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Sonora's Story

My Commitment 

On the Green River the sun is completely and wholly unavoidable. You feel it’s potency from sunrise to sunset. Being in this heat for five days straight makes you extremely aware of it. At the Glen Canyon Dam we saw the power of the Colorado River being harnessed and it made us think, what other energy sources could be used so that in the distant future it’s possible that we won’t even need that dam? Being in Arizona, the obvious answer is solar power.

Three other earth campers inspired us by telling their stories about how they implemented programs to support the installation of solar panels at their school. Our small group was really excited about doing this, but then we realized how hard that project would be. We’ve decided to begin by building support for an environmental group, working in small steps for environmental sustainability to reach an ultimate goal.

Our focus is to have solar panels installed at our school, but we understand this is going to be a long term goal and by starting a club that has smaller and more achievable goals, we will be able to make this goal more attainable. We need to educate students about the recycling program at our school, raise awareness of water consumption and paper usage, support the use of native vegetation, use compact fluorescent bulbs, and eventually install solar panels. Because of these small and hopefully more successful projects, we will be able to gain the respect and support of the community. We hope that in the future, Catalina Foothills High School will be self-sustaining in its energy use and its eco-footprint. 

Journal Entry

Day Three, 7/10/09

As we journey through the desert of Northern Arizona and Southern Utah I marvel the beauty around us. Our narrow strip of black road seams to cut through time. We pass lonely sandstone formations which stand as silent tabernacles honoring some long forgotten wonder. The sea of pale peach sand and sun touched sage rolls into the horizon. The wave-like hills are crowned with not foam, but with tufts of brush. The never ending plane of red is interrupted only by sudden mesas and slashing canyons. But as the miles roll beneath us, and majestic land-scape flies behind us, the one thing that held my attention and inspired my thought the longest and deepest was a tree.

It was nothing special, far from it actually. It was a small, weathered, scraggly, and solitary thing, standing alone amid miles of flat grass, but you could tell it was just beginning to spread it’s roots, stretch it’s leaves and flourish despite it’s surroundings. This is how we strive to live and what we are here to learn. How to stand tall and live life amongst people who can not or don’t have the courage to do so. We strive to be leaders and examples even when we stand alone and our voices echo in the emptiness. But we also strive to be connected, work together, understand each other and encourage the grasses to spread their leaves and reach into the heavens.     

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