Community Resources & Solutions for Green Living in Southern New Mexico

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Viva Verde Expo Schedule '09
June 26 – 28, 2009
Silver City, NM 88061

Expo registration > here
Too much information? > Go to the Schedule Overview
Need a visual map of the Silver City area? > Go to Maps & Lodging

Friday Schedule | Saturday Schedule | Sunday Schedule


  • The Home and Garden Tour Tickets are being sold at the following locations: the GRIP office (305A North Cooper St), Silver City Farmers Market, Material Good (108 N. Texas St.), Cissy McAndrew United Country Mimbres Realty and Lizard Stone Builders, as well as at the Expo (Saturday at the GRC and Sunday at the Silco Theater).
  • Garden #3 (Shems and Basira's Garden) of the Garden tour has been cancelled due to trammeling by mischevious javelinas.
  • Participation is limited for workshops. IN order to ensure your spot, please register by clicking here.

Friday, June 26

Global Resource Center Auditorium
Western New Mexico University
Corner of 12th and Kentucky Streets, Silver City

Green Government Symposium


With host, Mayor James Marshall, Town of Silver City and special guests: Video taped welcome from U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman; Santa Fe City Councilor Rosemary Romero; Las Cruces City Councilor Nathan Small; Brendan Miller, Governor Richardson’s Green Economy Initiative Dara Parker, Field Representative, Office of Senator Jeff Bingaman.

The global community is in the midst of a worldwide financial crisis, with widespread unemployment and volatile energy prices, compounded by the critical need to respond to the threat of climate change. A shift to a “Green Economy” offers us the opportunity to jumpstart our economy, create millions of jobs in clean energy development, infrastructure and environmental improvement, reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and mitigate the impacts of climate change. Join us for a lively discussion of the significant opportunities for businesses, local governments and communities to participate in the Green Economy. Community leaders will showcase their achievements related to green-collar jobs development, climate protection, and environmental sustainability.

Saturday, June 27
All Day

Global Resource Center
Western New Mexico University
Corner of 12th and Kentucky Streets, Silver City

Viva Verde Expo Presentations

9 am – 10 am Global Resource Center Auditorium

Plenary Session: Beyond Sustainability – Surviving Oil Depletion and Climate Change with Community Solutions
with Pat Murphy, Executive Director of the nonprofit Community Solutions and author of Plan C: Community Survival Strategies for Peak Oil and Climate Change.

The world faces unprecedented challenges of climate instability, volatile energy prices and systemic weaknesses in the globalized economy. To meet these challenges, we need sound strategies for reducing our reliance on fossil fuels, and acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary for increased self-reliance. This presentation will cover the background and implications of global oil depletion, discuss why popular “sustainable” and “green” solutions are inadequate and offer viable energy curtailment tactics in the areas of food, housing and transportation.

Global Resource Center
Western New Mexico University
Corner of 12th and Kentucky, Silver City
Conference Tracks
Green Building, Natural Home & Garden

10:15 am – 11:15am
Meeting Room C

The Natural Home: Working with What You’ve Got with Mattie Eagle, Material Good.

Discover ways to maximize your budget, minimize exposure to toxins, take advantage of existing elements of your home, shop smart, and get a lasting result!

11:30 am- 12:30 am
Meeting Room D

Green Building 101
with Catherine Wanek, author, photographer, filmmaker and founding member of Builders without Borders.

Strategies for energy-efficient and low-carbon buildings, including materials & methods, passive solar design, and “where does the money go?” in construction.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Global Resource Center Auditorium

Turning Water Scarcity into Water Abundance
with Brad Lancaster, author of the award-winning, best-selling books Rainwater Harvesting for Drylands and Beyond Vol 1 and Vol 2..

Learn the eight universal principles of water harvesting and simple strategies for creating integrated water-sustainable landscapes at home and throughout your community to increase local food security, passively cool your home, reduce energy consumption, control erosion, avert flooding, revive damaged waterways and more.

