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Desert Mirage High School

In the heart of Southern California’s Coachella Valley, one of the hottest and most inhospitable places in North America, lies the Desert Mirage High School campus. My team was brought in to design and develop a demonstration garden for their ‘green academy’ curriculum, giving the students a true, “hands-on” outdoor laboratory to practice sustainable design and permaculture principles.

The design included actual examples of permeable hardscapes, rainwater harvesting, green roofs and walls, mulching and composting, vegetative barriers, urban farming, renewable energy, and water-wise planting. In addition, we saw opportunities to improve many unsustainable aspects of the school’s existing grounds, including replacing the thirsty grass lawns with low-water native plants and a new drip irrigation system. The result is a significantly more sustainable campus, providing a safer, healthier environment for the students and a new instruction space to further the advancement of sustainable design education for generations to come.


Imperial County, California