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Schoolyard Water Education

Customized Programs for K-12 Students

WMG's environmental stewardship curriculum focuses on water conservation and wildlife habitat through water harvesting and native gardening activities. Our program has a strong emphasis on hands-on, applied education; therefore, many of our activities are designed to take place outside on the school campus. WMG staff work with teachers to create a customized program to meet the students needs and improve school campuses. Through workshops, students and adult volunteers can install passive water harvesting earthworks, cisterns, edible gardens, and native gardens on campus.

WMG offers in-class activities as well as weekend workshops. If desired, workshops can be arranged with adult volunteers, like students' parents. We work with educational institutions throughout the Tucson to Phoenix, Arizona regions.

School Grants Available for Water Harvesting and Urban Wildlife Habitat

Watershed Management Group is pleased to offer grant funding for schools to participate in our Schoolyard Water Conservation Education Program. This grant opportunity is open to schools in Tucson and Metro Phoenix.

As part of the application process, at least one school representative is required to attend our School Grant Workshop. The school representative should be the teacher applying; school administrators and parent volunteers are invited to attend as well.  These workshops will cover details about the application and grant funding along with a baseline training in water harvesting and urban wildlife habitat.  Please make sure to register the Tucson grant workshop below.

Sept 16, 2014, from 5:00 7:00 p.m.
WMG's Living Lab & Learning Center
1137 N Dodge Blvd, Tucson, AZ
Register online here.

Application Deadline:  Applications must be postmarked or emailed by Monday, October 13, 2014. To download the application, click here .

Funding Amounts: WMG will select 4-6 schools to participate in the program with up to $4,000 in grant funds to cover project costs. Schools will be required to provide a one-to-one match for the grant funding provided.

Schoolyard grant funds can be used to create native habitat areas on school campuses that are irrigated with passive water harvesting earthworks (basins, berms, swales, etc) to be used as outdoor learning laboratories. 

For more information on grant funding and process, please read the full grant announcement here.

Questions? Contact Joaquin Murrieta-Saldivar, Schoolyard Program Coordinator, at


Schools to Receive WMG Grants for Outdoor Learning Labs in 2014!

Watershed Management Group awarded Schoolyard Education Program grants to three schools in Tucson (and one more to be announced soon). Grant funds will be used to implement projects that will create native habitat areas irrigated with passive water harvesting earthworks. The projects sites will be used as outdoor learning laboratories to engage students and provide teachers with interactive educational opportunities.

The grantees are:

Start A Schoolyard Program

Partner with WMG to Start a Program at Your School

Your school can start a program through a fee for service structure or a grant program.  Please contact Joaquin Murrieta for more information and to get started.

Consulting Services (Fee-based): WMG provides discounted consultation services to K-12 schools to assist in planning and implementing integrative and affordable schoolyard landscape solutions. We specialize in coordinating the design and implementation process with curriculum objectives.  

Schoolyard Programs (Fee-based): WMG provides comprehensive educational packages at a discounted rate to K-12 schools. We believe in the importance of engaging students through hands-on implementation of outdoor learning laboratories located at the school. If you are ready to start a program you may contact WMG to set up a site visit and discuss project opportunities and costs.  WMG will provide you with an estimate to run a semester long project or workshop series with your school. 

*Native Habitat through Rain Gardens (Grant funded): WMG periodically receives grant funds from the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife to cover the implementation costs for creating water harvesting gardens to support native habitat.  Schools who receive grants will be asked to provide matching funds. Based on available funding WMG has one or two grant rounds per year, and selects two to four schools to work with. 


2011-2012 Schoolyard Program Projects

Holladay Magnet School, Tucson, AZ

  • An 800-gallon plastic cistern was installed with parent and staff volunteers, and will support existing vegetable and native pollinator gardens.
  • 4th grade students learned about watershed science and water harvesting through two hands-on sessions with WMG staff.
  Photo by Bob Bingham.

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