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Food Forests in Arizona: Challenges and Opportunities - SWAAN Webinar

  • February 21, 2024
  • 9:00 AM
  • Zoom


Registration is closed


in partnership with the Arizona Community Tree Council presents:

Food Forests in Arizona: Challenges and Opportunities WEBINAR

Wednesday, February 21, 2024

at 9:00am Arizona Time (MST)

Register here to receive the receive the Zoom invitation:


9:00 – 9:05 – Housekeeping (using Chat, continuing education credits, recording) – Bev Babb, ACTC

9:05 – 9:10 – Introduction by Steve Price, Utah Rep, SWAAN program coordinator

9:10 – 9:25 – Presentation by John Taylor

Presentation Description: John will share the story of the Ponderosa High School campus, a habitat and food forest in-progress, created and stewarded by high school students and Terra BIRDS.

Biosketch: John Taylor (Terra BIRDS, Executive Director) is the founder and executive director of Terra BIRDS, a Flagstaff-based non-profit (founded in 2013) whose mission is to educate and empower youth through gardening to help prepare them as the stewards of a sustainable future. Terra BIRDS leads garden & stewardship, sustainability and employment programs in the Coconino County Accommodation and Flagstaff Unified School Districts, as well as with local Public Charter Schools. John was born and raised in Flagstaff, graduated from Flagstaff High School, received a Bachelor’s Degree in the History of Art from Yale University, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Yale University. Mr. Taylor is deeply committed to the well-being and sustainability of his Northern Arizona community.

9:25 – 9:40 – Presentation by Maria Parra Cano

Presentation Description: Maria will highlight her experience working with two organizations in the greater Tempe area and…

Biosketch: Maria Parra Cano (Food Forest Cooperative, Co-Founder/Co-Owner; Cihuapactli Collective, Co-Founder/Executive Director) is a chef, ancestral foods educator, community organizer, mother, and farmer in Phoenix, Arizona. Maria received her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in Non-Profit Administration & Sociology, her MBA from Grand Canyon University, and a culinary arts degree from the Scottsdale Culinary Institute. After graduating from SCI, Maria began researching ancestral/traditional foods from Central Mexico, where her family roots are, and the Sonoran Desert, where she lives now. Her work aims to heal Indigenous communities, assisting plant relatives in reversing diseases like diabetes and hypertension, healing our bodies from birth, and using food as medicine. Maria is one of the co-founders and farmers of the Food Forest Cooperative, which aims to provide the community with fresh, regionally, and culturally, appropriate foods through sustainable and regenerative agricultural practices. “By growing food, building a microclimate, providing shade, and protecting plants from the elements,” the Food Forest Cooperative supports “an organic, regenerative, sustainable approach for the community to grow food for themselves and their families.”

9:40 – 9:50 (10 minutes) – Introduction to the Arizona Food Forest Atlas by Madeline Mercer

9:50 – 9:55 (5 minutes) – Q&A with the presenters

9:55 – 10:00 (5 minutes) – Closeout by Chris Jones, Chair, SWAAN

10:00 – 10:30 (30 minutes) - SWAAN Business Meeting led by Chris Jones

Continuing education credits for program: The applications have been submitted.

  • Continuing Forestry Education credits (Cat. 1) by the Society of American Foresters (SAF – contact Andy Mason,
  • Continuing Education Units (Sustainability) by the America Society of Agronomy (ASA – contact Mick O’Neill,

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