3:15 pm – 4:15pm
Meeting Room D

Natural Systems Landscaping: Restore Health in Our Relationship to the Land
with Mark Cantrell, Lone Mountain Natives.

Learn techniques to build landscape to accommodate both human activity and habitat , working from the soil up. Choose materials, methods, and native plants to create diverse, productive, and sustainable land. Discover the native plants that provide the best food, shelter, and reproduction for wildlife.
The Stimulus, Green Jobs and the New Economy

10:15 am – 11:15 am Global Resource Center Auditorium

The Stimulus, Green Jobs New Mexico and You
with Sandra McCardell, New Mexico Green Collaborative.

President Obama’s “green” stimulus package includes billions of dollars for renewable energy, weatherization and other environmental and infrastructure improvement projects. The green stimulus is expected to create more than two million new jobs, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and mitigate climate change. The New Mexico Green Collaborative is working to make sure our state seizes the opportunity presented by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and the Green Jobs Act of 2007 to grow New Mexico’s green economy. Join us with your ideas, questions and comments!

11:30am – 12:30 pm MEETING ROOM A,B

Panel Discussion - Creating a Green Collar Workforce: Vocational Training, Education and Mentorship
with moderator Bonnie Zelinko, Department of Workforce Solutions; Herb Greenwall, Department of Workforce Solutions; Martin Gomez, Institute for Energy and the Environment, New Mexico State University; Dr. Faye Vowell, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Western New Mexico University.

What training, education and mentorship programs are needed to create a local green-collar workforce? Panelists will discuss local and state efforts to provide educational opportunities for workers so that they can acquire and develop the knowledge and skills necessary to participate in the green economy.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting Room C

The Green Entrepreneur
Are you interested in starting a green business? Discuss green business opportunities, licensing and insurance requirements, and examples of successful local green businesses. Local green entrepreneurs will be available to answer your questions.


3:15 pm – 4:15 pm
Meeting Room C
Starting Your Own Green Business: Developing Green Business and Marketing Plans
with Mary Vigil-Tarazoff and Victor Carbajal, Small Business Development Center.

Learn how to write a well constructed business plan for your green business. Create a marketing strategy that will allow your green business to concentrate its limited resources on the greatest opportunities to increase sales and achieve a sustainable competitive advantage.
  Local Food, Permaculture and Traditional Agriculture

10:15am –11:15 am
Meeting Room A, B
Traditional Agriculture and Native Foods: Relationship, Stewardship, and Habitat.with Miguel Santistevan, University of New Mexico and Sol Feliz, Taos, NM.

This presentation covers the history and ecology of agriculture in New Mexico, reflecting on indigenous, acequia, and contemporary culture. Relationships to the land and water in agriculture for food security are emphasized while taking into account the parallel goals of land stewardship, promoting habitat for wildlife diversity, and land restoration. Participants will learn about agricultural conservation efforts that use hands-on experience and media production to reconnect students with the land, culture, and community to inspire a future generation of farmers, ranchers and land stewards.

11:30am–12:30 pm
Global Resource Center Auditorium
Animal Husbandry for Beginners: How You Can Raise Your Own Protein Even If You Grew Up Eating Big Macs. Doug Fine, author of Farewell, My Subaru. Global Resource Center Auditorium

Doug Fine grew up in the New York suburbs, subsisting on Dominoes Pizza and Brady Bunch reruns. Now he gets a half gallon of goat milk and a dozen eggs every day on his New Mexico ranch. Hear how easy it is to wind up with yogurt, cheese, and an artery-clogging amount of omelet fixin’s once you decide to live local.

2:00 pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting Room D

Panel Discussion - Building Sustainability through Community Food Security
with Martha Egnal, Guadalupe Montessori School Community Garden; Alicia Edwards, Volunteer Center of Grant County; Carolyn Smith, Silver City Food Co-op; Sharlene Grunerud, Mimbres Farms

Eating local foods helps us become more self-reliant. Panelists will discuss projects that support local agriculture and foster food sustainability in our region, such as community gardens, farm to co-op partnering, farmers markets, gleaning projects and other initiatives.

