Desert Landscape for Desert Dwellers

As a way to combine a work training program with ecological awareness, ACT and THS students took responsibility for planting and maintaining an existing garden at the Food Conspiracy Co-op near downtown Tucson.

First, students surveyed the site, including native and non-native trees. They learned about water usage, water harvesting techniques and different types of native trees and plants that benefit both wildlife and humans. With guidance and expertise from Brad Lancaster, students planned, prepared, and then planted native, food-bearing trees and understory plants on the property. The experience overall helped give students the vision and belief in their own abilities to positively impact the environment.

Project length

1 month



  • A highlight was students shopping for native plants and randomly running in to our community partner doing the same thing for a different project. The students and partner then shopped together to get what was needed and had a better understanding of the relationship between different plants rather than simply checking off a list of plants to buy.

  • Rain can be planted, soil is the sponge.

    Michael B., Student

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