Tucson Community Initiative Fall 2011 Recap

Catch up with the Tucson Community Initiative!

Our fall season began in September, 2011, wrapped up last weekend, and included 50 youth from the Holmes Tuttle and Jim & Vicki Click Boy & Girls Clubhouses in Tucson.

Highlights included eight three-hour clubhouse visits during which the youth reviewed their photographs, practiced new creative techniques, and created digital stories; and five day trips to awesome natural areas: Saguaro National Park (both Tucson and Rincon Districts), the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, Catalina State Park, and Biosphere 2.  Participants visited parks they didn’t know existed despite living just a few miles away, honed their photography skills, identified plants and animals, and learned about desert adaptations and the energy cycle.

We culminated our time together with Tucson’s very first “camp-in,”  an overnight sleepover at the Holmes Tuttle Boys & Girls Club that celebrated each youth’s participation in Parks in Focus and introduced them to some basic camping skills like setting up tents and Leave No Trace principles.  The final activity of the year was a campout at the Amerind Foundation in Texas Canyon, AZ.  There, we expanded our vision of nature from the Sonoran Desert to the Chihuahuan Desert, and learned about the Native American history of the area.  This provided another opportunity for the kids to build a tight community and long-lasting friendships.

Quick TCI Fall 2011 Stats

  • 50 underserved youth
  • 8 clubhouse visits, 5 field trips, 1 “camp in” (i.e. sleepover), and 1 overnight campout
  • 90 educational hours
  • 6,8200 photos captured
  • 8 volunteers logging a total of 50.5 hours
  • 9 guest educators or park rangers involved

Notable Moments

  • Elizabeth, age 11, feeding a porcupine during the “Running Wild” presentation at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
  • Decorating Flags with local wildlife for BioBlitz at Saguaro National Park
  • Creating photo essays with photographs taken in natural areas all around Tucson
  • Personalized tours of Saguaro National Park by expert park rangers
  • Spotting a canyon tree frog at Catalina State Park during the dry season
  • Visiting ecosystems around the world at Biosphere 2
  • Climbing through the caves and boulders at the Amerind Foundation

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