Sustainable Tucson is the 29th official Transition Initiative in the US.
Sustainable Tucson (ST) is a non-profit, grass-roots organization whose vision is to build a sustainable and resilient region through awareness raising, community engagement, and strategic projects sponsored by public/private partnerships.
2009 marks its third year of development. In January, we used Open Space to form working groups charged with developing a comprehensive sustainability plan for our region. Nine problem-focused working groups were formed in order to coordinate efforts in a number of strategic areas including water, food and food safety, the economy, jobs and money, health and health care, measurement and data analysis, and spiritual and cultural change.
In early April, Sustainable Tucson sponsored a Transition Initiative Training course taught by Sarah Edwards and Bill Aal that helped to prepare more than 20 members of the organization to take a more active role in the Transition Movement. Sustainable Tucson was applied for and was accepted as a Transition Initiative in June.
By the end of April we produced a sketch plan in time for presentation to the National Conversation on Climate Change that was held at the University of Arizona on Earth Day. This sketch plan described existing conditions, group visions for the future, and the projects and practical steps that would have to be taken if the community’s goals for a sustainable future could be achieved.
In May we had our first orientation training session for new volunteers. It was well attended and focused on how to navigate ST’s emerging organizational structure, how to get projects approved and how to lead and facilitate groups.
Planning efforts are currently underway for our landmark event: the Annual Tucson Green Festival scheduled for November 7th. Last year’s Festival, Livin’“la Vida Verde,” attracted over 140 vendors and exhibitors, and attracted upwards of 4,000 visitors. Solar arrays provided power for live music, dancing and community mobilization. This year’s Festival organizers have set themselves an even more significant challenge-- to achieve Carbon Neutral status for the event.
Sustainable Tucson’s core team is presently taking the summer months to craft a strategic vision that will help prioritize projects unfolding from our newly formed working groups. We are pleased and honored to be recognized as the the 29th Transition Town Initiative in the United States. We look forward to learning from and contributing to other Transition Town communities.