positive impact local communities will contribute to the long-term sustainability of Arizona.”
Participating cities and towns for Earth Day AZ include:
El Mirage – Mayor Alexis Hermosillo
Flagstaff – Mayor Paul Deasy
Fountain Hills – Mayor Ginny Dickey
Mesa – Mayor John Giles
Oro Valley – Mayor Joe Winfield
Peoria – Mayor Cathy Carlat
Phoenix – Mayor Kate Gallego
Sedona – Mayor Sandy Moriarty
Tempe – Mayor Corey Woods
Tucson – Mayor Regina Romero
Since April 22, 1970, Earth Day has been globally recognized as a way to motivate environmental initiatives. Each year, Earth Day is celebrated on April 22, but every day is the perfect opportunity for residents to show their commitment to protect the environment through more sustainable practices.
Reducing our consumption to be more sustainable:
Don’t leave water running when not in use
Carpool or use public transit whenever possible
Reusing materials to decrease waste:
Use your own reusable water bottle or coffee mug
Take reusable shopping bags to the grocery store
Recycling to reduce the amount of waste:
Quickly rinse out food cans before placing in your blue recycling container
Junk mail and magazines can go in your blue recycling container
Reconsidering the items used daily:
Use energy-efficient and long-lasting LED bulbs in the home
Buy recycled paper for your home and office
These simple ways of reducing, reusing, recycling and reconsidering help all of us achieve a most sustainable future.
The ASU Sustainable Cities Network (SCN) is an innovative group created to strengthen efforts to ensure sustainability in the region and across Arizona. Comprised of Arizona city, town, county and tribal community practitioners and leaders, SCN is a vehicle for sharing knowledge, identifying best practices, coordinating planning and actions, and fostering long-term partnerships. Created as a bridge between ASU research and local sustainability challenges, SCN participants and partners work together to streamline and green city operation and advance local and regional sustainability and resilience measures.
AzRC Southern Arizona Member Meeting
The Arizona Recycling Coalition (AzRC) welcomes you to join us in Tucson for an afternoon of networking and collaboration. Engage with other waste and recycling partners in the southern Arizona region. Help us work towards actionable materials management solutions by deepening connections, knowledge, and expertise. Date/Time: Thursday, May 31, 2019; 11 AM – 2:30 PM
Host: Arizona Recycling Coalition Location: Hotel Congress, 311 Congress Street, Tucson, AZ 85701
20th Annual Summer Institute (CABHP)
The conference provides a wide variety of educational sessions for today’s healthcare and behavioral health professionals and partners. It will showcase keynotes conducted by nationally recognized researchers and experts, as well as more than 35 breakout sessions addressing a wide range of innovative topics relevant to those working in and leading the field, totaling 19 hours of Continuing Education Units for conference attendees. Date/Time: July 16th – July 19th, 2019
City of Chandler Landscaping and Irrigation Workshops
Date/Time: Thursdays in May, 2019; 6:00 P.M. – 8:45 P.M. Host: Chandler Water Conservation Office Location: ASU Chandler Innovation Center, 249 E. Chicago St., Chandler, AZ 85225
Each spring and fall, the Water Conservation Office offers classes designed to help residents learn how to use water more efficiently and still have a lush, beautiful looking yard. Upcoming sessions include May 2: ABC’s to Yard Watering & Timer Installation; May 9: Easy Irrigation Troubleshooting & Repair; May 16: Irrigation Maximization. Register here.
Central Arizona Project Board Member, Ben Graff Date/Time: Wednesday, July 11, 2018; 11:30 AM – 1:30 PM Location: 1720 E Camelback Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016
Join the Arizona Green Chamber on July 11 when CAP Board Member Ben Graff will speak about Central Arizona Project, the 336-mile long system delivering Colorado River water to the most populous regions of the state. The Colorado River is a critical water supply shared by seven states and Mexico. Graff will also discuss the economic impact of the CAP water supply and the Arizona Legislature’s role relating to water during this year’s legislative session. Register here.
