Monday, October 15, 2012

Visit 'Green-Living' Homes This Weekend

Posted By on Mon, Oct 15, 2012 at 9:15 AM

A cistern installed at Manzo Elementary School.
  • A cistern installed at Manzo Elementary School.

Want to go green at home but need some ideas? The Watershed Management Group is conducting their second home-scape tour from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday, Oct. 20.
Watershed Management Group's Green Living Co-op has been helping Tucson residents since 2008. They use a barn-raising model where co-op members earn discounts on installations at their homes by volunteering hours and labor at other co-op member homes. It's a great program. I wrote about it here.

To find out more about the tour, check out excerpts from a press release below:

More than a dozen home sites are featured on the tour, demonstrating a wide array of green living practices — including rainwater and greywater harvesting; local-food-growing urban homesteads and chicken coops; wildlife-friendly native-plant gardens; solar energy; and a variety of composting systems. All the homeowners on the tour worked with Watershed Management Group’s Green Living Co-op to install green features at their residences.

The wide variety of water-harvesting practices along the tour route should be of special interest to Tucson residents, since the City of Tucson recently announced new rebates that can significantly offset the cost of implementing rainwater harvesting at home. The City also offers rebates on home greywater systems that redirect household water from sinks, showers, or laundry machines for landscape use. Seeing examples of qualifying projects at homes along the tour will show visitors that installing more desert-friendly features doesn’t have to break the bank — or the homeowner’s back.

Centrally located homes were chosen to encourage people to take in the tour by bicycle, with suggested routes weaving through bicycle-friendly neighborhoods — some of which also showcase street-side features that harvest stormwater to grow native shade plants and beautify the city. Local bicycle-advocacy nonprofit BICAS will lead a leisurely paced group ride that passes by most of the sites, and some sites will have snacks and drinks ready to refresh bicyclists. In addition to the home sites Manzo elementary school will be open for student led tours of the sustainability features of their campus including cisterns installed with the help WMG’s schoolyard program.

The tour runs from 10 a.m. — 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 20, and homeowners will be on hand to guide tour participants through the green-living features at their homes. Cost is $10 — or $5 for bicycle riders, public transportation users, and those who carpool. Children under 14 can come along for free. Advance signup is required to receive a brochure including maps, suggested routes, and brief descriptions of the features at each property. For more information and to sign up visit No advance sign up is required for the BICAS led tour. Just show up as BICAS (44 W. 6th St Tucson, AZ) at 10 a.m. on Saturday Oct 20.

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