Tag Archives: Museum of Northern Arizona

123rf.com: Kirill Cherezov

NAU archaeologists document historic sites with 3D technology

Imagine being able to look at a historical site from every angle, measure the smallest details on the interior and identify how to preserve it without ever touching it.

Photogrammetry technology combines hundreds of overlapping high resolution images taken with a digital camera mounted on a pole to create a 3D color virtual model of a site. For an archaeologist, this is the future of documentation and a low cost alternative to laser technology such as LiDAR.

“This is a tremendous increase over our previous efficiency in mapping archaeological sites,” said Chris Downum, an NAU professor who began using photogrammetry last year.

“What this technology allows us to do is be better stewards in preserving these places for the future,” Downum said. “We want to document them in as close to their original condition as we can and then use that as a reference point for any further preservation or stabilization.”

Downum and his team of students have been documenting sites all over the northern Arizona region, which he said is one of the densest concentrations of archaeological sites anywhere in the world.

“We’ve been able to help our students prepare for careers in archaeology and get them equipped with the skills and the technological basis that they’re going to need to work in the 21st century,” Downum explained.

Chris Francis, an archaeology master’s student at NAU, spent his summer interning with the Coconino National Forest to create a 3D model of the Community Room at Elden Pueblo, an ancient Sinagua village located in north Flagstaff off of U.S. Highway 89.

“These places have been around for hundreds of years and we want to see them stay around for another hundred years,” Francis said. “This really allows us to go in and make precise measurements without being intrusive.”

Downum explained the importance of these sites to several of the region’s Native American tribes who he works closely with during the stabilization process. He said Elden Pueblo specifically is very important to the Hopi and believed to be part of the footprints of their ancestors.

Downum’s students also are working on a virtual museum with the National Park Service and the Museum of Northern Arizona that houses 3D models of sites and artifacts. He said the students get to work on their technological skills, collaborate with professional photographers and write interpretive materials.

“This gives our students a chance to engage the public in a setting that has a worldwide audience and allows them to interpret archaeology and cultural resources in a real way,” Downum said.


Environmental Excellence Awards honor state’s best

The Sun Link Tucson Streetcar earned the coveted President’s Award (Best of Show) in Arizona Forward’s 35th Annual Environmental Excellence Awards, held in partnership with SRP. The project is the first Made in America streetcar in nearly 60 years.

Arizona Forward celebrated its 35th milestone anniversary of this historic program, in addition to the competition’s statewide expansion. For the first time ever, all categories were open to submittals from anywhere throughout the Grand Canyon State.

“We’re breaking new ground by broadening the scope of our largest, most prominent event, which has become known as the Academy Awards of the environmental community,” Diane Brossart, president and CEO of Arizona Forward announced to nearly 600 business and civic leaders at the Sat., Sept. 12 gala. “It’s inspiring to see all the good work contributing to the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of Arizona cities and towns.” 

More than 120 entries were received in Arizona’s oldest and most prestigious awards competition focusing exclusively on sustainability. Submittals from 30 communities within the Grand Canyon State were represented, 18 of which were outside of Maricopa

County. The ceremony was held at an exclusive new venue, Chateau Luxe, and attended by a prominent audience of influencers representing state, county and municipal organizations, as well as the corporate sector. 

Arizona Forward and SRP presented 17 first-place Crescordia awards and 31 Awards of Merit. Projects were recognized in a range of streamlined categories, including two brand new ones – the Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future and Healthy Communities. Other categories include: Buildings & Structures, Energy & Technology Innovation, Site Development, Art in Public Places, Environmental Education/Communication and the SRP Award for Environmental Stewardship. 

Jurists selected the Sun Link Tucson Streetcar for top honors because the iconic project is vital to improving the look and feel of downtown Tucson while providing a much-needed boost to the community’s infrastructure. The $196 million endeavor is the largest and most complex construction project the city of Tucson has ever undertaken. The project also earned a first-place Crescordia in the Healthy Communities Multimodal Transportation & Connectivity category. Crescordia is a Greek term meaning, “to grow in harmony,” and the President’s Award is selected from among all Crescordia recipients.

Running through the city’s largest activity centers, the Sun Link Streetcar connects more than 100,000 people who live and work in the vicinity. It provides affordable, clean and comfortable travel, connecting five of Tucson’s most unique districts along a 4-mile line with 23 stops along the way.

The construction of the streetcar generated more than 500 jobs and triggered six new housing projects along the corridor. Boasting about 4,000 riders per day, this innovative project is fostering and connecting a healthy, vibrant community in southern Arizona.