Arizona Chapter APWA Conference
Date/Time: Wednesday – Friday, August 1 – 3, 2018 Location: Hilton El Conquistador, Tucson, AZ
Join the APWA in Tucson as industry leaders come together to exchange information, network, and learn from other technical experts. This year’s theme is “Sustaining Infrastructure in a Growing Economy”. This conference will put you in touch with hundreds of employees, partners, leaders, and other decision makers in public works. Find more information and register here.
Resource Recycling Conference
Date/Time: Monday – Wednesday, October 22 – 24, 2018 Location: Hyatt Regency at the Arch, St. Louis, MO
The Resource Recycling Conference is the top spot to meet the recycling industry’s most influential policy leaders, CEOs, and government officials. Network with clients, prospective partners, colleagues, vendors and industry leaders all in one location. Meeting everyone in one venue will save you precious time and travel expenses! Collaborate with leading industry groups and add your voice to the industry’s most pressing conversations. Learn about the topics most relevant to recycling and composting professionals. Experts from across the field will share fresh research findings and delve into key company developments and informed prognoses of the future. Register here.
Getting grants—state, federal, from foundations, or otherwise—has always been a competitive and overwhelming process. Community participants of the Sustainable Cities Network have longed for a workshop on grant writing not only to fund their own projects, but to bring more investment and positive change to Arizona communities. SCN answered this call with a grant workshop on September 13, 2017, facilitated by one of Arizona State University’s own Research Advancement Managers, Ann Marie Hess, who has extensive experience in developing, managing, and implementing large grant-funded projects.
This workshop touched on understanding critical parts of RFPs and writing effective proposals, and emphasized the value of collaboration on projects and in securing grants. Participants were able to share their progress on current grant applications, as well as discuss opportunities for joint projects, collaborations, and applications.
In all, over 40 participants benefited from this half-day workshop. Future workshops may be held and customized further depending on attendee feedback. For now, these participants—ranging from communities of all sizes across Arizona—have the starter tools to develop some highly competitive grant proposals and applications. Watch out, grant providers! Arizona communities are coming for you.
Links to the presentation and materials provided at this workshop can be found here.
Earlier this summer, the City of Glendale Water Services Department sponsored three “Hotel Saguaro” puppet shows during the Glendale Library’s busy summer reading program. A unique pre-show activity called “Taste Your Yard” allowed participants to learn about desert edible and medicinal plants. The City partnered with Maricopa County Master Gardeners, Library teen volunteers, and Trees Matter to staff interactive stations where participants made mesquite flour and sampled desert edibles, such as prickly pear candy, agave syrup, and pomegranate juice. This popular session demonstrated the need for more opportunities to learn about desert food—thankfully, development of the Desert Food Forest was underway.
The City of Glendale Water Services Department was recently awarded an Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management Community Challenge Grant to develop a Desert Food Forest demonstration at the Glendale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden. The Desert Food Forest will showcase water-efficient, desert-edible trees, shrubs, perennials, and succulents that homeowners can successfully grow, harvest, and enjoy in their own landscapes. The landscape will utilize passive rainwater harvesting, curb cuts with permeable pathways, and an interpretive sign to engage the public.
In addition to the 3,000 sq. ft. demonstration, the grant will provide for youth and adult education on Sonoran Desert edible and medicinal plants. The City is partnering with the Linking Edible Arizona Forests (LEAF) Network to offer a free “Create Your Own Desert Food Forest” class on Saturday, October 21 from 10 a.m. to Noon at the Glendale Main Library (5959 W. Brown St.). A design charrette, involving local plant experts, is scheduled this September and will help ensure a sustainable design that is compatible to our unique climate. The Food Forest demonstration is scheduled to be installed later this fall.