3:15pm- 4:15 pm
Global Resource Center Auditorium

Resilient Habitats: Reweaving the Habitat Hammock that Holds Us
with Ben Haggard, Permaculture Expert

All of us depend upon many communities, including people, other animals and many many plants. How do we work effectively with those layers of community to reweave mutually supportive flexibility and strength into them all? We will look at examples, patterns, and strategies from home to watershed scale.


Clean Power, Energy Efficiency & Alternative Transportation

10:15 am – 11:15am
Meeting Room D



11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Meeting Room C

Energy Efficiency at Home
with Jeff Granger, Granger Technologies, Inc.; Douglas Campion, Community Action Agency of Southern New Mexico

A typical U.S. home uses about 44 cents out of every energy dollar for heating and cooling. Another 14 cents goes to water heating and 9 cents is used for refrigerators and freezers. The remaining 33 cents is used for appliances, electronics and lighting. Learn about the low-cost & no-cost actions you can take to save money and energy and the resources available for free energy audits and weatherization for low-income households. *

Going Solar at Home and Business
Craig Wentz, Wentz Electric and Rich Bigelow, Richard Bigelow Construction

Learn about photovoltaic (PV) and solar water systems, their costs and the federal and state credits available to finance these systems. Solar product literature, websites and a list of local installers will be provided.

2:00pm – 3:00 pm
Meeting Room A, B

The Car Culture and Active Transportation: Reducing Carbon in Transportation Systems While Creating Healthier Communities
with Josh Landess, WilderHill New Energy Finance, Joanne McEntire, Albuquerque Alliance for Active Living.

Shifting to a “low-carbon diet” will require changes in what we drive and how much we drive. What will the cars of the future be like and how will they reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Josh will discuss “green” vehicles capable of city and highway speeds some of the lessons-learned over the last 10 years and where transportation policy may go in the future. Are there healthier alternatives to the car culture? Joanne will discuss the connection between transportation and community planning, and how we can make our communities more amenable to “active transportation,” which supports personal mobility while reducing our dependence on vehicles, leading to more equitable, healthier communities.

3: 15pm – 4:15 pm
Meeting Room A, B
Alternative Transportation Solutions
with Michele Giese, Silver City Bicycle Advocacy Group/Walkability Accessibility Advocacy Group (BAG/WAAG); Dave Baker, Bikeworks; Carol Grady, Las Cruces Rideshare.

Local communities are already working on alternatives to our car-dependent culture. This panel will showcase these exciting projects, from Silver City’s inner loop bicycle and walking corridor and River Walk Trail to the new Yellow Bike Project and Las Cruces’ Rideshare program.
4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Global Resource Center Auditorium
Conference Tracks Wrap-up: Turning Steps into Strides within your own Community

Where do we go from here? Join us as we explore strategies for developing innovative projects, building community and maximizing our effectiveness! Come develop next steps and network with others in one of Viva Verde’s several solution-oriented focus groups.
Other Activities

10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Global Resource Center, outside

Solar Toy Car Building Workshop and Race Organized by Aldo Leopold High School students.

Participants of this activity will take part in building, testing, and racing solar toy cars. Solar toy car kits will be available for purchase.
2:00 pm – 3:00pm Global Resource Center, vendor area
Local and Wild Foods Tasting Organized by Aldo Leopold High School students. Thanks to Silver City Food Co-op and Curious Kumquat for their contributions to this event. Global Resource Center, Vendor area.

Eat within your local food shed. Try a variety of wild and local foods from here in New Mexico, such as Cactus Jerky, Salsa, Sun Chokes and more!!
9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Global Resource Center, outside.
Bike Repair Workshop with Bikeworks

Bikeworks, a community bicycle workshop, will offer a bicycle repair workshop for kids and adults. Bring your bike to get it checked out and learn to maintain your bike and avoid costly repairs.

