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Environment-friendly landscaping is focus of upcoming tour

Arizona Daily Star


Photo courtesy of Technicians for Sustainability If climate change is one of your concerns and saving the planet is one of your goals, the Watershed Management Group, or WMG, and the Grand Canyon Chapter of the Sierra Club have organized a tour that you won’t want to miss: The 8th Annual Homescape Harvest Tour will highlight 14 local residential and schoolyard landscapes from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 19.

“We are at the forefront of developing strategies people can use at their own homes to lessen their impact on the environment and we have a great culture of that in Tucson. The Homescape Harvest Tour is a great entry point for more people to get involved and to learn more about the culture of conservation, whether it is through energy or water,” said Harold Thomas, associate director of WMG.

The grassroots nonprofit is dedicated to developing community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment; it accomplishes that by providing the public with knowledge, skills and resources for sustainable livelihoods.

A cornerstone of WMG’s vision for environmental health includes a 50-year plan to restart the flow of the Santa Cruz and Rillito Rivers and Tucson’s five other desert waterways by connecting the public to the watershed, Thomas said. The organization views healthy rivers as the “ultimate green infrastructure,” with the ability to provide wide-scale cooling and a sustainable future water supply that is essential to maintaining the Sonoran Desert habitat.

“It is really possible to get the rivers flowing, but it will take everyone deciding that we want our homes, schools and businesses to incorporate rainwater harvesting to improve and enhance our local rivers. It is a change of mindset. We need to look at how our streets become part of our river systems and support surface flows and how our homes and schools and yard designs can help to recharge the water supply through rainwater harvesting and water conservation,” Thomas said.

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