Five southern Arizona projects earned first-place Crescordia awards, including the notable Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales. Northern Arizona yielded three Crescordia awards: the Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collection, The Arizona National Scenic Trail, and Northern Arizona University’s multi-panel solar thermal hot air system. Central Arizona earned nine Crescordia awards. 

Steve Seleznow, president & CEO of the Arizona Community Foundation, served as lead judge for the competition. Other jurists include: William Auberle, senior consulting engineer of Pinyon Environmental Inc.; Klindt Breckenridge, president of Breckenridge Group Architects/

Planners; Robert Breunig, president emeritus for the Museum of Northern Arizona; Joseph Loverich, senior project manager for JE Fuller Hydrology and Geomorphology; Christopher McIsaac, policy advisor for energy and environment for the Office of the Arizona Governor; Suzanne Pfister, president & CEO of St. Luke’s Health Initiatives; Lori Singleton, director emerging customer programs – solar, sustainability and telecom at SRP; Stephanie Rowe, AIA, LEED AP, principal of Reece Angell Rowe Architects; Richard Underwood, owner & president at AAA Landscape; and Cree Zischke, director of philanthropy at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum.

Since its inception in 1969 as Valley Forward, Arizona Forward has brought business and civic leaders together to convene thoughtful public dialogue on regional issues and to improve the sustainability of communities throughout the state. The organization operates with the belief that businesses must take a leadership role in solving the complex and sometimes controversial problems that confront growing population centers.

In addition to Sun Link Tucson Streetcar, Crescordia winners include:

TEAM ARIZONA COLORADO RIVER SHORTAGE AND DROUGHT PREPAREDNESS (City of Phoenix/Central Arizona Water Conservation District/ADWR Partnership) — Governor’s Award for Arizona’s Future

In response to dwindling supplies, Arizonans are forming strategic alliances and innovative water management strategies toward ensuring an adequate, safe and sustainable supply. Water providers and planners have stored nearly 3.4 million acre-feet of Colorado River water underground; partnered to store Central Arizona Project water in Tucson aquifers; aligned with irrigation districts in central Arizona and other partners to conserve and store water in Lake Mead; provided $5 million to help fund the pilot Colorado River System Conservation Program; and established the Northern Arizona Forest Fund to protect the state’s watersheds. These collaborative efforts have significantly increased the resiliency of Arizona’s water supplies.

TUCSON UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT PIONEERING 11 MW SOLAR PROJECT (Natural Power and Energy)—Governor’s Award for Energy & Technology Innovation, Southern Arizona

At more than 11 megawatts, Tucson Unified School District’s groundbreaking solar generation project encompasses 42 schools and is the largest distributed school solar project in the nation without utility incentives. It represents TUSD’s commitment to renewable energy, reducing its carbon footprint, saving money and serving as a model of environmental stewardship to students and other school districts. The project will ultimately supply about 80 percent of the electricity needed at each site, save an estimated $170,000 in energy costs in its first year and more than $11 million over the 20-year term. Systems are now operational at 15 schools. 

MARIPOSA LAND PORT OF ENTRY (Jones Studio) — Buildings & Structures (Civic)

One of the busiest land ports in the U.S., the Mariposa Land Port of Entry in Nogales, Arizona, processes more than 2.8 million northbound vehicles each year. Built in the 1970s, the port demanded modernization and expansion due to growth in international trade and traffic volume. Completed in August 2014, the LEED Gold certified 55-acre site contains 270,000 gross square feet of buildings, inspection facilities and kennels for both southbound and northbound traffic. The central spine of the port is the oasis, a desert garden that runs the length of the main buildings.

THE UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA OLD MAIN RESTORATION (The University of Arizona) — Buildings & Structures (Historic Preservation)

Opening in 1891, Old Main was the first building on the University of Arizona campus. The approach to preserving this historical structure included bringing the exterior appearance and features back to their original grandeur while placing the functionality of a 21st-century university into a 19th-century shell. Old Main is the oldest LEED certified building in Arizona and a model for sustainable historical preservation. The existing building envelope was largely unaltered, yet new mechanical systems reduced energy use by 24 percent. Deteriorated masonry was restored instead of replaced. Subterranean water infiltration was addressed through concealed drainage systems that preserved the existing habitat comprising the Old Main “teardrop” site.