All Day
Global Resource Center Auditorium, outside
Kid Care Co-op

Viva Verde will offer parents a chance to go to workshops while the kids play in our nearby family room with toys, activities and supervision from other parents and qualified volunteers. For kids 3 – 10 years. Fun conservation education activities provided by Gila Conservation Education Center. Donations appreciated.
Viva Verde Vendors Expo
9:00am – 5:00 pm
WNMU Global Resource Center
• Aldo Leopold High School
• Bear Mountain Motorcycles
• Beehive Technical Services
• Black Range RC&D
• Cissy McAndrew, United Coutry Mimbres Realty, EcoBroker
• Curious Kumquat
• Factor Population!
• Fuller Enterprises
• Gila Eco-Design Center
• Gila-Mimbres Community Radio
• Gila Resources Information Project
• Gila WoodNet
• Green Energy Now
• Habitat for Humanity Gila Region
• Material Good
• Mountain Ridge Ace Hardware
• Mr. Ed’s Stoves and More Natural Building Resources
• New Mexico Environment Department
• New Mexico Solar Energy Association /Silver City Chapter
• Regalos de la Tierra Pottery Company
• Silver City Farmers’ Market
• Southwest Environmental Center
• Stream Dynamics
• Sun and Moon
• Sun Valley Hardware
• Terra Nova Landscaping
• Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City
• Volunteer Center of Grant County
• Zomeworks
Hands-on Demonstrations
Global Resource Center, Vendor area,
9:00 am – 5:00 pm
Solar Dehydrator Demo with Rich Olson, Black Range RC&D. Learn how to build a solar dehydrator to preserve your garden’s harvest.

Solar Hot Water Demo with Asher Gelbart, Green Energy Now. Learn to capture the sun’s energy for heat, hot water, cooking & more.

Simple Solar Panel with Gila Wood Net. Check out the fundamentals of a simple solar panel that you can implement yourself at home with inexpensive materials.

Solar Oven with Jean Eisenhower, Sun and Moon. Learn the basics of solar cooking with this demonstration.

Sun Chaser Demo with NM Solar Energy Association Silver City Chapter. Check out the table full of solar educational activities and displays.

Heliostats and Tracking Racks with Zomeworks. See these passive energy products in action.
Outside at Global Resource Center,
9:00 am – 12:00 pm

Alternative Transportation Showcase

Come check out some cool, efficient and affordable transportaion options like electric, biofuel and human powered vehicles and see what other people in your community are doing to get from point A to point B

8:30 am – 12:00 pm
Future Main Street Plaza between 7th and 8th St, downtown Silver City
Silver City Farmers Market

Check out local agricultural products at their best: seasonal produce; large selection of vegetable, herb, perennial and annual plants; drought tolerant and native shrubs and trees; hand crafted herbal products; homemade jams and jellies; a variety of yummy baked goods; farm fresh eggs; cage free chickens; grass- fed beef; goat cheese and more!

Recycled Art Walk

Downtown Silver City 12:00 pm – 5:00 pm

Blue Dome Gallery 307 N Texas St. “Cool Stuff Revisited” recycled works by
gallery artists and Steve Palestine’s wonderful fish sculptures.
Creations and Adornments 108 N Bullard St.
• Leyba & Ingalls ARTS supplies & gallery 315 N Bullard Street, “Recycled pARTS” made from found objects & more by gallery artists and invited artists
• Moonstruck Gallery Yankie St. “Look What We Found”.
• Seed Boat Gallery 214 W Yankie
• Silver Spirit Gallery
109 N. Bullard St. “Recycled in Beauty” assortment of boxes, throws, vases, shopping bags made from recycled material.
•Yello on Yankie 108 West Yankie. “Odds and Ends”…From ordinary to “extra”ordinary… almost unrecognizable.
• Yard Art Built to Last: Repurpose one (wo)man’s trash into permanent outdoor sculpture. With Cece Stanford. When: June 22 through 27th, 6 pm - 9pm.Where: HandsOn Market, 1515 W. Market St., Silver City. Cost: $125 per person. Contact for details:

Eco Film Festival at the Silco Theater

7:00 pm .
311 N. Bullard St. Silver City

Thanks to Jess Gorell and The Silver City Film Festival for film organization.

