Arizona Conservationists: One Straw-Bale at a Time

By Charlotte Boley, CCI Greenheart Local Coordinator 

CCI Greenheart area coordinator Charlotte Boley led a Greenheart Service Project with CCI Greenheart exchange students Beatriz B, Beatriz D, and Stefanie, along with volunteers from Pima Community College. They worked with Watershed Management Group project leaders to use straw-bale construction methods in building a Children’s Water Conservation Playhouse at WMG’s Living Lab and Learning Center. Through this unique learning opportunity we all gained hands-on experience and step-by-step instruction in straw-bale building techniques, including framing and plastering the straw-bale walls.

We started our day by enjoying a tour of WMG Living Lab and Learning Center where we all learned about sustainable desert living practices, we had a chance to learn about rain gardens, a 10,000-gallon underground cistern, composting toilets, urban food orchard, native wildlife habitat gardens, greywater systems, photovoltaic and passive solar systems, and street side storm water harvesting. Students were interested and asked a lot of questions.

Here in Tucson, Arizona, water is a valuable resource that requires conservation. I am very happy that our exchange students had the opportunity to participate in the construction of a structure that will teach kids about the importance of water preservation in our desert environment.

We all enjoyed a great day of community service!