MUSEUM OF NORTHERN ARIZONA EASTON COLLECTION CENTER (Kinney Construction Services Inc.)— Buildings and Structures (Commercial & Institutional)

The Easton Collection Center is a 17,282-square-foot LEED Platinum certified facility. It provides an optimal environment for long-term storage of priceless museum collections and sets a high standard for environmental sustainability while reflecting the character of the region and its cultures. Features include a 14,000-square-foot living roof, a 22,000-gallon rain/snow water harvesting cistern, drought-tolerant native plants and bioswales to utilize surface runoff. The facility was designed around existing ponderosa pines, none of which were removed. Following recommendations from an American Indian Advisory Committee, the building has a number of symbolic and functional elements designed to make the Native community feel at home in the structure.


Reclamation Department) — Buildings and Structures (Industrial & Public Works)

The Regional Optimization Master Plan is among the largest construction projects in southern Arizona. It significantly upgraded and modernized the metropolitan portion of the Pima County Regional Wastewater System, resulting in water clarity and quality improvements; reduction of nutrient pollution; declining effluent flow extent due to higher infiltration rates; and aquatic wildlife quantity and diversity showing signs of improvement. The entire program was completed in 2014 at a cost of $605 million. Design and construction followed two intensive years of planning and coordination with the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality, national engineering firms and local stakeholders.


Environmental Design) — Healthy Communities (Sustainable Communities)

The Downtown Tolleson Redevelopment Project was a 1-mile urban revitalization effort that set out to create a true sense of place for the city of Tolleson. It reflects the city’s history, culture and spirit while integrating sustainable design principles. The pedestrian-friendly destination environment serves as an economic driver for the community and provides a foundation for fostering private investment. Wide pedestrian sidewalk zones encourage restaurants to utilize on-street dining. Many of the themed custom-designed elements, including the award-winning art sculpture program, dynamic paving system, signage and custom tiled seat walls, reflect the cultural story of Tolleson and its proud heritage.

LOW IMPACT DEVELOPMENT TOOLKIT (City of Mesa) — Healthy Communities (Public Policy/Plans)

Like most communities spanning Arizona, the cities of Mesa and Glendale historically considered stormwater to be a nuisance that needed to be quickly eliminated through an expensive pipe and channel system. By developing and advancing Low Impact Development, these communities are shifting the stormwater paradigm and recognizing stormwater as a resource that can be used to promote healthy urban communities. LID is a stormwater management method that engages native materials and simple tools to reduce runoff and pollution. The toolkit provides a user-friendly menu of LID methods, best practices, technical requirements and construction details that help communities restore washes and enhance streetscapes or parks while cooling down cities at night.

HONEYWELL ARIZONA AEROSPACE – BEING THE DIFFERENCE! (Honeywell)— Healthy Communities (Sustainable Workplaces)

Employees at seven Honeywell Aerospace sites in Arizona are empowered and encouraged to carry out improvement ideas targeted at reducing the corporation’s environmental footprint.

Since 2007, projects have matured from implementing “Turn It Off” campaigns and installing occupancy sensors on lighting to larger and more impactful efforts, such as completing a Building Envelope Solutions initiative. The focus has also expanded to include water conservation and waste diversion. Since the program’s inception, 595 energy projects targeting energy and water conservation have been executed, resulting in energy savings of 202 billion British thermal units and water savings of 24.8 million gallons. In addition, more than 3.6 million pounds of waste has been diverted from local landfills in the last 18 months alone.

SOLAR THERMAL HOT AIR TECHNOLOGY (Northern Arizona University) — Energy and Technology Innovation

Northern Arizona University this year installed the first known multi-panel solar thermal hot air system in the country, demonstrating a long-standing commitment to decreasing its fossil fuel consumption. While renewable energy alternatives like solar and wind can reduce net electricity use, options for directly reducing fossil-based heating are more limited. Yet heat and hot water comprise nearly half the country’s energy demand so the opportunity for cost-effective solar thermal technology is massive. Technology utilized by NAU and developed by

Phoenix-based SolarThermiX is expected to pay for itself in a fraction of the time of campus solar and wind ventures. It holds promise for more than 650 major educational institutions that have signed the American College and University President’s Climate Commitment pledging to reduce long-term carbon emissions.

ARIZONA STATE UNIVERSITY COLLEGE AVENUE (SmithGroupJJR) — Site Development (Public Sector)

Conceived through a unique public-private partnership between ASU and the City of Tempe, the project transforms the existing multiuse transportation corridor into vital public realm space with a focus on walkability that encourages infill development and adaptive reuse of vacant land and buildings. Incorporating strategies from the National Complete Street Coalition, the project eliminates unused vehicular pavement by narrowing travel lanes to create dedicated bike lanes and shaded pedestrian walkways. A flexible urban plaza serves as a venue for events of all sizes. A unified, integral concrete paving design for the street, sidewalks and plaza spaces creates an extension of indoor and outdoor areas associated with nearby retail, including ASU’s College Avenue Commons. The use of bollards, lighting and street trees delineate traffic, creating separation for bicyclists and users while allowing for flexibility in event staging. The “new” people-focused College Avenue has transformed this district into a vital active space, providing a gateway to the city of Tempe and ASU that will serve generations to come.