The Hassle Family opens the festivities with a mix of folk songs.


A documentary hosted and narrated by actress Jane Seymour that provides in-depth awareness of the water crisis in the western United States. Viewers will learn about land use planning and water needs of cities in the Southwest and how relentless drought and record low precipitation have affected water levels on vital sources such as Lake Powell, Lake Mead, the Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta system, the Rio Grande and the Colorado River. Interviews with key policy makers and members of Congress about the looming crisis and discussion with water authorities and scientists make for a contemplative discussion about conservation, water reuse, consequences of urban growth, and water policy. Discourse about vanishing groundwater, states’ potential struggles over water resources in the near future, how water was historically divided, and nuanced interviews are all part of this compelling documentary.

With Three Short Films from FREE RANGE STUDIOS. Free Range Studios is a group of people determined to use technology, design and movies to make the world a more just and sustainable place. They use our creativity to inspire people to take action for what they truly believe in like protecting the environment, standing up for human rights and calling for social justice. More at:

THE MEATRIX is an award-winning short Adobe Flash film criticizing the methods of industrial agriculture and factory farming. It was made by the green messaging firm Free Range Studios, as a commissioned project for GRACE. Two sequels were released in 2006.

THE STORY OF STUFF is a 20-minute, fast-paced, fact-filled look at the underside of our production and consumption patterns. The film exposes connections between a huge number of environmental and social issues, and calls us together to create a more sustainable and just world.

STORE WARS is an outreach effort to educate consumers about the many benefits of organic products. By spoofing a pop culture phenomenon like Star Wars, the hope is to attract a new generation of consumers, especially those who grew up loving Luke and Han, and are now increasingly concerned about making healthy food choices for their families.

Sunday, June 28
All Day

10:00 am – 3:00 pm
downtown Silver City

Recycled Art Walk.

See descriptions and gallery locations from Saturday's Recycled Art Walk above.




9:00 am


8 am -
Silver City Inner Loop Bike Ride with Bicycle Advocacy Group
Guided Tour of Silver City Riverwalk
with the Bicycle Advocacy Group/Walkability Accessibility Advocacy Group.

Join members of Silver City’s BAG/WAAG for a short hike along a segment of the Silver City River Walk Trail that features beautiful creekside scenery and lots of wildlife. Hikers will trek in a southerly direction towards the Silver City Golf Course. The roundtrip hike will cover approximately ½ mile.

Silver City Inner Loop Bike Ride with Bicycle Advocacy Group -
Fun ride. Easy to intermediate levels bike ride to explore the routes of the silver city inner loop. Meet at Penny Park at 8am. We will bicycle the safe routes to school and safe routes to work.
10:00 am
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Silver City, 3845 N. Swan, Silver City.
The Spirit and Practice of Recycling
with Sarah Bohannon

Sarah will discuss the spiritual side of recycling as well as the realities of what we currently can and cannot do in our community. The Raging Grannies will perform.
Silco Theater, 311 N. Bullard St. Sunday Presentations at the Silco

9:00 am – 10:00am
Silco Theater, 311 N. Bullard St.
Beauty, Wonder and Awe: Exploring Spirituality and Faith as Vital Components of Sustainable Living with Franciscan Sister Joan Brown, New Mexico Interfaith Power and Light and Partnership for Earth Spirituality.

