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The Umbrella: Fall 2015

Umbrella2colTHE UMBRELLA:
A catch-all of news,
media, and events from
Brad Lancaster

Fall 2015


Click ABOVE on the linked header to find more details about some of Brad’s late-2015 events, including:

    • MARFA, TX (September 18): Brad will be one of a slate of professionals who bring experience from places such as the American southwest, Brooklyn, Seattle, Los Angeles, and France who will be presenting at Design Marfa’s Symposium + Home Tour on elements of place-based integrated design, architecture, and community life. The symposium will be rounded out with a home tour and social events on Saturday.
    • ALPINE, TX (September 19): Brad, also a co-founder of Desert Harvesters, will be leading a native-mesquite workshop (full to capacity) during the day and giving a free public talk in the evening (all are welcome) on the history of Desert Harvesters and other dynamo local-food efforts enriching the Tucson community, ecosystem, and palates – and how you can likewise enrich the community where you live.
    • HOT SPRINGS, AR (October 18–22): Brad will be one of three keynote presenters, as well as leading a hands-on workshop at the 17th Annual EPA Region 6 Stormwater Conference, hosted by the City of Hot Springs, Arkansas. Recommended for stormwater professionals including permittees, owners, operators, contractors, consultants, engineers, and regulators of stormwater systems, this conference will address and discuss the various issues and challenges of managing municipal stormwater, as well as new and upcoming rules and regulations. Registration is open!
Brad leading a native-tree-planting workshop hosted by Tucson's one-and-only Food Conspiracy Co-op in conjunction with Desert Harvesters
Brad leading a native-tree-planting workshop hosted by Tucson’s one-and-only Food Conspiracy Co-op in conjunction with Desert Harvesters
  • SACRAMENTO, CA (October 23–24): Grow Water of Sacramento has put together a series of events spanning two days designed to Re-Envision Water, Sustainability, and Native Foods. Friday’s events are intended for a broad audience, from citizens, landscapers, architects and builders, to municipal water employees, non-profit organizations, and other water stakeholders. On Saturday evening, Brad will be joined by local wild-foods expert Alicia Funk who share her experience with putting edible wild plants of the area into culinary action. Register now!
  • TUCSON, AZ (November 2–8): Brad will be one of several instructors for Watershed Management Group’s Water Harvesting Design Certification course, which is designed for professionals, educators, and community organizers seeking comprehensive instruction in water-harvesting-systems design and construction.The program offers a unique combination of hands-on and classroom instruction, providing participants with a thorough, on-the-ground understanding of the core practices in this field. Applications are now being accepted.
  • CALGARY, AB, CANADA (November 19–20): Brad will be giving two presentations at Landscape Alberta’s Green Industry Show and Conference—the largest event of its kind in western Canada. Industry professionals—including employees of  garden centers, greenhouses, and tree nurseries; arborists, landscape designers, contractors, and maintenance professionals; as well as municipal workers from urban forestry departments—all industry-related professionals are invited to attend. Early-bird registration now through October 30.

Some of Brad’s unique recent/upcoming private engagements include:

    • A series of meetings in London with colleagues developing an agro-ecology training course in Malawi, to teach strategies for enhancing the living ecologies upon which we all depend,
    • A presentation on water harvesting and native plants for a group of HOA boards and landscape committees, and
    • A webinar on water harvesting, integrated community design, and public health for state public-health officers and directors.

Click here if you’d like to inquire about hiring Brad for your public or private event.


An Evolving Checklist of Green-Infrastructure Capacities to Develop and Potential Strategies to Implement in Our Communities

In-street water-harvesting, traffic-calming, food-producing chicane: an example of green infrastructure
In-street water-harvesting, traffic-calming, food-producing chicane: an example of green infrastructure

Brad prepared this richly-annotated checklist for the BECC/COCEF 2015 Border Green Infrastructure Forum. It is an evolving document meant to help promote and evolve the concept and practice of Green Infrastructure (GI) among local officials, developers, consultants, academics, non-profits, and the general public in communities on both sides of the US-Mexico border; to generate interest and build capacities in the various strategies, technologies, and policies involved in order to apply these concepts to public- and private-sector urban-infrastructure projects.


Brent Cluff, Brad, Cunningham aide Katie Bolger, and other Tucson water-harvesting activists and advocates are featured in this High Country News article, Tucson’s rain-catching revolution, which appeared in the April 27, 2015, issue, written by Tony Davis. Full article now available for free online.

In July a crew from VICE Media visited Tuscon to tour Brad’s his live-in demonstration site and film & interview him for an upcoming piece on strategies to avert/buffer drought. We’ll let you know when this is released!

Brad has given several interviews for recent/upcoming podcast episodes—keep an eye on Brad’s Facebook &/or Twitter for future links.

… & MORE!

Brad was nominated and then voted in as a finalist for Tucson Weekly’s Best Local Activist—as chosen by its readers. Voting has closed, so now we’ll see how it all shakes down. No matter the result, Brad appreciates the support and appreciation! We expect the results will be posted here, in addition to being printed in the venerable Weekly.

Brad and his life’s work are being recognized with the 2015 ARCSA Lifetime Achievement Award. Brad was selected by the current Lifetime Achievement Award recipients and the ARCSA Board of Directors. Billy Kniffen, a past Lifetime Achievement Award recipient, writes, “You have been a major influence on rainfall management … and have probably reached more people than anyone I know and influenced so many to actually take steps to manage our resources, especially our water.” Brad will be recognized at ARCSA‘s national conference in Longbeach, CA, in November—hopefully in person, schedule permitting. Congratulations, Brad!

Other projects

Photo credit: Jim Harris Photography
Photo credit: Jim Harris Photography

As a co-founder of Desert Harvesters, Brad is continually working with other current members to push the edge of the planting, use, celebration, and passive irrigation of wild foods of the Sonoran Desert. One key ethic of Desert Harvesters’ work is to repopulate the urban core with such native, food-bearing plants—and then harvest close to home, leaving naturally occurring desert abundance where it belongs: in the desert. Desert Harvesters’ core group recently brainstormed ways to convey this and other ethics verbally. Then, they handed the results to local poet-artist Kimi Eisele who crafted from that the beautiful, educational, and inspiring new Desert Harvesters Manifeasto. Brad encourages to you read it, put it into practice, and stay tuned for more wild-foods innovation!