VALLEY PARTNERSHIP COMMUNITY PROJECT (Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped) — Site Development (Private Sector)

Valley Partnership’s innovative annual Community Service Project this year benefited not only the Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped, a disability service provider, but also the community at large. This collaborative effort involved more than 92 different companies from throughout the Valley joining together to design/build a work site project using donated resources. Grounds of the facility, used daily by people with disabilities, were transformed into a therapeutic garden featuring desert plants and accessible space that serves the entire neighborhood. Landscaping enhances the area’s environmental quality and conserves natural resources, with catchment areas to harvest water for native plant irrigation. Raised gardens allow people with disabilities to grow herbs and vegetables for meals prepared daily. Adapted gaming areas and eco-friendly park furnishings promote health and well-being.

THE ARIZONA TRAIL ASSOCIATION’S GIFT TO ARIZONA (Arizona Trail Association)— Site Development (Parks and Trails)

The Arizona National Scenic Trail is one of the most innovative and unique approaches to fostering long term environmental sustainability throughout the state. This extraordinary project spotlights Arizona’s amazing biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, encouraging stewardship of our natural assets. The vison was conceived 30 years ago by Dale Shewalter, a Flagstaff sixth-grade teacher who sought a way to instill a spirit of conservation in Arizonans through experiential environmental education. It became the mission of the Arizona Trail Association, a nonprofit organization founded in 1994. Thousands of people were inspired by the concept and toiled tirelessly to establish an 800-mile sustainable pathway from Mexico to Utah. Today, the Arizona Trail links deserts, mountains, canyons, forests, communities and people in a pathway that is protected in perpetuity by an act of Congress.

PHOENIX SKY HARBOR AIRPORT TERMINAL 3, SKY TRAIN STATION PLATFORM AND BRIDGE (City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture) — Art in Public Places

Arizona artist Janelle Stanley merged her experience as a Diné (Navajo) weaver with contemporary design to create the terrazzo floors at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport’s Sky Train Bridge and Platform at Terminal 3. She relied on Diné weaving and basketry patterns to design the flowing shapes and intricate details in the floors’ winding paths of color, pattern and surprising textures. On the transfer bridge, the turquoise blue and black overlays represent the twisting and spinning that strengthens and elongates wool into yarn. The design of the station platform was inspired by details from Haak’u (Acoma) pottery and a piece of treasured family jewelry. Both designs convey the artist’s interest in expanding her cultural heritage to create vibrant new public spaces. The floors were fabricated by Corradini Corporation, using about 100,000 pounds of crushed aggregate, 20,000 linear feet of divider strip and 9,000 custom waterjet-cut pieces. This spectacular project will enhance the traveling experience for visitors and residents alike for years to come.

CITY OF PEORIA SUSTAINABLE U (City of Peoria) — Environmental Education/Communication

(Public and Private Sectors)

The City of Peoria’s Sustainable U program is open to all Arizona residents to educate, demonstrate and empower citizens to make responsible choices and lifestyle changes to reduce their environmental impact. By 2030, it is estimated that almost 5 billion of the world’s population will live in cities. The City of Peoria has a long history of educating its residents about water conservation, stormwater pollution and waste management. Recognizing the importance of education in changing behaviors, the city of Peoria created this new initiative to empower people to make a difference. Sustainable U offers a diverse list of workshops that utilize in-house experts, community partners and the Valley Permaculture Alliance. These engaging, interactive and fun workshops focus on topics such as: desert landscaping, edible landscapes, energy efficiency, composting, recycling, renewable energy, culinary classes, rainwater harvesting, and composting.


School of Architecture) — Environmental Education/Communication (Educators, Students and Nonprofit Organizations)

The University of Arizona School of Architecture has long held a reputation for teaching that fosters a respect and reverence for the environment. As topics of climate change and sustainability become increasingly urgent, UA felt it was necessary to develop ways to improve its curriculum to address the needs of the future. In surveying what peer universities were doing, UA discovered that single classes or lectures were becoming commonplace. Upon further research and discussion, its Sustainability Pedagogy Task Force proposed using the entire five-year Design Studio sequence, which is the backbone of the curriculum, as the armature for investigating and teaching the principals of sustainable design. Over the course of the five-year sequence, each area of focus is highlighted at least once, so it becomes evident to students how the entirety of the sustainability issue might be seen holistically.


