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Building Your Learning Center

Our vision of an educational resource and demonstration site for regenerative living is coming to life in the heart of Tucson.

The development plan for the Living Lab is underway, with a projected date of completion in the fall of 2017. Many of the sustainable technology features and interactive demonstrations have already been constructed. We are currently working on developments to meet the required standards for a commercial facility, as well as to expand our capacity for indoor/outdoor trainings and events.

Timeline of completed projects

  • Property gifted from the estate of Marguerite Fisher, March 2012, neighboring property purchased with lead donation, March 2013
  • Landscape transformed with earthworks, shade trees, and habitat plants, November 2013
  • Special Exception Zoning Status achieved, December 2013
  • 10,000-gallon underground cistern constructed with Tucson Water grant, March 2014
  • Sonoran Food Forest with greywater installed by youth job training program, March 2014
  • Development plan approved by City of Tucson, Sept 2014
  • Central plaza installed - our largest outdoor classroom, October 2014
  • Water Harvesting Certification and monthly water harvesting classes offered at Living Lab, Fall 2014
  • Children’s water conservation playhouse constructed, November 2014
  • Historic adobe building rehabilitated, November 2014
  • Monthly Living Lab tours started, July 2015
  • Launched Living Lab Docent & UA Internship program, September 2015
  • Rainwater filtration system installed to make rainwater our main supply for indoor and outdoor water needs, October 2015
  • Community Supported Agriculture weekly share pick-up with Sleeping Frog Farm and yoga classes with Session Yoga initiated, Spring 2016
  • Weather station installed and comprehesive monitoring program developed with the assisstance of UA interns and WMG Docents to monitor water, energy, and plant growth, Spring 2016

Your Donation Will Fund the Expansion of our Program Activities in 2016 – 2017!

  • See the Master Plan for WMG's Living Lab and Learning Center Expanding our water harvesting rebate classes and the Water Harvesting Certification to accommodate up to 50 people in our large classroom featuring green building materials, passive solar heating and cooling, and solar-powered electricity.
  • Training professionals in Green infrastructure including the installation of a green parking lot for both cars and bikes that drains into a swale to grow shade trees.
  • Offering monthly guided tours and self-guided tours for drop-in visitors starting at the welcome center with educational materials and featuring bi-lingual interpretive signage throughout the campus, handicap assessable pathways, and water saving public restrooms.
  • Supporting local farming and food producers through partnerships with Sleeping Frog Farm and other local food producers for a weekly CSA pickup at the Living Lab. Constructing a Native Food Heritage Garden in honor of the property donor, the late Marguerite Fisher. Expanding the Sonoran Food Forest throughout campus to be our outdoor edible classroom.
  • Providing leadership through our 50 Year Program to restore flow to our rivers including hosting policy forums, stakeholder meetings, and public educational events. 

Living Lab and Learning Center Wish List

  • Patio Furniture: sturdy outdoor metal tables, chairs, and benches
  • Commercial composting toilets to replace indoor flush toilets
  • Sturdy shade structures including shade tents, patio umbrellas, and shade sails
  • Bikes for visiting students, interns, and staff to reduce the use of cars for local trips
  • Services: office cleaning, demolition services, masonry wall construction

We are seeking these items and services as donations. Please contact Lisa Shipek or call 520-396-3266 if you would like to donate one of these items or services. We will accept items that fit into our master plan and design scheme.

Come visit us for a tour or class at your Living Lab.We're proud of the Living Lab's rich history and how it's always evolving.