Envisioning Water in the Desert 50 Years from Now

Rebeka Densen at Hollinger wanted her middle school students to understand the water cycle within an urban environment. Joaquin Murrieta of the Watershed Management Lab introduced the class to watersheds in an urban environment. After visiting the class, Joaquin hosted a field trip to the Lab so students could tour the facility and experience the taste of clean rain water. Joaquin also led, a bicycle tour so students could experience a home with rain garden/rain harvesting systems, the community food bank’s rain water harvesting/garden system, the Kino Restoration Project’s large scale urban runoff, and the cement washes that deliver the water along the Tucson Loop Bike Path.

After learning more about green infrastructure, students then built models that were judged by fellow students, based on key criteria related to urban watersheds.

Project length

6 months



  • "Students who have struggled all year to complete lesson projects were engaged, creative, and thinking about how to solve problems in their community."

    Rebeka Densen Teacher
  • "The students who won first place on the project because of their unique design, attention to detail, and motivation to test their model struggled to complete projects in the past..."

    Rebeka Densen Teacher
  • "[I learned] ways to make our city a better place."

    8th Grade Student

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