Amy Colver, LCSW
Melody Griffith, MSW, LMSW, OSW-C
AOSW Communications Director
Jeanice Hansen, LCSW, OSW-C
To submit a story or information for inclusion in a future issue of AOSW Newsletter, contact Amy Colver or Melody Griffith on the list above.
AOSW 35th Annual Conference: Come Find Your Oasis in the Desert
Experience the magic of endless blue skies, towering mountains and cacti like you’ve rarely seen, when you join us at this year’s AOSW conference in sunny Tucson, Arizona. Only 60 miles north of the Mexico border, Tucson is a mecca for those who enjoy the outdoors. It is also well known for its towering saguaro cacti, great Mexican food and cowboy heritage.
Sitting in the valley of the Sonoran Desert, with a population of just over a half a million people, Tucson is surrounded by five mountain ranges that are mostly protected parklands. There are endless hiking trails, from gentle strolls through the sandy desert dotted with cacti, to mountains covered with rustling groves of aspen and pine.
You can visit the Saguaro National Part where these famous cacti are protected, go horseback riding or view the petroglyphs left by the ancient Hohokam peoples. The Arizona –Sonora Desert Museum is an outdoor natural history museum that combines live animal exhibits and desert botanical gardens and is a wonderful way to learn about the surrounding desert life. Sabino Canyon Recreation Area, a vast national forest that offers miles of hiking trails, waterfalls and tram rides through desert canyons should be on your to do list during your visit.
For those looking to venture a bit further, you can visit the Kitt Peak National Observatory located on the Tohono-Odom nation and view the star filled night sky through their telescopes. The Pima Air and Space Museum displays more than 300 air and spacecraft on 80 acres; and Biosphere 2 located northeast of Tucson all make for interesting adventures.
The downtown area of the city of Tucson, located 15 minutes from the JW Marriott Starr Pass Resort and Spa, has six districts each with their own unique flavor. Congress Street is the cultural core where you’ll find an exciting mix of skyscrapers, colorful barrio dwellings and preserved historic sites. You can visit sidewalk cafes, acclaimed restaurants, live music venues, vintage shops and museums. The Fourth Avenue district, known locally as “Fourth” was hip before hip was cool. It’s home to local artisan shops, the Food Conspiracy Co-op which has been selling organic and locally sourced food since 1971, and some of the city’s best loved restaurants and vintage shops. Main Gate Square is the gateway to the University of Arizona, Arizona’s first public university, and home to a variety of global cuisine that can fit any budget.
If you're looking to stay close to “home” and enjoy the numerous amenities of the resort, be sure to bring your bathing suit and sunscreen so you can take a dip in the multi-level pool complete with a lazy river and water slide. You’ll need your hiking shoes or at least sturdy tennis shoes when you head out on the daily early morning guided hike, or take advantage of the fitness center. You can be pampered at the Hashani Spa and indulge in the nightly tequila toasts. There are a selection of eateries on site to choose from and the hotel offers a list of local restaurants.Tucson is also close to Phoenix — it's approximately two hours south of Phoenix and the Sky Harbor International Airport.
I’m so excited to welcome you to Arizona! We’re looking forward to a great conference and I look forward to meeting you.
About the Author
Gerrie Jakobs, LCSW, OSW-COutpatient OSW
Virginia G. Piper Cancer Care Network