History


Background

Friends of Flagstaff’s Future (F³ – often referred to as “F Cubed” around town) was founded in 1995 by concerned citizens who wanted to ensure that the public had an active role in community decision-making.

The citizens who formed this organization recognized that protecting the high quality of life of the greater Flagstaff area would take the active participation of a broad range of people who were willing to grapple with complex issues and strive for a positive, collaborative outcome.

Since its founding, Friends of Flagstaff’s Future has grown from a small circle of concerned citizens to an action-oriented organization with more than 1,000 supporters and more than 400 volunteers.

Key to our mission is the engagement of local citizens in strategic efforts to protect our clean air and water, unique character and diversity, and the urban trails and open spaces that give us the opportunity to love and learn about the environment in which we live. Together with our members and volunteers, we strive to preserve the beauty and diversity of Flagstaff for future generations.

Accomplishments

2015 marks the 20th year that Friends of Flagstaff’s Future has been working to make Flagstaff a more environmentally sustainable, socially just and economically prosperous community. F³ is the only multi-issue organization in town working to protect open spaces and their ecological diversity, supporting locally owned businesses, encouraging the democratic process, and promoting civic engagement in local issues.

1996:

  • Co-­‐sponsored the Flagstaff 2020 Visioning Process. Approximately 5,000 citizens came together to envision what they wanted for our community.

1999:

  • Fought back attempt by the City Council to completely rescind the sign code and return to allowing 18-­‐foot high signs on major roadways. The code was relaxed, but not repealed completely.

2000:

  • Gathered 3,500 signatures to help put the Citizens’ Growth Management Initiative on the statewide ballot.
  • Sponsored a forum with community planner Eben Fodor, author of Better Not Bigger, in NAU’s Cline Library Auditorium.
  • Phoned 2,000 registered voters, encouraging them to vote in the City Council election.

2001:

  • Instrumental in getting Design Review Guidelines approved by the City Council. Guidelines dealt with transportation, pedestrian and bike facilities, building materials, site considerations, linkages to abutting uses, and parking lots.
  • Brought in affordable housing architect, Michael Pyatok for a meeting with community members and a presentation to the City Council.
  • Campaigned successfully to pass the Flagstaff Area Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan. It passed with 66% voter support.
  • Campaigned successfully to pass the Coconino Parks and Open Space Program. This program will raise $33 million to create parks and protect open space in Coconino County. This measure passed with 62% voter support.
  • Phoned 2,000 registered voters encouraging them to vote in the city’s Primary and General elections.

2003:

  • Facilitated a round table of environmental leaders from across northern Arizona for the Governor.
  • Successfully advocated for the creation of a city open spaces commission.
  • Created, organized, and co-­‐hosted a successful six-­‐part forum series on water.
  • Created and published the book, The Heart of Flagstaff: 21 Stories About a Sense of Place. Sold approximately 400 copies in the first two months.

2004:

  • Worked to protect more than 1,000 acres of land in Flagstaff. This land includes State Trust Land on Observatory Mesa as well as approximately 550 acres of land throughout Flagstaff’s neighborhoods.
  • Advocated for the passage of the “big box” amendment to the Land Development Code. This amendment was adopted as proposed by Friends of Flagstaff’s Future by a 5-­‐2 vote of the City Council.
  • F3 worked with both the Sunnyside and the Southside neighborhoods to strengthen their neighborhood associations over the course of several years through a project called Neighbor-­‐to-­‐Neighbors. This project culminated with the painting of a mural on the Ponderosa Head Start Building in the Sunnyside Neighborhood.

2005:

  • F3 defended the city’s “big box” ordinance against a referendum organized and funded by Wal-­‐Mart. In the end, the “yes” side of the campaign was outspent more than three-­‐ to-­‐one. Despite being outspent and up against the world’s largest retailer, the City Council’s ordinance was overturned by a mere 365 votes out of more than 17,000 cast, hardly a landslide or a voter mandate.
  • Sponsored and participated in the Water Festival, part of the Flagstaff Festival of Science.
  • Advocated for safe routes to school and participated in International Walk to School Day.
  • Led a Shop Local promotion campaign. Photographed business owners and printed a full color, full page ad in Flagstaff Live detailing why locally owned businesses are important to our community.
  • Advised Governor Janet Napolitano on land use and climate change. F3 Executive Director was asked to participate on the Transportation & Land Use Technical Work Group, part of the Governor’s Climate Change Advisory Group (CCAG).

