top of page
Backyard 1.jpg

A Regenerative Learning Ecosystem

75% Schematic Design

The Backyard Project is in swing! We have reached 75% schematic design, which we shared at our Backyard Blast in July. We had over 130 people attend and provide feedback on our designs so far. Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to get the most up-to-date information about this project or email Thea at with any questions. 

Interactive Map!

This map was designed by a cohort of Diana Liverman Scholars, undergraduates at the University of Arizona. Check out specific elements of the design! Thank you Caitlin Brady, Naomi Kolodisner, Elyse LaVallee, Ojas Sanghi, Jessey Signh, Katie Sweet, and Brandon Vega! 

Project Manager

Thea Van Gorp 

Project Manager, Bisbee Science Lab

Thea Van Gorp was born and raised in Bisbee. She is an experienced education consultant with a background in community education and informal learning and has worked in a variety of museums and nonprofits in Tucson and in New York City. Thea holds a Masters degree in Applied Anthropology & Education with an emphasis on Leveraging Informal Learning and Rural Studies from Teachers College, Columbia University. She recently moved back to Bisbee to work on this project and give back to her community. 

Advisory Board

Brenda Morales

Office Manager, Bisbee Community Member

Brenda Morales was born and raised in Bisbee, Brenda and her husband Ramon have made their home in San Jose, raising their two daughters. Since the girls (now 21 and 16) were very young, Brenda has enjoyed volunteering in the classroom and has always been active in cheering on the Puma sports teams. She has volunteered serving meals at The Coalition for the Homeless and is an active member of St. Patrick's Church. She currently works as the office manager for the Bisbee Information Office. Brenda attended school in the decommissioned school building where this project takes place.


Sheyla Lopez

School Counselor, Douglas/Agua Prieta Community Member

Sheyla Lopez is a mother, well educated feminist with a strong background in behavior and child psychology, and cross-border community member. She has used her practical skills to serve her community and her family both in Mexico and in the U.S. She currently works as a school counselor for the Center for Academic Success schools in Douglas, serving K-12 students through vocational orientations, mental health interventions, general support, and much more. She loves challenges, and works hard to bring enrichment opportunities to her students.

Terry Rayna

Former Principal/Superintendent of McNeal Schools


Eliani Rubio

Bisbee Science Lab Lead High School Intern

Eliani Rubio is a Bisbee High School sophomore who has been on the BSL internship team since the beginning of her freshman year. During her tenure, she has helped open the Outdoor Learning Center, lead summer programming with the Boys and Girls Club, facilitate activities during open lab hours, and run the mobile lab in Naco, Bisbee, and Douglas. This past fall she was promoted to the role of lead intern, and now takes on the responsibilities of managing the intern schedules and gathering and verifying invoices. She is interested in helping in all BSL endeavors, including the new backyard project.

Satellite Image Provided by UA Landscape Design Student Blake Houghton

Satellite Image 519 W Melody Lane.png
Agroasis Satellite Image.png

Satellite Image Provided by Gerardo Ruiz Smith

4 acres.jpeg
Backyard Brainstorm 2.jpg
Backyard 1.jpg
bottom of page