May 2010: “Get Going, Get Outside, Get Healthy: Sustainability Up Close and Personal!”

That’s what the May contest was all about. No matter where you live, you can walk, you can hike, you can visit local treasures that get you out in the fresh air and Mrs. Green wanted to hear about your favorite places and experiences doing such.

Here’s some of the great entries we received…

My name is Christine Lowe I live in Glendale, AZ with my husband and three daughters. I can’t get enough of nature. Any time we get the chance we try to get out side and have some fun.. The Zoo, Local Park, Fishing (My husbands favorite) .He’d go fish everyday if he could, really anywhere that gets us out. We can we recently took a day trip up to Beaver Creek. It was the best day. We found the best rock to hang out on for the day and enjoyed spending time together in the beautiful Red Rock Rim.

My children and I enjoy gardening tremendously. We grow anything we can! The kids love to eat vegetables they grew themselves!!(They actually wont eat any thing else). I try to maintain “green” living as much as possible. I use a compost bin and my gardening practices are organic/pesticide free. (My oldest daughter loves to hunt for worms for her worm bin). I can’t think of anything more rewarding than learning through science and nature. One thing that has become very special to me and my family are the presents of butterflies. Butterflies will always hold a special place in my heart, and of course because Butterflies make essential contributions to the earth’s eco system; by helping sustain biodiversity, which is why we put in a garden specifically for breeding butterflies. My children and I enjoy the magical lifecycle of a caterpillar turning into butterfly. Every morning we look forward to caring for our enchanting garden friends. We are working hard to establish a thriving crop of milkweed, so that we can turn it into an official monarch way station.

We want to start tagging our monarchs. Hopefully butterflies will continue to grace our world, inspiring generations to come with their miraculous journeys. It is important to me to help make the world more sustainable, to help teach our future (our children) and others the importance and ways to help incorporate that in there everyday life. “Learning through earth’s rhythms is the key to a vibrant life. Sun, oxygen, water and soil are elemental. Cooperating with them is not only fundamental, it’s fun, easy and couldn’t be more rewarding!”

– Christine Lowe, Contest Winner

And here are the rest of our brilliant entries:

This time of year I enjoy getting out in the desert to see the many beautiful blooming native plants. My way to enjoy the desert is by mountain biking or hiking on the Arizona Trail. The Arizona Trail is a dedicated National Scenic Trail that runs the length of Arizona from the Mexican Border to Utah. There are multiple areas you can access it in Tucson, giving you a diverse selection of trail to enjoy. I have a few sections of trail that I particularly enjoy because I was also a volunteer and helped to build the trail, so while I ride over the trail I know my own sweat and handiwork helped to make it. The desert is beautiful and unique, find time to get out and enjoy it.

– Michelle Caprari

Can you believe this is Sabino Canyon with all that water?

What a treat to go hiking there and see and hear the water. I’ve been to Sabino Canyon many times, but this was my first trip up Bear Canyon Trail to the dam. A wonderful outing for my daughter and me. We’ll be back to do a picnic.

– Cindy Godwin


Our family loves to go to the Reid Park Zoo with friends. We also like to hike at Mt. Lemmon and Reddington Pass with our dog. But most of the time, we just take a walk around the neighborhood to the nearby parks and/or the Tanque Verde wash to play. We have a small archaelogical park near our house that’s mostly desert vegetation with beautiful mallow and penstemon this time of year. We can also walk to another small park with a play area for our daughter and our dog loves playing in the water in the TV wash (when we’re lucky enough to have some rain and snow in the Catalinas). It’s amazing what you can discover in your own neighborhood without having to drive elsewhere!

– Melissa Miller

I love to get out and run 3-5 miles most mornings. I used to head to the River Walk, Reid Park, or Tumamoc Hill nearly every day. But now I save on gas … I am fortunate to live in midtown Tucson, near Tucson Blvd. & Tucson. Some mornings I run to the south through Sam Hughes; other days I may take a sharp right and head across campus to the Main Gate and back (4.2 miles round trip). Still other days I have the Blenman Elm and/or the Catalina Villas neighborhoods at my disposal. This makes for creative workouts; no two exactly the same. If I am so inspired, I’ll take a side trip to Himmel Park, only a few blocks away, to do the circuit there. I am so blessed to have Tucson’s friendliest neighborhoods at my disposal. I have met so many great neighbors and dogs along the way. And think of the gas I’m saving!

– Bonnie Lewis

At least once a week I take my dog, Sparkles to the Rillito River for a walk. If I don’t have to pick up her poop I use the bags to pick up trash. There is always trash in the river bed, especially after a big rain. I find a lot of spray cans, soda bottles, and stuff you wouldn’t believe. I see other people picking up trash too! We see coyotes, roadrunners and other wildlife. So Sparkles and I get exercise, get to spend time in the desert, and clean up the river! Everyone wins!

– Vanessa Galloway