Friends of the Desert #27


Friends of the Desert # 27
A project of the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection in Pima County, Arizona
300 E. University Blvd., #120, Tucson, AZ, 85705, (520) 388-9925,


In an effort to make sure all Coalition supporters receive regular program updates, we’re sending this bi-monthly newsletter relaying information about important activities related to the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (SDCP) and other Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection efforts.


In This Issue:
·        Feature Article:  Coalition’s Executive Director, Carolyn Campbell, Talks About SDCP in March 13th Edition of the Arizona Daily Star
·        Challenge Grant Met—Thank You!
·        Thanks to Our Volunteers!
·        NEW!  Coalition Slogan Contest
·        SAVE THE DATE: Coalition Celebration, May 14
·        Coalition Outreach and Community Presence:  Volunteer Coordinator Needed;  Calendar of Events
·        Feature Article:  Coalition’s Executive Director, Carolyn Campbell, Talks About SDCP in March 13th Edition of the Arizona Daily Star
On March 13th, the Arizona Daily Star ran two articles about the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan.  For these articles, they interviewed four people who have been significantly involved in the plan’s development to date, including the Coalition’s Executive Director, Carolyn Campbell. 


Carolyn did an excellent job representing the Coalition’s unique perspective in the SDCP process, and we appreciate that the Star asked her to be a part of the panel.  Carolyn highlighted the community support behind the plan and the protection of our unique natural environment that makes this place special; the importance of keeping the goal of recovery for native species that are currently threatened with extinction in mind when designing conservation measures and acquiring important lands; and the importance of ensuring certainty and equity in the development process under the SDCP now and into the future.  The Coalition has worked at length with all of the panel participants, and we found both the differences and similarities in each of the respondents’ answers interesting, as well as encouraging with regard to the collaborative relationships we’ve been able to develop in working on this landmark plan.  If you have not already read the articles, we encourage you to do so.


You can view both of the articles online.  For the shorter article, which mentions high points of the plan, go to  For a more detailed transcript of the panel discussion, go



·        Challenge Grant Met—Thank You!

We made it!  Just before the end of 2004, a local anonymous donor awarded the Coalition with a $15,000 challenge grant to fund our expanded Outreach Program—meaning that the donor offered to match dollar-for-dollar every donation up to $15,000.  By the last newsletter issue, we had raised over $10,000 and asked for your help to push us over the top.  We are very happy to report that, thanks to your help, we have now reached our goal and qualify for the full amount!  Thanks to all of you who made this possible—we are so grateful for your generous responses!



·        Thanks to Our Volunteers!
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the volunteers who have recently donated their time and effort to the Coalition to help our efforts towards our vision of a healthy and enduring Sonoran Desert.  Thank you Aviva Tirosh, Betty Mayer, Kena Millberg, Bill Thornton, Will Smalzer, Jack Kelly, Nick Svenson, and Pat & Briggs Ackert.  Thanks, also, to those of you that have sent in Letters to the Editor that we may not know about. 


Volunteers serve a vital role in our organization, and with our expanded Outreach Program activities, we need your help to increase awareness throughout the community about the SDCP so that we can mobilize public support for the strong conservation elements of the plan when it goes before the Board of Supervisors later this year. 


We are busy scheduling outreach activities, such as tabling, speaking, or otherwise participating at events and giving presentations to community groups.  We currently need help identifying groups and events that the Coalition can be present at, and we really need folks who can table or otherwise help with events (please see the Calendar of Events below for our current list of activities). 


Finally, we understand that some of you do not have a vast amount of time to give, but would still like to help.  If you are willing to come down to the office every other month for 1 – 3 hours to help with mailings, we would greatly appreciate it.  You can also help spread support for the SDCP by responding to local news coverage about the SDCP—like this month’s Feature Article—and, to help you get started, we can let you know about current articles, give you tips for writing Letters to the Editor, and provide you with contact information for local newspapers. 


If you are able to help us with any of these efforts, please contact Sean at (520) 388-9925 or and specify what activity(ies) you are interested in.



·        NEW!  Coalition Slogan Contest
Creative minds wanted!  We are asking you to come up with a catchy slogan that we can put on bumper stickers, car and refrigerator magnets, or other small items that we can hand out in an effort to engage others in the community to support our work.  Please feel free to submit as many entries as you like.  In addition to being memorialized across Tucson’s bumpers and refrigerators, the winner will receive a Coalition t-shirt of their choice.


Please send entries to: Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Slogan Contest, 300 E. University, Suite 120, Tucson, AZ, 85705; or email them to  Deadline: May 1, 2005



·        SAVE THE DATE: Coalition Celebration, May 14
The Coalition has now been working on the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan for over 7 years.  The progress we’ve made towards ensuring a healthy Sonoran Desert for our future would not be possible without your support.  To show our appreciation, we are planning an event to celebrate our shared efforts and successes, and to gear up for this last phase of work before the final plan goes before the Board of Supervisors near the end of this year. 


