At Tuesday’s meeting my colleagues on the council and I worked on three items having to do with our environment. We got an update on PFAS contamination in some of our wells, worked on the planning process for future green stormwater infrastructure projects, and discussed future code changes to accommodate electrical vehicles in new construction. All of these issues are part of the two overarching environmental issues that face our community: the future of our water supply and mitigating the effects of climate change.
Although these are the sort of things that are a usual part of our work, they came up during Earth Day week.
The first Earth Day was celebrated on April 22nd, 1970. The idea for it came from a group of people who were concerned about the environment, but it was named by a young activist from Wisconsin named Denis Hayes. Hayes grew up in a paper mill town and from a young age was concerned about the chemicals the paper workers were being exposed to and about what was being dumped in his local river.
Earth Day observances started in town on Thursday, but they will continue this weekend. Here are some things that you can do:
Reid Park Zoo: Join them virtually on April 24th from 10 am to 2 pm for live presentations over Zoom. You can learn what we can all do to protect our home as well as what Reid Park Zoo is doing to protect wild animals and wild places. Click here for details.
Mansfield Park: The City of Tucson is hosting a drive-thru event on Saturday, April 24, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Donna Liggins Recreation Center parking lot at Mansfield Park, 2160 N. 6th Ave. Have you wanted to start composting at your home, but aren't sure how to get started? You can click here to find out more.
Tank's Green & Clean Earth Day with Tucson Village Farm: Grab your water, family, and gloves! (masks required) Join us for a fun filled morning at Tucson Village Farm and help us clean up the Rillito River. There will be fun interactive and educational stations along the sub-1 mile course. Earn yourself a go on the ropes course and enjoy delicious snacks and refreshment from the new kitchen at Tucson Village Farm. 9 am – 1 pm Saturday, April 24. Click here for more details.
Earth Day Hiking Celebration: Get together on Saturday the 24th to celebrate Earth Day. Meet at Natural Grocers on River and Craycroft at 8 am for a bag pick up that will include water, trail mix, and other goodies courtesy of Natural Grocers. After the pick up we will all drive to 6601 N Resort Drive and meet at the Ventana Canyon trail for a group hike. Click here to register.
One way you can help our local environment is to plant native trees. Trees provide shade for you and your family, but also contributes to our overall tree canopy which makes our community look better and combats the urban heat island effect. Also, a native tree is designed for the desert, so doesn’t need as much water as trees from other parts of the country do. That’s good for your water bill, and helps us maintain our water supply.
If you want to know more about planting native trees, you can join Tucson Clean & Beautiful and hydrology and water resources expert Ann Audrey to learn tips on the best desert trees to plant. The virtual session takes place April 28 at 5:45 p.m. You'll learn about where and how to make optimum use of harvested water to help Tucson grow into a greener and cooler community. This presentation and discussion is provided in partnership with Tucson Clean & Beautiful, the Arizona Department of Forestry and Fire Management, and Mayor Regina Romero’s Tucson Million Trees initiative. You can register to attend the virtual session here. You can also find out more about Trees for Tucson here.