Initial engagement included individual meetings between UA project leaders Andrea K. Gerlak and Adriana Zuniga-Teran and partners. Initial meetings include:
- Meeting with Anna Chaneka and Krista Hansen on January 31, 2017.
- Meeting with Catlow Chipek and Joaquín Murrieta from Watershed Management Group on February 2, 2017.
- Meeting with Emily Yetman, Celia Preble-Gaitz, Kylie Walzak, Evren Sonmez, and Vanessa Cascio from Living Streets Alliance on February 2, 2017.
- Meeting with John Shepard from the Sonoran Institute on February 2, 2017.
In addition, project leaders have met with experts on the field in order to gain insights on how to engage better with community partners and residents. These meetings include:
- Meeting with Mead Mier from the Pima Association of Governments on February 16, 2017.
- Meeting with Kirk Emerson from the School of Social Sciences at the University of Arizona on February 16, 2017.
- Meeting with Allison Titcomb from ALTA Consulting on February 17, 2017.
The Kick-Off Meeting for this project took place on March 8, 2017 at the ENR2 building of the University of Arizona.
Participating organizations included:
- Watershed Management Group
- Living Streets Alliance
- City of Tucson Department of Transportations
- The Sonoran Institute
- Pima Association of Governments
- University of Arizona
The purpose of this meeting was to introduce the partners of this project and share experiences working in the study site and engaging with the local community. The meeting also included an activity to identify potential implementation sites for green infrastructure along the Liberty Ave. Partners also worked on expanding their network to include other local organizations working on this topic in southern Tucson, and discussed the next steps for this project.
Workshop: Building Networks
We facilitated a workshop on April 20, 2017 at the offices of the Tucson Department of Transportation (TDPT) offices (201 N Stone Ave.). Partners co-facilitated this workshop that included a presentation by Andrew Bemis (TDOT) on the work done by TDOT and the scope of the bike boulevard project. Irene Ogata from Tucson Water described Tucson Water’s programs that aim to increase green infrastructure through grants. A mapping exercise, led by Mead Mier (Pima Association of Governments) helped to identify criteria for prioritizing GI demonstration projects. This mapping exercise served as a collaborative effort to prioritize criteria and evaluate potential areas to start engagement. Joaquin Murrieta (WMG) presented his experience in identifying opportunities and constrains around GI projects.
Engagement with STAR Academic High School
Project partners met with school representatives of STAR Academic High School on June 21, 2017 to explore opportunities for collaboration on GI. GI demonstration projects can be used as education tools for their students and they were willing to use their networks and facilities to invite neighbors to engagement activities in this area. Principal Flores talked about creating a student club “STAR Barrio Verde” to develop these projects that would be open to the community and using their facilities for community engagement. They want to hold an open forum where leaders can emerge to take individual projects under their supervision.
On August 8 2017, Dr. Joaquin Murrieta talked with STAR students about GI and ways in which they can work on their Science class to invent devices that would make this technology more efficient. The students are working on a proposal to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology to fund them in this effort.
As a result of these engagement, we are engaging other Sunny Side District schools to discuss ways in which green infrastructure projects could be developed in school grounds by bringing in the school community, the surrounding community, and the community at large.
Engagement with Lapan College Club
The Lapan College Club is an organization that helps Wakefield School students apply to college and to different funding opportunities. They have worked with TYLO for a number of years and have successfully mentored students who have graduated debt free. They also have other programs including a soccer league, robotics, professional portfolio sessions, and a theater company. We met with them on August 1, 2017 at their office in the Wakefield School at 9th Ave. and 44th St. Our TYLO partners are facilitating collaboration with Lucy Kin, the Director of the Lapan College Club, to help introduce our project and engage the students and their families.