Letter from The Publisher
First and foremost, I must mention that in the article on page 36, I noticed that Phoenix and Tucson are two of the top 10 dog-friendly U.S. cities. People travel with their canine companions so often these days, and as one of those people, I can honestly say how wonderful it is to not only have pet-friendly accommodations (that you aren’t afraid to stay in), but also the ability to have your pooch on restaurant patios and in some shops, especially in warm climates like ours. Awesome, Arizona!
This issue also hits on a topic that goes back to my university days. I took a number of environmental planning courses that involved the concept of sustainable communities: walk or bicycle to work; have a community garden; live in higher-density housing with shops as part of the planning; have more social spaces to allow for interactions and children to play outside (we used to play kick the can on our streets!); enjoy the natural spaces planned into the area—you get the picture. Understandably, I was very excited to read our feature on livable communities (see page 20), which got me thinking that I need to do some research on the Phoenix area. Stay tuned for future local editorial on this topic, and I always welcome suggestions if you happen to know of a neat project taking place.
And then there are the rail trails. This month’s Eco Tip (see page 17) talks about the wonderful vacations you can take riding the train—a fantastic way to travel, in my opinion. But what caught my attention was the title—“Rail Trails”—which means something entirely different to me. I wrote my thesis on this topic, but it was about the actual removal of the railway tracks and the development of trails in their place. Walking, bicycling, horseback riding … all kinds of fun activities can be had on these multiuse trails. Just to give you an idea, have a look at RailsToTrails.org.
I hope you enjoy this issue of Natural Awakenings. As always, please feel free to contact me with comments, suggestions or questions. This is your magazine—enjoy!