Tucson’s premier celebration of sustainable living


When and Where

Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival is taking place this year on Sunday, October 26, from 11 AM to 4 PM, at the YWCA, 525 N. Bonita Avenue.

The YWCA is located just south of St. Mary’s west of I10. It’s centrally located and easy to get to from all over Tucson.

There will be plenty of free parking, and admission to the Festival is free.


Envision Tucson Sustainable Festivalis a family event that brings people together around a common vision for building a bright sustainable future in our beautiful desert Southwest by motivating while enjoying a day of fun, food, education, and community for all ages.

The Festival provides a strong annual public event that engages the public with key organizations, companies, and individuals in our community who are working to help us not just envision but also realize a sustainable future for Tucson and Southern Arizona.

Demonstrate, Educate, Celebrate This tag line for the Festival expresses how this event is as much a community expo as it is a celebration of local and regional actions promoting sustainability in our desert Southwest. Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival is your opportunity to share what’s already happening and explore what each of us individually and all of us as a community can do.

What’s Going On at the Festival


Exhibits will feature a wide range of sustainable practices, everything from desert home gardening — and farming — to public transportation, from green homes to key local and regional environmental issues, from solar for the home to aquaponics, and much more.

The Tucson Electric Vehicle Association will display a few of their vehicles and answer questions about going electric — on the road.

The Co-op Cluster will share the strengths and benefits of this sustainable business model while also showcasing local co-operative businesses — The Food Conspiracy Co-op, Just Coffee, the San Xavier Co-operative Farm, and Tucson Acupuncture Co-operative.


The Demonstration area of the Festival will feature hands-on DIY projects that we can put into action at our own homes: container gardening, energy and water efficiency measures, composting, aquaponics, recycling, solar cooking, an easily assembled home greenhouse.

For those who get ideas about trying their own hand at local and native foods, there will an on-going series of food preparation demonstrations, with tastings.


Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival is bringing the opportunity to hear exciting and visionary speakers on issues of local importance:

  • Moses Thompson, of Manzo Elementary, will show the role that school gardening can play in strengthening students’ education and how the lessons from an elementary program can extend through middle and high school.
  • Kevin Fink, head chef at Zona 78, will share his enthusiasm for (and knowledge about) Tucson’s local food culture.
  • Kimber Lanning, director of Local First Arizona, will explain how localizing Tucson’s (and Arizona’s) economy can create a strong, vibrant community.
  • Skip Laitner will lay out ways to use energy efficiency as an economic driver.

Youth Working for Sustainability

Envision Tucson Sustainable Festival is looking to the future by involving young people and showcasing their efforts and activities.

  • UA’s Compost Cats are working with us, demonstrating composting for waste reduction and home gardening as well as the great work they do on campus and in collaboration with the city and with San Xavier Co-op Farm.
  • Our annual Green School Recognition goes this year to Drachman Montessori Magnet for their program in school gardening and ecology.
  • Kids from last year’s Recognition recipient, Manzo Elementary, will be with us again, showing all the progress and wonderful work in their school garden.
  • The US Green Building Council Sonoran Branch, one of the Festival sponsors, will showcase some of the results of school projects from their Green Apple Day of Service, which is taking place at schools around the city this year on September 27.

Garden for the Future

The Festival also looks to the future by bringing a new and on-going feature to the YWCA — a vegetable garden. The week before the Festival, on October 18, volunteers will dig out and put in the garden, along with the necessary irrigation. Finishing touches will be added during the Festival, to get the winter vegetables growing.

We are looking for volunteers ready to get involved and get their hands dirty on our work day, October 18. Go to the Volunteers page on this site to sign up for this exciting project.

Activities for All Ages

The Festival is definitely an event for families and for kids, with hands-on activities at many exhibitors — including the edible bugs at the Heifer International booth — and a chance to meet the great role models from UA’s Compost Cats and the local schools.

Food, Music, Raffle

One of the most important parts of sustainability is of course delicious local food. There’ll be some great options for purchase in the Food Court area, including non-GMO and vegetarian offerings — healthy but delicious!

Local musicians will entertain throughout the day. And there will be a raffle for some wonderful local items.

Get Involved!

There’s still plenty of opportunity to get involved and be part of the Festival:

Volunteers are more than welcome to help on October 18 with the new garden project. And volunteers are needed on October 26, to help with set-up and break-down, with logistics during the Festival, and with the raffle.

We would also like to film the DIY exhibits and collect plenty of pictures for Festival follow-up and for next year’s promotional materials. So if you are handy with a camera, let us know.

If you’re interested in volunteering, go to the Volunteer page on this website to fill out and submit the form there. Or you can contact Paula or Greg — contact details are listed below.

For more information or to get involved, contact Paula (615-8218; paulasch@mindspring.com) or Greg (297-1739; gjwetzel@hotmail.com).