In a world increasingly conscious of its finite resources, the prominence of environmental conservation continues to rise. The significance is even more stark in areas such as Arizona, where water scarcity is a daily reality. Among those making strides in this critical domain is the Tempe-based dairy cooperative, United Dairymen of Arizona (UDA), which recently secured a significant $30,000 grant from the City of Tempe.
The grant, known as the Water Efficiency and Education Grant, is a nod to UDA’s laudable initiative of revamping its water-intensive grass lawn on Broadway and Hardy into an efficient and region-appropriate eco-friendly landscape.
This progressive project is part of UDA’s concerted effort to advance water efficiency throughout its Tempe manufacturing plant campus. Ashley Ellixson, UDA’s Chief Commercial Officer, acknowledges the critical role of the grant in furthering their conservation goals, saying, “With this grant, we will not merely achieve remarkable water savings but also foster a deeper understanding and commitment to water conservation as a way of life among individuals and businesses.”
Integral to this shift towards sustainability was the removal of the eucalyptus trees that once flourished in front of the UDA building. These trees, while beautiful, were not only a safety hazard due to their propensity for shedding branches in windy conditions, but also consumed significant amounts of water – an unsustainable practice in the arid environment of Arizona. On top of this, these trees are an invasive species, adversely impacting the soil biome and competing with native flora.
Moving ahead, UDA plans to introduce an efficient eco-friendly landscape, which demands minimal water use and actively supports the local ecosystem. Nearly 150 new plants, cacti, and trees will replace the eucalyptus and grass which is expected to result in saving over one million gallons of water every year.