This project was born out of residents’ increasing interest in learning how to transform their lawns into more water-efficient desert gardens. In the Phoenix metropolitan area, outdoor water usage typically makes up more than half of a resident’s total water usage. Much of this water is used to support lawns and ornamental plants that require more resources and maintenance than desert-adapted plants. With the gaining popularity of growing desert edibles, this project will provide a demonstration and resource for visitors at the Glendale Xeriscape Demonstration Garden who want to create a desert food forest that benefits people, native wildlife, and the environment.
Nestled at the foot of the Superstition Mountains, Apache Junction is strategically positioned as the eastern gateway into the Greater Phoenix metro area and the western entry to the Tonto National Forest’s recreation venues. This geography, coupled with a western atmosphere, make the city appealing to residents and visitors alike.
Along with its many attractive qualities, the city of Apache Junction – like most communities – faces unique sustainability challenges as it continues to grow. It is these challenges that form the basis of a partnership with Arizona State University’s Project Cities program. Continue reading →
The City of Peoria recently finalized a contract with energy efficiency and renewable energy company, Ameresco, Inc. This partnership will include energy efficiency retrofits of thirteen different city facilities, as well as solar photovoltaic installations at eight different sites in the City.
In addition to these projects, two sites in Peoria will become Net Zero: the Sunrise Mountain Library and Fire Station 191. This means that the buildings’ energy usage will be roughly equal to the renewable energy produced on-site.
Two additional sites will be “unofficially” Net Zero. Fire Station 196 and Pinnacle Peak Patrol Services Building are within 10% of the size required to confidently be deemed Net Zero, but will produce energy similarly to the true Net Zero sites.
Lisa Estrada, the City of Peoria’s Economic Efficiency and Sustainability Manager, has been working for the City for over 10 years and has had significant involvement in the SCN Steering Committee and Solar & Energy Efficiency Workgroup. She has helped to work behind-the-scenes in the City to prepare for this contract with Ameresco, utilizing knowledge gleaned from SCN and other city participants.
According to Ms. Estrada, “Being part of ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network provides a forum in which we can learn from each others’ successes. Ideas begin to formulate here at SCN and with hard work and persistence, these ideas eventually can lead to a great project like this one. I’m always inspired by the collective knowledge and expertise in the room. SCN has definitely been integral to our success in Peoria.”
Picture the main streets of your city shielded by solar panels – would that make a summer outing downtown more comfortable? How about vertical farms on former brownfield sites down the street from your home – wouldn’t such easy access to fresh food be nice?
That’s why the new program, part of ASU’s Sustainable Cities Network (SCN), is working with municipalities to implement environmentally-conscious projects that make life better for people and businesses alike. Continue reading →
Anne has been program manager of SCN since its inception in 2009, when she oversaw its introduction, development and expansion throughout Arizona. Since that time, she’s created a statewide network dedicated to improving community and regional sustainability practices through engagement with ASU programs, faculty and students. Recently, Anne established Project Cities – an exciting new program within SCN – and received the Ponderosa Pine Award for the network’s Regional Tree & Shade Summit 2.0.
As director, Anne will continue to operate at the highest levels on the institute’s behalf, interfacing with communities and organizational partners on topics ranging from renewable energy and green building to the changing climate. Please join us in congratulating Anne on this exciting step up as she continues her work to create a more livable and prosperous Arizona.
The STAR Community Rating System is a nonprofit organization that works to evaluate, improve, and certify sustainable communities. Several communities across the nation and in Arizona are STAR members, including SCN Steering Committee communities Chandler, Tucson, Phoenix, Avondale, Peoria, and Scottsdale. Membership benefits include access and tracking of sustainability metrics, as well as a dearth of other materials that can help to advance community sustainability.
STAR Affiliates are nonprofits, businesses, and institutions working with the organization to support and improve the STAR Community Rating System. STAR Affiliates are vital to efforts to help improve local communities. As a STAR Affiliate, the Sustainable Cities Network (SCN) can now help Arizona communities in securing resources to help collect data for STAR Leading Indicators, and we will be able to utilize STAR resources in order to aid communities in various efforts. View the STAR Affiliates page here.
Sustainable Cities Network is a unit of the Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation.