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‹ The Weekly Green

Desert Dwellers Know

January 13, 2016

DDK_12-7-15FinalReducedIn the context of the Desert Dwellers Education Project of the Tucson Audubon Society, a marvellous poster has been created under the creative direction of the Pima County Department of Environmental Quality. It is titled “Desert Dweller Know – a Celebration of Byrd’s Words”.

The tribute poster honors well-loved, award-winning children’s book author, Byrd Baylor. Her poetic wisdom has inspired Sonoran Desert dwellers for over six decades. Byrd’s words were selected for the poster because she expresses key desert conservation messages beautifully. The timing is right! Byrd will celebrate her 92nd birthday on 3/28/16.

The purpose of the poster is to encourage appreciation and respect for the ways of the desert and direct connection with nature as a resource to learn how to live sustainably in the desert. and to highlight special adaptations that plants, animals and people have made to survive and thrive with the desert.

Byrd Baylor

The Sonoran Desert is a very special place we call home.  As Byrd says, we need to …treat it well – the way you would treat an old friend, so desert life can continue to thrive.

The primary partners in creating the “Desert Dwellers Know” poster include Tucson Audubon Society, Pima County DEQ, Paul Mirocha Design & Byrd Baylor and Tucson Water, Tucson Association of Realtors Green Forum, UofA College of Science & Bahti Indian Arts.

The petroglyph on Tumamoc Hill that was Paul Mirocha’s inspiration for the design of the poster

Paul Mirocha’s poster design of natural elements in a spiral mandala was inspired by ancient Hohokam petroglyphs on Tumamoc Hill.  Byrd’s poetry frames the mandala image and her words are illustrated with desert wildflowers and creatures, stars, clouds, water, soil, rocks, pottery and a variety of packrat midden treasures.

Future poster-related projects include an update of the Desert Dwellers Know brochure, a three-story wheat paste mural on the front of the Main Library (planned for January, 2017) and educational activities that meet STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts & Math objectives for national & state level testing benchmarks).

Proceeds from Poster sales go to support the non-profit education and conservation missions of Tucson Audubon Society (TAS) and the Desert Dwellers Education Project.

Posters are currently available in the Tucson Audubon Society Nature Shop at 300 East University Boulevard (629-0510, x7015; and at Antigone Books at 411 N. 4th Avenue (792-3715;

Byrd Baylor and Paul Mirocha will be at Antigone Books for a signing event on Sunday, January 17th, starting at 4 PM.

The Weekly Green talked with  PCDEQ’s Senior Program Manager Beth Gorman and Skye Siegel, Outreach Coordinator at PCDEQ and the originator of the project.

Interview (8 min)


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