Sustainability is core to all facets of operations at Arizona State University’s Facilities Management Grounds Services/Arboretum/Recycling departments on the Tempe campus.

The grounds team began analyzing operations about 10 years ago, making some easy changes such as leaving grass clippings on the turf and eliminating unneeded desk phones. Then they started sending all green landscape waste to Singh Farms to be converted to compost. The finished product was returned to campus for use in an organic fertilizer program, along with coffee grounds collected from university cafes. ASU’s recycling program now encompasses all

campuses and includes commingled blue bins, organics, a student “Ditch the Dumpster” initiative, construction debris recycling and special collection streams, all around a zero waste goal. This highly sustainable university also installed some of the Valley’s first solar-operated landfill and recycling compactors.




Name of Entry: Team Arizona Colorado River Shortage and Drought Preparedness

Submitted by: City of Phoenix/CAWCD/ADWR Partnership


Name of Entry: Central Arizona Conservation Alliance

Submitted by: Desert Botanical Garden


Name of Entry: NAU Solar Thermal Air Heating

Submitted by: Northern Arizona University




Name of Entry: Mariposa Land Port of Entry

Submitted by: Jones Studio



Submitted by: LEA Architects, LLC


Name of Entry: City of Maricopa City Hall

Submitted by: Gensler 


Historic Preservation


Name of Entry: The University of Arizona Old Main Restoration

Submitted by: Sundt Construction, Inc.


Name of Entry: The Newton

Submitted by: John Douglas Architects


Name of Entry: Silver King Marketplace / Padilla Park

Submitted by: EPG


Commercial & Institutional


Name of Entry: Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collection Center

Submitted by: Kinney Construction Services, Inc. (KCS)


Name of Entry: Arizona State University Downtown – Sun Devil Fitness Complex

Submitted by: Gabor Lorant Architects, Inc.


Name of Entry: The VILLAGE at Prescott College

Submitted by: WEDDLE GILMORE black rock studio


Industrial & Public Works


Name of Entry: Regional Optimization Master Plan

Submitted by: Pima County Regional Wastewater Reclamation Department


Name of Entry: Clarkdale’s Broadway Water Reclamation Facility

Submitted by: Water Infrastructure Finance Authority of Arizona


Name of Entry: Cornell │ Cookson Industrial Door Manufacturing and Offices

Submitted by: Jones Studio


Sustainable Communities


Name of Entry: Downtown Tolleson Redevelopment Project: Paseo de Luces

Submitted by: J2 Engineering and Environmental Design


Name of Entry: Stepping Stone Place

Submitted by: Chasse Building Team


Name of Entry: Mountain Park Health Center

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR


Multimodal Transportation & Connectivity


Name of Entry: Sun Link Tucson Streetcar

Submitted by: Engineering and Environmental Consultants


Name of Entry: Hardy and University Drives Streetscape Projects

Submitted by: City of Tempe


Name of Entry: GRID Bike Share

Submitted by: City of Phoenix


Public Policy/Plans


Name of Entry: Low-Impact Development Toolkit

Submitted by: City of Mesa, AZ


Name of Entry: ReinventPHX

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Planning and Development Department


Name of Entry: Northern Arizona Forest Fund

Submitted by: National Forest Foundation


Sustainable Workplaces


Name of Entry: Honeywell Arizona Aerospace – Being the Difference!

Submitted by: Honeywell


Name of Entry: Risk Recycling

Submitted by: Maricopa County, Risk Management Department


Name of Entry: Workplace Wellness Nurtures Work Well Done

Submitted by: U-Haul International



Name of Entry: Solar Thermal Hot Air Technology

Submitted by: Northern Arizona University


Name of Entry: IO Modular Deployment

Submitted by: IO


Name of Entry: InfinitPipe®

Submitted by: QuakeWrap, Inc.


Public Sector


Name of Entry: Arizona State University, College Avenue

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR


Name of Entry: Phoenix Tennis Center

Submitted by: Hoskin Ryan Consultants, Inc.


Name of Entry: GateWay Community College Integrated Education Building

Submitted by: SmithGroupJJR


Private Sector


Name of Entry: Valley Partnership Community Project

Submitted by: Arizona Foundation for the Handicapped


Name of Entry: Airport I-10

Submitted by: Wespac Construction Inc.


