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4th Annual West University neighborhood Rain & Native Food Forest Planting – Tucson, AZ

April 23, 2023 @ 7:00 am - 10:00 am


This planting of rain, trees, understory, & wildflowers is occurring in the West University neighborhood, but the planting event is open to anyone from any neighborhood, and is a great opportunity to see how such an event, or other Neighborhood Forester endeavors, could be organized elsewhere.

Date: Sunday, April 23, 2023.
The stormwater eddy basins (each having over 4,500-gallon annual capacity) were just completed – so now we can plant. Got to plant the rain before we plant the plants!

Time: 7:00 am for a planting demonstration, then keep going to various parts of the neighborhood. The demonstration will show you how to plant the rain to maximize its potential, how to plant food-bearing native trees by seed and/or with nursery stock to maximize passive summer shading/cooling, and how to recycle/plant prunings and leaves as fertility-building, carbon-sequestering, pollutant-filtering, water-harvesting mulch.
End time of 10:00 is approximate (with a good showing of folks we’ll likely finish up early).

Meeting spot:
317 E. 1st Street
Once we finish planting there, we’ll move to the following locations in the neighborhood (in the following order):
425 E. 1st Street
612 E. 2nd Street

Come join us in planting native shade trees, understory vegetation, and seed within or beside water-harvesting earthworks in the public rights-of-way. The idea is to plant native food-producing, flood-controlling, wildlife-habitat-producing, beautiful, air- and water-filtering, living air conditioners. Street trees that shade up to 75% of the street’s surface can also cool summer neighborhood temperatures by up to 20ºF.
This enhances the walkability and bikeability of our neighborhoods, which improves health and drops crime. When we harvest street runoff to irrigate the street trees, we also reduce water consumption as we reduce downstream flooding. Thus far this annual event has resulted in over 1,700 trees being planted in our neighborhood, thousands of understory plants, and contributed to annually harvesting over one million gallons of stormwater that used to go to the stormdrain—let’s keep going!


What to bring: Work clothes, sun hat, gloves, and water as we’ll be working outdoors. A pointed shovel, pruning tools, and/or hard rake would also be great (and we’ll have some extra tools on hand for those lacking them).


Bonus: We’ll also help you identify desired native wildflowers to encourage – and pesky invasive weeds to pull – so next year we have more wildflowers and fewer weeds.


For info and photos from past plantings see here


For more info on our Annual Neighborhood Rain, Tree, & Food Forest Planting see here



We’ll do the Dunbar Spring Neighborhood Planting on Saturday, April 22, 2023



For more info on these and many other water harvesting strategies, check out the full-color, revised editions of Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond available at deep discount direct from the author Brad Lancaster.


Dunbar Spring Neighborhood Foresters