Dryland Landscape Restoration

WMG's Dryland Landscape Restoration Technical Training provides you with skills and knowledge in the restoration of desert landscapes associated with streams and arroyos.
Course description

Through WMG's Technical Training in Dryland Stream Restoration, participants will gain a basic understanding of how desert streams and arroyos function, how they change over time, and the human influence on them, both positive and negative. This hands-on training will include site assessment, design, and implementation of small-scale restoration features. Emphasis will also be placed on urban wash restoration approaches and practices from backyard to larger drainage scales.

Course curriculum

Introduction to Headwaters and Hillslope Restoration

  • Introduction to "Reading the Landscape"
  • Small-Scale Erosion Control
  • Urbanization & Benefits of Urban Water Harvesting
  • Headwaters Restoration Techniques & Features

Application and Implementation

  • Project Design & Layout
  • Reading the Landscape On-Site
  • Hands-on Restoration Workshops, including:
    • Assessment of recent history of the landscape
    • Identification of problems and solutions
    • Construction of watershed restoration earthworks

This training is open to professionals, educators, and activists from a wide variety of backgrounds who possess basic knowledge of resource and/or landscape management and related concepts. 


Fee information varies by training and will be included in event listings.

  • The cost includes gourmet snacks and lunch made with locally sourced produce and a Certificate of Completion for full course attendance (upon request).
  • Alumni of the WMG's Water Harvesting Certification or other Technical Trainings receive a discount on the registration costs.
Expert instructor

Craig Sponholtz earned an M.A. in Agro-Ecological Restoration from Prescott College and studied Permaculture at Bill Mollison's Tagari Farm in Australia. He spent a decade with the U.S. Forest Service in New Mexico and Arizona working in Wildland Fire Management and Fire Use. Craig has had extensive training and hands-on experience in passive water harvesting, erosion control, and stream restoration that is well complimented by a background in fine art sculpture and ceramics. Craig founded Dryland Solutions (now Watershed Artisans) in 2003 and continues to design and implement watershed restoration projects throughout the Southwest. He is an expert heavy equipment operator specializing in low impact techniques and artistic in-stream boulder masonry. Craig teaches a wide variety of watershed restoration techniques that foster beneficial relationships between people and the watersheds they live in.


For more information about this course or other Technical Trainings, please email us or call 520-396-3266.

This training is a part of WMG's Watershed Technical Trainings program, which provides advanced trainings in green infrastructure, water harvesting, eco-sanitation, and watershed restoration. WMG's goal is to transfer this advanced technical knowledge to residents, professionals, educators, and community activists who will integrate these practices into their work and teach others.