2006:

  • F3 gathered 1,400 signatures for Conserving Arizona’s Future (Prop 106), a citizens’ initiative to protect 690,000 acres of state land across Arizona, including 62,000 acres in northern Arizona.
  • Led the volunteer effort in northern Arizona to pass Proposition 106—mobilizing volunteers for phone banks, neighborhood walks, and assisting with press conferences.
  • Spoke in favor of, and encouraged our members to speak in favor of, the City of Flagstaff’s resolution to reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions.
  • Advocated for Class IV lighting at Thorpe Park. This lighting is more energy efficient and helps to maintain Flagstaff’s Dark Skies.
  • F3 Executive Director was a member of the Flagstaff Pedestrian Advisory Committee that met monthly to discuss city issues involving pedestrians. The committee hosted (and F3 co-­‐sponsored) Pedestrian Awareness Week in October 2006 in conjunction with National Walk to School Day.
  • Researched the propositions on the May 2006 ballot and wrote detailed descriptions, including recommendations for our members and the public.
  • Compiled May 2006 City Council and Mayoral candidate responses to our questions and linked the document to our website.
  • Publicly supported Proposition 404 (workforce housing) on the May 2006 ballot. We appeared in various media outlets in support of this proposition.
  • Publicly supported Coconino County Questions 1 & 2 (Coconino County Jail Tax) and mailed a detailed description and our recommendations to our members.
  • F3 Executive Director was the co-­‐chair of the Governor’s Growing Smarter Oversight Council and worked with the Council for a year on developing and writing Guiding Principles for Arizona’s growth.
  • Hosted a luncheon for our members with Arizona State Representative Ann Kirkpatrick.
  • Helped launch the Flagstaff Independent Business Alliance designed to promote Flagstaff’s many independent businesses and help to create consciousness about the importance of these businesses to Flagstaff’s economic and social vitality.
  • F3 Executive Director was active with the Coconino County Community Services Community Action Board for several years. The “Beyond Poverty” initiative outcome worked to create Circles of Support to help move Flagstaff families and individuals out of poverty.
  • Created and hosted a Summer Discussion Series where experts spoke about current topics impacting Flagstaff, including: historic preservation, the Flagstaff Urban Trail System, Dark Skies, and open space.
  • Co­‐sponsored and organized two screenings of the film Wal-­‐Mart: The High Cost of Low Price, attended by 1,300 people with approximately 400 turned away for lack of space.
  • Co-­‐hosted the screening of the film Independent America: The Two Lane Search for Mom & Pop. This film includes Becky Daggett and Frank Dickens discussing both sides of the campaign after the Prop 100 election.
  • Sponsored events to educate the public and bring community members closer together: Pedestrian Awareness Week, Bike to Work Week, Flagstaff Community Market, and Chalk-­‐a-­‐Lot (a public arts event).

2007:

  • Organized “Taking the Next Step,” a workshop on the nuts and bolts of running for office and applying for boards and commissions.
  • Attended the New Partners for Smart Growth conference, specifically the affordable housing sessions.
  • F3 Executive Director served as co-­‐chair of the Growing Smarter Oversight Council.
  • Acted as a watchdog and advocate for City and County policies which are consistent with publicly-­‐supported plans such as the Flagstaff 2020 Visioning document, the Open Spaces & Greenways Plan, and the Greater Flagstaff Regional Land Use and Transportation Plan. In this effort, F3 carefully monitored processes unfolding around the Land Development Code and the adoption of Form-­‐Based Codes.

2007­‐2008:

  • Participated in a successful campaign for public transit propositions.
  • Helped secure funding for, and organized, the Pumphouse Greenway Conservation Project.
  • Initiated the Post Carbon Future workshops, part of the One Sustainable Living Lecture series.
  • F3 Transition Action Team started two reskilling groups: Spinner’s Gathering and Flagstaff Food Preservers. In addition, the Team facilitated a Transition Resilience Circle (Resilience Circles are self-­‐help groups that create greater resilience in members’ lives).
  • Participated in Bike-­‐to-­‐Work week.
  • Coordinated the Annual Car Free Flag event on Sep 21st (International Car Free Day).
  • Supported a youth bike helmet ordinance.
  • Supported Prop 103 for State Trust Land reform.
  • Sponsored “Taking the Next Step” workshop to inform citizens on how to join boards and commissions or run for elected office.
  • Sponsored the Local Candidate Forum.

2009:

  • Supported the implementation of Impact Fees.
  • Supported energy code amendments to reflect ongoing energy conversations.
  • Supported the Human Rights ordinance.
  • Coordinated the Giving Voice to Neighborhoods
  • Supported protection of Buffalo Park as Open Space by opposing it as a location for Star Henge, a tourist attraction.
  • Continued weekly outreach at the Flagstaff Farmer’s Market.
  • Formed Land Use Action Team to comment on revisions to the Zoning Code and the Regional Plan.
  • Supported the reclassification of State lands around Rogers Lake as suitable for conservation.
  • Sponsored workshops and weatherization efforts in low‐income neighborhoods.

