Spring into action
April is a great time to enjoy the wildflowers and cactus blooms in the region. State, regional and local parks, arboretums and gardens offer a unique opportunity to admire the beauty of the desert in full bloom.
If you are unsure of where to go or what to look for, visit the State Parks Department’s website (azstateparks.com) to access the “2012 Rangers Cam” and discover what’s blooming near you. Another handy resource is the Desert Botanical Garden’s “Wildflower Infosite,” (dbg.org), where you can find an interactive map with seasonal reports and pictures of the springtime wildflower fest.
With this backdrop, Earth Day 2012 (April 22) will hopefully serve its intended purpose of raising appreciation and awareness about our environment and natural resources and, more importantly, inspire us all to contribute to global sustainability.
In this month’s cover story, Jonathan Higuera examines the green job economy in Arizona and the role of higher education in shaping a new generation of qualified professionals. While reports indicate that green jobs make up about 2.1 percent of the state’s 2.4 million jobs, there are reasons to be optimistic about the future.
In an exciting development, just before press time, Arizona State University announced that the Rob and Melani Walton Fund of the Walton Family Foundation is donating $27.5 million to support the university’s Global Institute of Sustainability. For the next five years, this “Sustainability Solutions Fund” will support training and education of practitioners and youth, funding of high-impact ideas in sustainability research, the implementation of a global sustainability studies program and sustainability centers on three continents, and the creation of a fellowship program for sustainability scholars and practitioners. Congrats to my alma mater!
April is National Child Abuse Prevention Month and Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Sadly, every 13 seconds a child is abused, and someone is affected by sexual violence every 2.5 minutes. Join me in support of Arizona Children’s Association “Dine Out for Safety” on April 25th. Eat at participating restaurants (dineoutforsafety.org) and up to 20% of the proceeds will go to support services for children and families affected by violence and abuse.