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Living Lab Field Studies

Use our Living Lab as your learning laboratory.

WMG provides expert instructors and in-depth knowledge. This series of classes uses our Living Lab as a living laboratory, giving you access to working systems to improve soil health, care for your urban forest, grow a cornucopia of tasty Sonoran foods, and more. 

Schedule of classes

See event listings below for dates and times.


$30 per session ($5 discount for early registration)

Class location

WMG's Living Lab and Learning Center
1137 N Dodge Blvd, Tucson


Please email us or call 520-396-3266.

Session descriptions

Building Healthy Desert Soils

Urban yards have the potential to produce well beyond their natural productivity without needing costly store products. By integrating the use of typical waste streams such as kitchen scraps, plant trimmings, greywater, stormwater, and manures you can bring desert soils to life. Learn how to assess soil types, identify soil profiles and perform a soil percolation test. By the conclusion of this field study, you will have the skills necessary to effectively build soil health and promote a productive urban landscape in your own yard! This class is good for both backyard gardeners and hard core recyclers.

Pruning Native Shade Trees

Join us for a jam-packed session on proper tree care and pruning practices! With the perfect mix of classroom-style learning, hands on practice, and take-home materials, you'll leave this session with everything you'll need to properly tend your own trees. Perhaps you will even start helping neighbors with their tree questions and quandaries. Come dressed in work clothes as everyone will be participating in pruning outside. This class has a participant limit to ensure quality instruction and time for all students to practice their new skills.

Water Harvesting Irrigation Systems

Understanding proper irrigation ensures that you use your most precious resource wisely. During this field study you will learn the fundamentals of irrigation design to support desert landscaping and supplement your rain gardens. You will learn to properly design your irrigation system for uniformity, efficiency, and durability. In addition, we will cover topics including water budgeting and irrigation scheduling. This class is suited for all levels of irrigation knowledge.

Sonoran Food Forests
Food forest gardening is a low-maintenance, sustainable, plant-based food production and agroforestry system, based on woodland ecosystems. Learn how you can incorporate fruit and nut trees, shrubs, herbs, vines and perennial vegetables into a food forest of your own. You will be amazed to discover the potential your Sonoran Desert yard holds to be transformed into a vibrant microclimate. And better yet, you will gain confidence in self-sufficiency and gardening to meet your food needs at home.

Composting Toilets & Humanure

This course will empower you to save water and put "waste" to productive use. Learn how to construct and maintain your own composting toilet on your property, as well as how to safely utilize the finished compost product (humanure) in your landscaping.

Rain Garden Care

This class will focus on the nuances of rain garden care and how to keep your landscape happy, healthy and long lasting. We will review proper care for different plant types, how to identify and solve potential rain garden issues, watering schedules, seasonal plant needs such as trimming & weeding, and more!  While this class is especially helpful for new gardeners or those new to plant care & garden maintenance in the Sonoran Desert environment, all are encourage to attend.  

Developing a Personal Water Budget

Water budgeting is WMG's bread and butter.  We know that it can be overwhelming to know where to start when deciding steps to take to make your own home and lifestyle more sustainable.  Therefore this class is intended to help you gain perspective on what water saving in the home can look like.  We'll also help you crunch those numbers so you can understand your own supply and demand and leave the class with a personal water budget to work off of.  This is a great class for anyone interested in being more water conscious.  

Register for upcoming Living Lab Field Studies sessions

01/24/2019 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm
03/30/2019 - 8:00am to 11:00am
04/18/2019 - 5:00pm to 7:30pm