2010-2011:

  • Launched the KARES (Kids Art Reading and Eating for Sustainability) program hosting a lending library of sustainably focused kids’ books, story and reading times, and recycled art projects.
  • Launched Zero Waste: F3 bought over 200 sets of reusable kitchenware and started providing them free of charge for community and private events. The program aimed to reduce waste and overuse of raw materials and promote a sustainable Flagstaff.
  • Collaborated on Growing Green, a joint program with Foodlink that facilitated community workshops on food and community gardening.
  • Coordinated Trail Clean Ups: Adopted the Karen Cooper Trail (Cheshire) and Buffalo Park 2 mile Loop Trail (McMillan Mesa).
  • Facilitated Flagstaff’s first Solar Oven Picnic which included solar oven cooking classes and an apple festival at Buffalo Park with free food, hands-­‐on activities, spinning demonstrations, solar oven discussion, and apple juice making.
  • Participated in the 4th of July parade and collected used plastic bottles (over 1,000 bottles were later used at our KARES program to make recycled bird feeders).
  • Co-­‐sponsored free movie screenings dealing with relevant social and environmental issues at the Green Room.
  • Co-­‐sponsored an Anti-­‐Uranium educational benefit concert at the Orpheum Theater covering the effects of uranium mining in Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Supported the FUSD Anti Bullying Initiative; attended and gave testimonies at official FUSD meetings.
  • An F3 board member sat on the Rain Water Harvesting Stakeholder Group to assure the city moves in the direction of utilizing rain water in future development.
  • Opposed energy intensive, water wasting, and culturally disrespectful snow-making operation on the San Francisco Peaks.
  • Supported protection of Walnut Canyon: opposed a shooting range near the park and supported the increased protection of Walnut Canyon as open natural space.
  • Opposed Bypass 180: opposed building more roads to solve traffic issues on 180 and instead pushed for the development of alternative transportation routes and investment in public transportation.
  • Supported open space commission and bond to protect Picture Canyon.
  • Stood with other community groups in position to oppose S.B. 1070.
  • Organized the first Annual Gathering of Green Groups: an F3 initiative to host a yearly meeting of all green and environmental groups working in the greater Flagstaff area (emphasized opportunities for collaboration, partnership building, support of issues, and pooling of resources).
  • Organized free bike tune-­‐ups with AZ Bikes for Earth Day.

2012:

  • Enhanced the Zero Waste Event Program to include non‐F3 members, as well as a separate program at Killip school (with support from FoodLink) and Pine Forest school.
  • Held the second Annual Meeting for green groups and developed the Flagstaff Green Calendar, a one-­‐stop website for Environmental events listings online.
  • Launched Hiking Kids Make a Difference pilot program. General trail clean ups took a more focused mission to engage families and youth groups in hikes, trail cleanups, and weeding activities.
  • An F3 board member sat on the Citizens Advisory Committee for the Regional Plan.
  • Supported the proposed City of Flagstaff Civil Rights Ordinance.
  • Opposed the proposed development of the commercial Sno­‐Park, a mega-­‐tourist attraction on McMillan Mesa.
  • Coordinated the first collaborative Shop Local Holiday Campaign, a partnership to promote shopping at small, locally owned businesses in Flagstaff.
  • Assembled the Water Policy Action Team to research and provide policy guidelines for water conservation and reclaimed wastewater quality.
  • Coordinated a candidate forum for the City Council election. For the November election, we analyzed propositions relevant to our mission and prepared and distributed the 2012 Voter Guide in both English and Spanish to increase voter engagement.
  • Participated in the City’s Make A Difference Day at O’Leary open space.
  • Co-­‐coordinated the Earth Care Fair at the Federated Church. This funding created two blender bikes to lend out for community use.
  • Marched and collected plastic bottles during the 4th of July Parade.