Each religious tradition holds deep and intimate connections with the Earth that are expressed in prayer, ritual, teachings and the arts. In recent times however, these connections have thinned and now it is vital for people of various faiths to water back to life a deep love for creation, encompassing all within the Sacred Earth Community. Many environmentalists and others believe that churches, synagogues, mosques, sanghas and faith communities hold the key to moving hearts and minds into action to care for creation in this critical moment as we address pollution, global warming and water depletion. In this workshop we will explore some of the inspiring, deep aspects of spirituality, look at why faith communities are essential to the sustainability movement, and case studies to inspire us into action.

10:15 am – 11:15 am
Silco Theater, 311 N. Bullard St.
Transition Towns Movement with Zaida Amaral, Ecovillage Design Southwest; Maggie Seely, University of New Mexico.

The Transition Movement is spreading like a virus. People are excited about using the dual crises - economic and environmental - to create a new quality of life Learn about this movement through discussion about climate change, peak oil and creating a positive, sustainable future.

11:30 am – 12:30 pm
Silco Theater,
311 N. Bullard St.

Making Larger Strides, Leaving Smaller Footprints
with Brian Propp, Insulated Component Structures- Rocky Mountain, Inc.

Learn how to design and build energy-efficient buildings which will save money and energy using current technologies. Brian employs the “ODESA” concept which focuses on Orientation, Design, Envelope, Systems and Alternative energy.

12:30 pm – 1:15pm
Silco Theater,
311 N. Bullard St.
Digital Homesteading
with Mikey Sklar, homesteader at Holy Scrap Hotsprings

Learn how a little bit of embedded hardware can empower anyone interested in getting back to the land. Topics to be covered include: Water, Power, Fuel, Lighting, and Construction.

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm
Silco Theater,
311 N. Bullard St.
Past, Present and Future of BioFuels
with Asher Gelbart, Green Energy Now.

Learn about the benefits and drawbacks of biofuels in today’s world. Topics include BioDiesel, SVO, Ethanol, waste to fuel techniques, future feed stocks (including algae), land-use requirements, and concerns about GMO's
2:45 pm – 4:15 pm
Silco Theater,
311 N. Bullard St.
Renewal: Stories from America’s Religious-Environmental Movement
with Fine Cut Productions, LLC and Center for Independent Documentary. Produced and directed by Marty Ostrow and Terry Kay Rockefeller. Eight stories about people of faith from Catholic, Protestant, Indigenous, Muslim, Evangelical, Interfaith and Buddhist traditions who are moved and inspired by their spirituality to take a variety of actions to care for the Earth.

“The religious-environmental movement is potentially key to dealing with the greatest problem humans have ever faced, and it has never been captured with more breadth and force than in Renewal. I hope this movie moves many more people off the fence and into action.” Bill McKibben, Environmentalist and Author.
4:30pm - 5:30pm
A Celebration of Creation: An Outdoor Interfaith Service
Co-Lead by Sister Joan Brown.

All faith and spiritual traditions respect and care for creation and express these values through songs, prayers, rituals and expressions of worship. This interfaith outdoor celebration offers a rare opportunity for people of various faith and spiritual traditions to come together to celebrate the wondrous gift of living in this moment on Earth while deepening a commitment to care for the earth, water, air and all creatures.
  Sunday Workshops

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Map and directions provided upon registration.

Permaculture Workshop: Reading the Landscape and Practical Applications
with Ben Haggard. Location : Esperanza Hils . Workshop fee, $30. Map and directions provided upon registration.

