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Your Living Lab and Learning Center

From water harvesting to lush food forests, the Living Lab is your community educational resource for regenerative desert living.

Visitors of all ages are invited to explore sustainability practices in action through our interactive exhibits and demonstrations in the heart of Tucson. As the headquarters of WMG, the Living Lab also houses our staff working on programs that span Tucson, Mexico, and the Southwest. We are proud to “walk the talk” each day as the 2016 winner of Arizona's Greenest Workplace challenge. Come join us in drinking our rainwater, using the composting toilets, harvesting fresh snacks from the food forest, enjoying native gardens, and biking or busing to the Living Lab.

Ready to get involved? Sign up for a class or tour; check out our special offerings like the Docent program, Sleeping Frog Farm CSA, and yoga classes; and consider making a gift to our fundraising campaign to expand our programs!

Come visit us for a tour or class at your Living Lab.See what's new at your Living Lab and Learning Center - it's growing, changing, and developing all the time!

We're proud of the Living Lab's rich history and how it's always evolving.Join our highly-trained and dedicated volunteer crew of Living Lab docents.

Join our WMG's Sleeping Frog Farms CSA!Read WMG's blog!

Living Lab & Learning Center News

WMG's Cultural Ecologist Joaquin Murrieta dancing to Santa Pachita.
We had an amazing time at our Sept. 6 Food Forest Fiesta event! We were celebrating the edible bounty of the Sonoran Desert and all we have achieved together in the creation of WMG's Living Lab and Learning Center. Check out these fantastic photos by Nicci Radhe of Celesteal Photography.
WMG Urban Pollinator
Lincoln Welding at the Living Lab!
Pollinators have swiftly moved in to the Living Lab on our seventh day of Spring. Buzzing around our resident Rio Grande Butterfly Bush, Buddleja sessiliflora, the bees are busy collecting pollen from the clusters of tiny green flowers that have recently come back into bloom. Lisa Shipek, our Executive Director, bought the plant from Desert Survivors several years ago after learning there were only five wild bushes counted for in the Tucson region. What’s more, this species only grows near...
A Greater Roadrunner (ground cuckoo) at the Living Lab
This past Saturday Docent Joe Tabor spotted a mid-town Ground Cuckoo at the Living Lab, or more commonly known as a Greater Roadrunner. Vicious predators they are - having been known to kill and eat whole rattlesnakes. They are year-round residents to this region, but not so commonly seen here in mid-town Tucson so this is a treat! Keep an ear out for their coo-coo-cooing calls. Hear their coos at Cornell's All About Birds website.
Peach tree in our food forest.
Prunus persica. Mid Pride Peach. Durazno. We have gone back and forth about whether or not keep our peach tree in the ground as part of our food forest. This past year, the fruits produced were teeny tiny and not very juicy or matured. Probably a result of a longer, hotter, drier summer/fall and not enough water and shade to meet it's needs. Although we have wondered if maybe it is something else. Could its roots be bound? Could the nearby mesquite be sucking water...
Composting Toilet at the Living Lab!
One of the consistent issues we face with our composting toilets are insect infestations. In 2017 we installed a two chamber composting toilet, with the chambers at about 150 gallons each. They are masonry built with all the same features as any other chamber toilet. The important piece we did not give attention to initially that we are doing now is making sure all possible gaps are carefully sealed! At the access hatch, along the toilet seat, the air vent that leads to the roof, etc. No leak...