'Conserve to Enhance' Grants Support Urban Habitat Improvements

May 13, 2013

Four Tucson-area neighborhood are getting $31,000 in grants for improvement projects thanks to a UA partnership.

Want to get involved in the C2E program? Enroll online or support C2E by adding your donation to the Riparian Enhancement and Open Space box on your Tucson Water bill. All contributions help ensure that the C2E fund continues to grow, enabling future investments in our community.

Tucson's Conserve to Enhance (C2E) program, developed in partnership with UA's Water Resources Research Center (WRRC) and the Sonoran Institute, has awarded the grants to the neighborhoods through its newly launched Community Enhancement Project grant program.

C2E links water conservation efforts with local restoration projects and, with the grants, aims to protect and enrich Tucson-area washes and wildlife habitats, an often-underfunded local need.

"The four neighborhoods receiving C2E grants have shown real leadership in improving Tucson’s environment," said C2E program coordinator Candice Rupprecht. "These communities are restoring degraded washes, creating new green spaces and improving wildlife habitat." 

The winning projects for 2013 are:

  • Henry Elementary WINS! – Wash Improvement and Neighborhood Sustainability, submitted by Henry Elementary
  • The First Avenue/Seneca Greening and Beautification Project, submitted by the Northwest and El Cortez Neighborhoods
  • The Mitchell Park Wildlife Habitat & Green Infrastructure Project, submitted by the Mountain/First Avenue Neighborhood
  • Jefferson Park's Vine Avenue Green Corridor, submitted by the Jefferson Park Neighborhood

These one-year projects will be publicly accessible and will serve as demonstration sites and visible community assets that allow Tucson Water customers to see how their contributions are invested to benefit of the local environment.  

How does Tucson's C2E program work? In three ways:

  • By helping individuals save water and track their resulting financial savings
  • Encouraging donations
  • Funding enhancement projects for riparian restoration and urban waterways.

To date, C2E participants have saved more than 2.2 million gallons of water. Funding for C2E is provided by program participants who have donated money based on their water savings, and from Tucson Water customers who have donated via the Riparian Enhancement and Open Space check box on their Tucson Water bill.

C2E is a collaboration of the Sonoran Institute and the UA Water Resources Research Center, and is run by a 12-member Community Advisory Board. For more information or to enroll in the C2E program, visit the C2E website. For more than two years, C2E has worked to connect water-saving efforts with water restoration projects to ensure that conservation translates into environmental benefits.