Parks and Trails


Name of Entry: The Arizona Trail Association’s Gift to Arizona

Submitted by: Arizona Trail Association


Name of Entry: Echo Canyon Recreation Area Trailhead Improvements

Submitted by: EPG


Name of Entry: Riverview Park

Submitted by: City of Mesa



Name of Entry: Phoenix Sky Harbor Terminal Three Sky Train Station Platform and Bridge

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


Name of Entry: Shade for Transit Series

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


Name of Entry: Pinnacle Peak Water Reservoir Public Art Project

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


Public and Private Sectors


Name of Entry: City of Peoria Sustainable U

Submitted by: City of Peoria 


Name of Entry: 7th Avenue @ Melrose Curve Recycling Awareness

Submitted by: City of Phoenix Office of Arts and Culture


Name of Entry: Avondale – I Heart Environment

Submitted by: City of Avondale


Educators, Students, and Nonprofit Organizations


Name of Entry: Bachelor of Architecture Sustainability Pedagogy

Submitted by: University of Arizona School of Architecture


Name of Entry: Mrs. Green’s World

Submitted by: Mrs. Green’s World


Name of Entry: Water RAPIDS (Research and Planning Innovations in Dryland Systems) Program

Submitted by: Water Resources Research Center, University of Arizona



Name of Entry: Arizona State University Facilities Management Grounds/Recycling

Submitted by: Arizona State University


Name of Entry: Sun Link Tucson Streetcar

Submitted by: Engineering and Environmental Consultants

Corner of Aspen Ave. and San Francisco Street in historic downtown Flagstaff, Arizona.

Flagstaff banks on Valley residents trying to beat heat

Compared to the Valley’s 100-plus degree days and stifling summer nights, Northern Arizona is an oasis of mild weather and cool temperatures. It’s no surprise that Flagstaff, the hub of the high country, is a popular tourist destination for Phoenicians in the hot summer months. Indeed, 40 percent of Flagstaff’s annual visitors are traveling from within the state of Arizona, with 18 percent coming from Phoenix, 8 percent from Scottsdale and 7 percent from Mesa.

“During the summer, we see that many visitors are simply visiting Flagstaff for climate relief,” says Heather Ainardi of the Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau (CVB). “During summer months, hotel occupancy ranges between 75 to 85 percent and our attractions see a dramatic increase in attendees.”

A yearlong study conducted by the Flagstaff CVB has shown just how much of an economic impact tourism has on the city. Flagstaff saw 4.6 million visitors from February 2014 to January 2015, garnering a total economic impact of $575 million and creating 7,311 local jobs. Tourism produced more than $38 million in state and local taxes, including an all-time high of $6.2 million from Flagstaff’s Bed, Board, and Booze (BBB) tax, a 2-percent tax on restaurants, bars and lodging. The BBB tax, which targets tourist-driven services, provides funding for parks and recreation, city beautification, tourism, economic development and arts and sciences in Flagstaff.

According to the study, 75 percent of the visitors that Flagstaff sees are overnight visitors and 60 percent travel with family. This means that family-friendly destinations are among the most popular tourist spots.

“Lowell Observatory, the Museum of Northern Arizona and the Scenic Chairlift Ride at Arizona Snowbowl still rank very high,” according to Ainardi.

While Flagstaff is the primary destination of 53 percent of its visitors, many also use it as a base to explore the rest of Northern Arizona. The Grand Canyon is an 80-minute drive from the city, while Williams, the departure point of the Grand Canyon Railway, is only 30 miles west of Flagstaff. Just east of the city are popular destinations like Meteor Crater, the site of a 50,000-year-old meteorite impact, and Twin Arrows Casino Resort.

“We see an increase in visitors each summer,” says Navajo Gaming CEO Derrick Watchman. “Our busiest months are from June through August.”

Twin Arrows is working on its second phase expansions, which include a spa that is sure to entice more valley visitors in the future.

The Flagstaff Convention and Visitors Bureau kicks up its tourism campaigns in the summer, inviting Valley residents to escape the heat. Last summer the #VisitCool promotional campaign included a “Cool Zone” outside of Chase Field, where fans could escape the July heat before an Arizona Diamondbacks game. Visitors to the Cool Zone took in imagery of Flagstaff, including some of its most popular tourist destinations. The #VisitCool campaign will return this summer, reminding overheated Phoenix residents that they can retreat to cooler weather without leaving the state.

5 fun things to do in Flagstaff

Planning a summer getaway to beat the heat? Here are five things you can’t miss in Flagstaff.

