The PUHS Watershed Learning Laboratory: Mid-Season Update!

Posted on July 5, 2016 by Allegra Mount in BECY, PUHS Living Laboratory


Thanks to our Patagonia summer BECY interns, the PUHS Watershed Learning Laboratory is continuing to advance! Funding from the AZ Game and Fish’s Heritage Program has provided for improvements in infrastructure that will help the area be a comprehensive learning resource to the elementary, middle, and high school students of Patagonia.

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This space will allow students to explore the concept of watersheds, and learn about how water behaves as it moves from the top of a watershed to the bottom. The retention pond will be fed year-round by rainwater collected off of the roofs of adjacent classrooms, stored in 2 2,600 gallon cisterns. The BECY interns were involved in every step of the process, from transport to installation!

In 2015, a grant from Partners for Fish & Wildlife funded the installation of the terraces that harvest rainwater off of the nearby roof by way of a gutter. During the school year, BECY Practicum students worked to dig the pond, install a pond liner, and build the straw-bale benches that will provide amphitheater seating for classes.

The terraces were planted with native pollinator & frugivore attracting plants grown at the BR Nursery, that are also medicinal/edible for humans, in the terraces we built in 2015. The pond has been filled with minnows to gobble up the impending mosquito larvae, and there are plans for integrating more plants and wildlife into this great space.

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Check out these great photos from the installation of our BECY Interns and “Jolene”, the beloved van that hauled the cisterns over from their delivery location! We are looking forward to more great work being done at this location. Thank you to Patagonia Union High School for being such fantastic partners!


Plant List for Terraces:

  • Achillea millefolium – Yarrow
  • Asclepias latifolia – Broadleaf Milkweed
  • Asclepias subverticillata – Horsetail Milkweed
  • Asclepias tuberosa – Butterfly Weed
  • Baccharis salicifolia – Seep Willow
  • Epilobium canum var. latifolium – California fuchsia
  • Fraxinus velutina – Velvet Ash
  • Macroptilium atropurpureum – Bloodred Beanvine
  • Philadelphus microphylla – Littleleaf Mock Orange
  • Poliomintha maderensis – Lavender Spice
  • Prunus serotina – Black Cherry
  • Rhus virens var. choriophylla – Evergreen Sumac
  • Ribes aureum – Golden Currant
  • Silene lacinata – Cardinal Catchfly
  • Tecoma stans – Arizona Yellow bells


Plant List for Pond:

  • Aquilegia chrysantha – Golden Columbine
  • Hyptis Emoryi – Desert Lavender
  • Imperata brevifolia – California satintail
  • Mimulus cardinalis – Cardinal Monkeyflower
  • Mimulus guttatus – Seep Monkeyflower
  • Monarda citriodora – Lemon Beebalm
  • Rubus arizonicum – Arizona blackberry

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    The mission of Borderlands Restoration is to reconnect wildlife, land, and people in the Arizona/Sonora Borderland region by involving people in restoring the ecosystem on which we depend.

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