Mark your calendars now for Saturday, May 14 to join the Coalition staff, member organization representatives, other supporters, and Coalition volunteers.  There will be food and beverages, musical entertainment, and guest speakers.  As the date approaches, we will be sending you more detailed information about the event, which we will also post on our website at 


We have a great community of supporters, and this will be a wonderful and rare opportunity to meet others who care about our Sonoran Desert home and are working to protect it.  We look forward to meeting as many of you in person as possible and hope to see you all there!



·        Coalition Outreach and Community Presence
o       Volunteer Coordinator Needed
With our expanded Outreach Program, the Coalition is looking for a special volunteer to serve as a Volunteer Coordinator.  This person would work closely with staff to identify outreach opportunities, coordinate Coalition participation in community events, recruit and schedule volunteers to assist with outreach activities, and help plan and provide volunteer staffing for Coalition events.  Up to 20 hrs. per week are anticipated, and hours are flexible.  Excellent personal communication skills will be necessary; fluency in Spanish would be a plus, but is not required; duties will entail regular data entry and the use of email and the internet.  We really need the extra help and would love to have you join our office—please call us right away at 388-9925 or email if you are available!
o       Calendar of Events, April & May
The Coalition is scheduled to attend the following events to educate people about the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan and our work.  We invite you to both support these events and learn more about our activities.  Updated information will be posted on our website at
April 2-3:  Fiesta Grande Street Fair.  Join Barrio Hollywood in a celebration that offers hours of dancing, music, food and beverage vendors, and much more. 10am – dusk on Grande between Speedway and St. Mary’s Road; admission is free.  Visit the Coalition booth!
April 3:  Dana Lyons Concert, sponsored by the community groups in the Historic Y.  Concert is at 7pm in the Historic Y Gym at 300 E. University; admission for adults is $8.00; kids under 12 are free.  Proceeds will benefit the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, AZ League of Conservation Voters, Arts Reach, Friends of Saguaro National Park, Sierra Club, Sky Island Alliance, Voices for Education, The Wildlands Project, and ZUZI Dance Company.  For more information contact Acasia with Sky Island Alliance at 624-7080.  For more information about Dana Lyons, visit
April 8:  Charlie King and Karen Brandow in Concert. Join others raising awareness about a variety of progressive issues to share information and hear great music.  Co-sponsored by the Coalition.  Meal at 6pm; concert at 7pm at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 4831 E. 22nd St.  Admission, meal, and childcare are free. 
April 10:  Spring Health Celebration and Fundraiser for the Mobile Health Clinic.  This event will feature wine tasting, tea tasting, food, music, and a silent auction.  Rain or shine, this event will be held from 1pm – 5pm at Rio Rancho Vista, 3374 E. River Road (west of Dodge Blvd.). Tickets are $10.00 per person.  For more information call 990-3984.  Visit the Coalition table!
April 16:  11th Annual Earth Day Festival and Parade.  Family fun, including parade floats, participation in recycled art exhibits, food, and plenty of hands-on children activities.  9am – 1pm on the grounds of the Children’s Museum and Armory Park, 200 S. 6th Ave.; admission is free.  For more information call 398-4550 or email  The Coalition will be participating with an info booth and a hands-on display for young children.
April 17:  Jewish Festival. In honor of Israel’s 57th Anniversary, this event features international food, vendors and entertainment from around the world, and lots of activities for children.  Be sure to stop by the Southern Arizona Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, to pick up Coalition materials and information about their activities geared for kids.  2pm – 6pm at the Tucson Jewish Community Center, 3800 E River Road (at Dodge). For more information, call 299-3000.
April 23: Tucson Community Earth Day Festival, sponsored by the Center for Biological Diversity. Join the Coalition and many other organizations in creating the first annual Community Earth Day Celebration! This event will expand and strengthen networks in our community by bringingd diverse, creative individuals and groups together for a day of music, speakers, workshops, activities, and much more. From 10am – 6pm at El Rio Neighborhood Center, 1390 W. Speedway, Multipurpose Building A, Rm. A100; admission is free.
May 14: Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection Celebration Event. Join the Coalition staff, member organization representatives, other supporters, and Coalition volunteers to celebrate our shared efforts and successes, and to gear up for this last phase of work finalizing the SDCP.  There will be food and beverages, musical entertainment, and guest speakers.  Location, time, and other details to be announced and will be posted at  Call the office at 388-9925 for more information or to volunteer.
May 28: SoupStock, sponsored by Tucson Food Not Bombs.  There will be food, music, and other activities in celebration of the organization’s 25th anniversary.  3pm – 10pm at Armory Park on S. 6th Ave. between 12th St. and 13th St.  Admission is free.  Coalition staff and volunteers will have information to share.  For more information call 990-0449 or 1-800-884-1136, contact, or go to

Interested in hosting a Coalition House Party?  As part of our efforts to expand outreach and raise funds to support Coalition work, we are hoping to host at least one house party per month between now and the end of the year. We have several parties in the works, but need more hosts. Please contact Kevin Gaither-Banchoff at 869-4673 or if you are interested in learning more about how you can help.


Thanks for your generous support.  If you can make an extra donation it would greatly help our upcoming work.  Please visit to donate.