Historic Route 66 & downtown district: A drive down the historic Route 66 will make your modern car feel like a classic cruiser.

Lowell Observatory at Mars Hill: This historic observatory will bring out your inner scientist.

Day hikes in the Coconino National Forest: From easy beginner paths to advanced heart-pumping hills, every hike is packed with beautiful nature and scenic adventures.

Museum of Northern Arizona: This museum will be a hit with any history, art or culture fans.

The Flagstaff-Grand Canyon Ale Trail: This self-guided pub crawl offers up to $25 in food and drink discounts at some of Flagstaff’s finest craft breweries.

JBE Grand Canyon, Photo: Collection of Ed and Fran Elliot

Bringing Arizona's Pioneering Women Artists Into The Light

The Museum of Northern Arizona’s current exhibit “Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists” looks to shine a light on women who have had long art careers in the state. The artists in the exhibit predominantly lived in the Northern Arizona area, including Prescott, and the Phoenix area — taking inspiration from the environment around them.

Visitors to the museum are able to view the paintings from a number of different women, as well as a dozen or so books that were illustrated by Lillian Wilhelm Smith and written by Lou Ella Archer. Along with the exhibit, the Museum of Northern Arizona also released a catalog “Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists — Impressions of the Grand Canyon State.” The catalog shows images of the art pieces as well as provides a greater back-story to the history and the struggle of women artists.

The artists featured in the exhibit became wildly unknown after the contemporary art movement in the ’70s, which brought in what we now know as Southwestern art. Curators at the Museum of Northern Arizona thought that the work these women did was an important piece of Arizona’s culture. At the time, there were many male artists who would visit the area to paint, but these women artists actually stayed year-round. They created the exhibit as a centennial legacy project in connection with Arizona’s centennial last year.

Seventy works of art on are display in the exhibit, and 65 of the pieces came from private collectors Fran and Ed Elliot.The exhibit shows pieces from artists from the aforementioned Smith and Mary-Russell Ferrelll Colton, Jessie Benton Evans, Kate Thomson Cory, Susan Ricker Knox, Nora Lucy Mowbray Cundell, Erna Lange, Clair Donner-Phillips, Marjorie Reed and Marjorie Thomas.

Tickets to the exhibit for adults are $10, and tickets for children are $6.

“Arizona’s Pioneering Women Artists”

Where: Museum of Northern Arizona, 3101 N. Fort Valley Rd., Flagstaff
When: Now through May 12, 2013
Tickets: Adults, $10; children, $6
Contact: 928-774-5213
Online: musnaz.org


Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010

BIG Green Awards: Commercial Green Building Award

Twelve categories, hundreds of nominations — but only one will take home the green. It’s the first annual Southwest Build-it-Green Awards, where BIG teamed up with the USGBC to bring you the leanest sustainable leaders and projects in Arizona.

An in-depth glance of the winning real estate projects is listed below, followed by a list of the additional winners and finalists.

Commercial Green Building Award

Winner: Museum of Northern Arizona Easton Collection Center

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Owner: Museum of Northern Arizona
General Contractor: Kinney Construction Services
Architect: Roberts | Jones and Associates
Completed: June 2009

Recognized for being an exemplary public green building, the 17,282-square-foot sustainable repository houses thousands of objects comprising the anthropological, biological and fine art collections of the Flagstaff museum. Architects Jim Roberts of Roberts | Jones and Associates and Project Manager Mike Thomas of Kinney Construction Services (KCS) approached the project with LEED Platinum Certification in mind.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Green strategies included appropriated solar orientation; exterior walls, key interior walls and floors constructed of high-thermal mass materials; extensive use of insulation; energy efficient heating and cooling systems; energy efficient window systems; extensive green living roof system; water conservation plumbing systems; sustainable landscaping; day-lighting and a 13 kW photovoltaic array roof installation. The Museum of Northern Arizona has a “green power contract,” under which 50 percent of all electricity purchased for the building will come from renewable sources.