2013:

  • The KARES program continued, adding the first Annual Trash To Treasure Tribute, an event at Heritage Square that included a trashy fashion show, recycled vehicle exhibition, kids activities, live music and more (a huge success, with over 300 participants).
  • Hiking Kids Make a Difference became an established and popular family program. An estimated 1,000 volunteer hours were dedicated to trash collection and weed removal in some of Flagstaff’s most loved and used trails and watershed systems.
  • Continued advocating for the Civil Rights Ordinance, expanding civil rights protections for sexual orientation and identity, until it passed unanimously in Council. We then held a big First-­‐Friday party in partnership with Northern AZ Pride Association.
  • The proposed Sno‐Park in McMillan Mesa was taken off the table after we organized strong opposition.
  • Worked collaboratively to galvanize strong citizen opposition to the sale of City owned open space parcels. In a packed Council Chambers Buffalo Park Annex and the Schultz Y parcels were designated as open space. McMillan Mesa was left “undecided” but not sold.
  • Continued working on the Regional Plan, Flagstaff. Presented to Council on a weekly basis supporting the sustainability aspects in the Plan.
  • Advocated for the adoption of an updated 2012 Energy Code. After a tough fight, with the majority of Council wanting to maintain the outdated 2006 Code, a compromise was reached and the adoption of the 2009 Code went through.
  • Opposed the Zoning Code Amendments which unfortunately ultimately passed, allowing for “speculative” zoning and a number of other changes.
  • Opposed a new golf course for the expanded Little America Resort, but Council voted in favor of approving the golf course.
  • Sponsored “Beyond Reclaimed,” a short film about the City’s potential to become a leader in reclaimed water treatment. The film premiered at the Mountain Film Festival as well as NAU classes and received great reviews.
  • Water Policy Action Team urged the City to create an expert group addressing reclaimed water safety which led to the assembly of the City’s Panel on Compounds of Emerging Concerns. The team continued their important work researching reclaimed water treatment options, including visiting the City of Scottsdale treatment plant and a pilot test plant at the Colorado School of Mines.
  • Joined Friends of the Rio De Flag in producing a series of community water presentations called Water Works. These included guest speakers such as Brad Hill and Kevin Burke.
  • Started working on the Water Wise program, an educational effort to promote household water conservation.

2014:

  • Heavily involved in the Regional Plan process. Successfully defended language on climate change, walkable neighborhoods, and other environmental elements. Council unanimously sent the Plan to the voters who approved it.
  • Spearheaded a non-‐partisan “Get out the Vote” campaign which included heavy voter registration on NAU campus, two voting PSAs, presentations at NAU classes, a voter engagement survey, and tabling at numerous events. In addition, we hosted two candidate forums, one for the community and one for students and created a website and voter guides which provided information about propositions and Council candidate views on different issues.
  • Worked with open space advocates to successfully obtain an official open space designation for the city-­‐owned land at Shultz Pass and the parcel east of the Elks Lodge renamed the Buffalo Park Annex.
  • Advocated for the Board of Supervisors and the Council to support a special congressional designation for the Walnut Canyon Study Area. The Board of Supervisors passed a resolution in support followed by a supportive 5-­‐2 Council vote.
  • Successfully opposed a student housing development which threatened to displace Arrowhead Village, a low income housing community, and potentially negatively impact the historic neighborhood of La Plaza Vieja.
  • Co‐coordinated the Community Symposium about Student Housing. After another battle in Council against the Aspen Heights development, Council finally realized the need for a clear policy and guidelines for these kind of developments and adopted the City Manager’s Plan for Off Campus Student Housing.
  • Advocated for a City ordinance to protect a vulnerable population and advocated for a “no net loss” of affordable housing when redevelopment occurs.
  • Supported the renewal of Impact Fees and were successful in achieving a compromise continuation of the fees instead of discontinuing them.
  • Opposed a bill allowing businesses to refuse service based on sexual orientation. Joined local protests and provided posters to local businesses opposing the bill.
  • Continued to work on water conservation and reclaimed water issues by reviewing and providing edits to the City’s Policy of Sound Water Management document, opposing a number of water wasteful events and activities, and attending the Panel on Compounds of Emerging Concern’s meeting.
  • Opposed amendments to the sign code that would have allowed bigger and more signs.
  • Supported the County and City Road Tax.
  • Launched Speak Up, a movement to educate, empower, and motivate students and Flagstaff residents to engage with local issues. Speak Up meetings are held weekly and include different action groups focused on current issues as well as finding proactive solutions to identified problems.
  • Co­‐coordinated the Shop Local Holiday Campaign for fourth year in a row.
  • Continued to enhance Zero Waste program by supporting the purchase of over 200 sets for the reusable tableware program at Coconino Community College.
  • Restructured and expanded our KARES and Hiking Kids Make a Difference programs into CARES (Community, Art, Restoration, and Events, for Sustainability). The program focuses on a broader section of the community and includes additional activities and volunteer opportunities.
  • Helped coordinate Flagstaff’s Climate March held in conjunction with the NY Climate March.