Our natural environment is one of our greatest resources. People from all over the world visit Tucson to enjoy our beautiful landscape and diverse wildlife. Opportunities to personally connect to the natural environment and enjoy recreational activities in urban green space are important for a healthy community. A great way to connect to the land is by nurturing a garden. Garden herbs and vegetables are healthy and accessible, and promote localizing food sources which cut down on the costs of transporting food and the resulting greenhouse gas emissions. Also consider working with your neighborhood to increase or improve the green space in your community. Vegetation can shade and cool your home, make the neighborhood more inviting for pedestrians, and help mitigate the urban heat island effect.

Not all vegetation is good for our community. Buffelgrass is spreading rapidly across Arizona's deserts and poses an immediate threat to the integrity of the Sonoran desert. Buffelgrass, (Pennisetum ciliare), is a fire-prone grass introduced from the African savannah that crowds out native plants and can fuel frequent and devastating fires in what has been generally a fireproof desert. In the past two years, the invasion of buffelgrass has reached a critical stage. Populations of this grass and the costs of controlling it may be doubling every year—time is of the essence. Collaborative and decisive action is needed now. Please visit the Buffelgrass Information Center to learn more about what you can do.

Explore the links below to learn more about Nature and Food. Also visit the Water Resources and Green Building and Smart Growth pages for more information related to nature and food.

Individual ActionsNeightborhood CollaborationRegional IssuesBigger Picture