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Backyard Project
A Regenerative Learning Ecosystem

We are entering our design phase and currently working to find the right designers for the project. After a year of community engagement, we learned that there are four main areas that are important to the community: 

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Design Principles

Radical Inclusion 

Promote and value diversity and inclusion for accessibility for all including age, race, ADA, language, nationality, sexuality and gender, and so on in all aspects of this work, and rely on collaboration with the community at large in every stage of the project to advance community priorities. 


Borderlands Ecologies 

Honor the shared natural and human-made ecologies of the Sky Islands that extend beyond political borders, recognizing that they are both interconnected and complex, to address the challenges and embrace the assets that they present in this region. 


Learning in Every Component 

Incorporate educational elements in every aspect of the project including accessible, intergenerational, and multilingual resources with an emphasis on locally relevant STEAM and literacy learning. 


Participatory Science

Empower collective community science learning opportunities in the form of five locally relevant science research field stations, accessible and actionable STEAM resources, and dynamic, experiential learning that requires both critical and creative thinking. 


Environmental Stewardship

Cultivate experimental, pioneering practices that address locally relevant environmental crises including but not limited to the integration of indigenous knowledge, permaculture design principles, ecological restoration and conservation, and renewable energies. 


Active Wellness 

Promote the physical and emotional health of the local community through accessible infrastructure that provides space for physical activity, contemplation and reflection, and community action to address local needs.


Empower Resiliency 

Empower intergenerational solutions and action related to the 4 Es to cultivate community adaptability, creativity, and overall resiliency in the face of the many intersectional crises affecting our community. 

Regenerative Planning

Plan for the long-term durability and maintenance of the designed facilities and provide the flexibility for ongoing artistic design, experimentation, and expression. 


Experiment in Progress 

Embrace messy ideas to work beyond the fringes of the ‘backyard box’ and lean into our experiment in progress with imagination and ingenuity. 

As we move along this project, we will have a variety of ways to get your input! We want to hear from you and if you'd like to learn more or provide your feedback, email Thea at

Funded By:

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