A Garden Beginning

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Highland Center for Natural History in Prescott

Yesterday I went to Prescott Arizona with a group of staff and docents from the The Arboretum to see the site of the Highlands Center for Natural History (People here pronounce Prescott as "press-cut." They are a small organization with only five staff members and are working on constructing a sustainably-built multipurpose building. The building is passive solar (takes advantage of the position of the sun to regulate temperature) and was made with locally available materials (the interior rock wall below was made from rocks across the street--nice isn't it?). The rain water is collected from the roof and they will be using it to irrigate the native landscaping that will be around them. They also have, pictured above, a constructed wetland with gigantic bulrushes to help clean their grey water (the water from the house minus the sewage). I was impressed; it's an ambitious project. The site is in ponderosa pine forest, but it is a bit drier and warmer there so they have many more desertish plants than we have in Flagstaff. Manzanitas, yuccas, and scrub oak were abundant. There is a nice trail that goes down to a creek (oh and there's a composting toilet along the way, much cleaner looking than a regular restroom). I enjoyed seeing another area of Arizona and a sustainable building, and spending some time with my coworkers.

Rainwater from the roof pours into this funnel-sculpture and cascades as a waterfall on the rocks and into a drain below.

P.S. I'm still writing a half hour each day. I haven't been good about posting my progress. The writing is a bit slower than it has been. I need to pick up the pace and/or make my writing sessions longer.


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