The building was constructed of locally manufactured masonry, stone and concrete, produced from locally-extracted materials. Exterior wood siding is reclaimed lumber from a decommissioned railroad trestle in the Great Salt Lake area. Additionally, 78 percent of all construction waste was reused or recycled. All salvageable materials from the demolition of the four existing buildings were recycled or diverted for reuse. The calculated amount of CO2 reduction is approximately 49,970 pounds.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Finalist: Queen Creek Branch Library

Owner: Town of Queen Creek
General Contractor: CORE Construction
Architect: Dick & Fritsche Design Group
Completed:Nov. 2008

The LEED Gold library is the first municipal building constructed under the Town of Queen Creek’s Green Building Policy. This library represents the successful implementation of the new policy by not only reaching the required minimum LEED Certification, but also by achieving a Gold rating on the same budget. The project achieved a 53 percent energy use reduction according to the ASHRAE 90.1 model. The amounts to a 446,987 kWh per year savings, or almost 10 kWh saved per square foot. That amounts to 321 metric tons of CO2 equivalent in energy savings alone. The project also includes solar reflective roofing, 33 percent water efficiency through low-water-use fixtures and an average of 22 percent recycled content using local materials. More than 80 percent of construction waste was diverted from landfills.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Finalist: Lee H. Brown Conservation Learning Center at Reid Park Zoo

Owner: City of Tucson
General Contractor: Adolfson & Peterson Construction
Architect: Swaim Associates Architects
Completed:May 2008

The 10,430-square-foot center in Tucson achieved LEED Platinum and serves as the Tucson Zoological Society’s center for education and community outreach. More than 50 percent of the original structure was recycled, including the site’s bamboo plants, which were integrated into the center’s perimeter fencing and gates, or to feed the zoo’s animals. The facility incorporates both passive and active rainwater harvesting systems, commercial grey water systems, low-water-use fixtures and other alternative and sustainable building materials. The building’s overall energy savings is 75 percent, including the solar water heating system that provides 100 percent of the building’s domestic hot water supply; and photovoltaic arrays that generate 48 percent of the facility’s energy needs. It is the first LEED Platinum project at any zoo or aquarium in the world.

Green Schools Excellence Award K-12

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Winner: Agua Fria Union High School District

Agua Fria UHSD is one of the first districts in the state to apply green concepts to its building program and the classroom. The high school district is recognized as an exemplary piece of efficient design and sustainable best practices.

Green Awards - July/August 2010Milestone celebrations for the district include two LEED-Certified High Schools — Desert Edge High School and Verrado High School, both constructed by Adolfson & Peterson Construction — which were certification firsts for Arizona. These schools’ efforts included infrastructure conservation, curbing heat island effects, night sky and protected ecosystems, and conservation of resources for the state and local community.

The LEED for School pilot program, which encompasses the district’s operations and maintenance, was tested on Agua Fria in order to troubleshoot the program and find areas of refinement by USGBC. Other sustainable practices by the district included ozone depletion, recycling programs, green cleaning and light pollution reduction.

Finalist: Washington Elementary School District

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Washington Elementary School District consists of 32 school campuses with three administrative locations covering 44 square miles. The District serves 24,000 elementary school students, and in spring 2008 the District agreed to benchmark its facilities for energy efficiency. The goal was to conserve 10 percent in electric, natural gas, water and solid waste consumption District-wide over the course of a year. Achieving this goal would save the District $610,000 or more in fiscal year 2009. “Energy Violation Tickets” were used in an effort to remind students and school staff to keep sustainability in mind during daily operations and maintenance. At the end of the year, the District conserved 6.6 million kWh of electricity with a savings of $743,000; natural gas savings of 8,661 therms for $18,340; and solid waste savings of $125,000.

Green Schools Excellence Award Higher Education

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Winner: Arizona State University

Arizona State University was the first higher education institution in the state — as well as the country — to open a School of Sustainability that focuses on educating students about alternative energy, waste reduction, water and land conservation. In 2004, ASU created the Global Institute of Sustainability to serve as a hub for all of the university’s sustainability initiatives in research, education, outreach and business practices.

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010Since 2005, all new university-owned buildings are required to be certified LEED Silver or better. ASU currently has 21 LEED Silver or better certified buildings, including the first Platinum-certified building in Arizona. Additionally, the university’s solar initiative has installed 2.04 MW of photovoltaic power on the Tempe campus so far, with plans for 10 MW of solar power capacity by the end of 2010.

Finalist: Rio Salado College

Green Awards - AZRE Magazine July/August 2010The college has adopted several measures to “think green” and beyond. Rio Salado College’s view of sustainability includes the socio-cultural, environmental and economic dynamics essential to making sustainability bearable, equitable and viable.

During the 2007-2008 academic year, Rio Salado launched a major initiative in support of the global sustainability movement, which included becoming a chapter signatory of the American College and University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). In October 2009, Rio Salado College was named a winner of America’s Greenest Campus contest. The winnings were used to develop a community garden for the Sustainable Food Systems Program and the new Cafe @ Rio.

AZRE Magazine July/August 2010