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Soil Stewards

Imagine healthy, productive soils expanding throughout the urban environment -- retaining rainwater like a sponge, processing stormwater pollutants, delivering nutrients sustainably to plants for wildlife value and food production -- Watershed Management Group is piloting a new program to develop urban Soil Stewards to realize such a vision!

Soil Stewards operate at both the individual and neighborhood scales. Read below to find out more and get involved!

'How To' Videos on Composting Toilets

WMG Receives Permit for Piloting Site-built Composting Toilets

updated May 30th, 2012 --

David Omick instructs soil steward participants on the proper installation and use of a barrel-style composting toilet system.Watershed Management Group received a permit from Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) to install and monitor 24 site-built composting toilets in southern Arizona. The 2-year composting toilet pilot program is part of a Soil Stewards educational grant funded by U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. More information regarding the composting toilet designs developed for the pilot study can be found here.

Soil Stewards - Pioneering affordable and legal composting toilets

Watershed Management Group's Soil Stewards program is piloting a Composting Toilet project which aims to:

  • field test "site-built" composting toilets for performance and likeability
  • address onerous permitting requirements
  • tackle social and community barriers to what should be an abundant local resource

Through a special trial process in coordination with Arizona's Department of Environmental Quality, a mix of residential and organizational sites in southern Arizona, mainly in and around Tucson, will build, install, use, monitor, and evaluate four proposed composting toilet designs for a year and a half.

The four composting toilet designs are of two main types and with/without urine diversion:

WMG's "Soil is Life" Webinar Series Now Available on YouTube

Although we often take the very ground beneath our feet for granted, soil is essential to all life. That's why Watershed Management Group hosted the Soil is Life webinar series with an expert line-up of presenters in early 2013.  We explored a variety of soils-related topics, from the local to the global scale, and now all the webinars in the series are available on YouTube for your viewing convenience. Just click on the video links below. Happy viewing!

Neighborhood Mulching Program Transforms "Brush & Bulky" into "Chipped and Mulchy"

WMG is working with three Tucson neighborhoods to transform tree trimmings from green “waste,” which is trucked to the landfill, into a resource: organic mulch that can be used as a soil cover and in water-harvesting basins.  Neighborhood tree pruning days are paired with “Chipped and Mulchy” days, in which tree trimmings are chipped into mulch.  “Chipped and Mulchy” takes place just before the city’s Brush & Bulky pick-up days, offering an alternative that keeps and utilizes local resources on-site.