KGUN 9 On Your SideNewsLocal News


Pima County teens come together to create environmental change

Catalina State Park
Posted at 6:41 PM, Mar 27, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-28 01:46:48-04

TUCSON, Ariz. (KGUN) — For nine Pima County high school students, this Spring is dedicated to taking care of our planet.

"I think it's really important that we take care of our home," said 17-year-old, Ali Soland.

"Climate change is a growing issue. It's really important for our community to be involved and educated," said 16-year-old, Samantha Miranda.

All were chosen to take part in Pima County Department of Environmental Quality's new Youth For Blue Skies program. They've partnered with the Ironwood Tree Experience to educate teens about environmental issues and why their voices, and actions, matter.

"Being here in Southern Arizona, we face a lot of different climate issues. Some of those are related to sun and heat that increases every year. Also, around emissions," said Rebecca Perez with the Ironwood Tree Experience.

They want the teens to be role models for the next generation and make environmentally conscious decisions every day.

"We want them to be the inspiration for others, to create change within the community, to drive less and really think about their own impact on the environment, air pollution and climate change," said Pima County Department of Environmental Quality Senior Program Manager, Natalie Shepp.

On Sunday, that started with taking public transportation together: a small step that could eventually make a big difference.

"It's important that youth get involved in climate change issues because we are the future of the community," said 15-year-old, Jesus Mendoza.

"I'm really hoping to just spread awareness and do whatever I can to make my home a better place," said Soland.