July 3, 2024

Poetry Murals, Counseling, Plants & Owls

Episode 1040
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This week on Arizona Illustrated…how artists are helping to beautify what once considered the ‘Ugliest Street in America;’ the benefits of adding Desert Honeysuckle to your local landscape; an innovative program tries to counteract the lack of mental health services in rural communities and one Tucson neighborhood celebrates their local owls!

Murals and Poetry – Beautifying the Ugliest Street in America
Alley Cat Murals and the UA Poetry center teamed up to develop six new murals to help beautify the Speedway corridor in Tucson.

Desert Plants: Desert Honeysuckle
Thousands of native or drought-tolerant plants can be grown in the Sonoran Desert, providing a colorful and intriguing options for the garden. Some plants can provide amazing color or food for pollinators, nesting sites for birds and other wildlife, and visual and textural appeal to homeowners.

Counseling in the Streets
In rural Arizona, there is a great need for mental health services, but due to a lack of providers and infrastructure, residents often face long travel distances to access care, which is also limited by lack of transportation. Economic constraints and stigmas around mental health also contribute to underutilization of whatever services are available. Efforts to improve the situation include telehealth initiatives and state-level funding, but substantial gaps remain. Counseling in the Streets is a program developed during the pandemic to address these disparities. In Cochise County, Arizona, where Counseling in the Streets was first piloted, has seen many positive results. In this story we look at how this form of peer counseling has been especially beneficial to teenagers.

Owl Party
If you’re driving through Tucson’s Palo Verde neighborhood and see dozens of people staring up at a tree, you might have stumbled upon an owl party. Each evening, these people gather to see what the resident Great Horned Owl family is doing, and in the process, get to know their neighbors and create a stronger community.
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