We will learn techniques and technologies for reading the landscape and how to use that understanding for healing the land and providing for our own needs. Prepare to be outside.
9:00am – 12:00 pm
Location :
210 N. Cooper St.
Map and directions provided upon registration.
Residential Energy Evaluations & Audits: It’s Deja Vu All over Again!
with Jeff Granger, Granger Technologies Inc. Workshop fee, $20;

The 3-hour workshop will review basics of heat loss & gain through a home’s outer shell, and the impact these surfaces and infiltration (air leaks) have on your heating and cooling bills. In addition, workshop participants will learn about: -Heat losses that can be identified by simple visual examinations and cured at minimal cost (the low-hanging weatherization fruit); -Estimating Heating Requirements in a building; and - When to consider a new heating system and other appliances. The workshop will be conducted on-site at a residence in Silver City, NM 88061. Simple spreadsheets will be used to illustrate principles & calculations discussed during the workshop. A CD with the files will be provided. What you should bring: a basic calculator, pen or pencil and a tablet for sketching and/or taking notes. What you should wear: clothing appropriate for exploring all areas of a home.

10:00am – 12:00 pm
Location: Lone Mountain Natives, 14 Cooper Vista, off of Kirkland Road.
Map and directions will be provided upon registration.

Natural Systems Landscaping Lab with Mark Cantrell, Lone Mountain Natives. Location: Lone Mountain Natives, 14 Cooper Vista, off of Kirkland Road. Workshop fee = $15; map and directions will be provided upon registration.

Learn how to create and enhance whole plant communities as gardens. Explore a variety of working water harvesting, erosion control techniques and natural system landscapes that are functional and beautiful.
Viva Verde Green Home & Garden Tour

The Viva Verde Green Home and Garden Tour is your opportunity to see first-hand the implementation of principles and techniques discussed throughout the Viva Verde Expo. Speak to homeowners and gardeners about their inspirations and learning experiences. TICKETS - $15. Purchase tickets on-line or with mail-in registration (see page ??). Tickets will also be available at the Viva Verde Expo. Maps available here and with ticket purchase.

PLEASE NOTE: Garden Number #3 has been cancelled from the tour due to a mischevious javelina that trampled the garden.

Detailed Map Here

1) 34 Estrellita Lane (off Ridge Rd.) RS Bigelow Construction, Inc. Demonstrating active, freestanding, off-grid, P V panel system. This home’s observatory is one of three solar-powered observatories in the country. The house is passive solar, with fiberglass insulation called “Ultrafit”, and 61kWh of battery storage.

2) 910 West St. Lizard Stone Builders A high-end example of passive solar design, active solar array, solar hot water heating (whole-house hydronic) and service water, thermal mass floors and structure. The house is constructed of AAC block, with locally- produced wood trusses, and many natural finishes. 2.1 kw of active solar thin-film panel directly adhered to standing seam metal roof.

3) 125 Country Road (off Rosedale Road) Mark Bighley Construction. The focus of this home is the pumice-crete construction, passive solar design with notable custom finishes, such as ornamental art glass inserts of concrete and recycled bottles, colored concrete floors, and adobe interior walls for thermal mass.

4) 2329 Cottage San Road
RS Bigelow Construction, Inc. A renewable energy “retrofit” that includes two enclosed porches, rooftop PV panels for house electricity and a PV system for well pumps.

5) 1421 W. 8th St. Todd Anderson, Jeff LeBlanc and Robby Eagle. Todd Anderson, Jeff LeBlanc and Robby Eagle. This is a straw-bale build in process. The design features a steel frame with super-insulation of straw bales on the ground floor and passive solar heating and cooling strategies. The builders plan to use many natural and handmade finishes, including cotton insulation on the second floor, poured adobe floor with radiant heat, earth interior wall plasters, and poured concrete countertops. See this build in progress.

6) 207 West 23rd St. Lizard Stone Builders. Passive solar design, active solar array, with thermal mass floors and structure. 2.4 kw of active solar thin-film panel adhered to standing seam metal roof. Also features dual flush toilets, harvested rainwater to charge toilets and recycled brick flooring.


1) Guadalupe Montessori School Community Garden. In production for seven seasons, the garden has terraced beds, perennials and annuals, a pollinator garden, 2400 gallon rainwater harvesting system, and a drip irrigation system. The garden neighbors the chicken and goat coops and has been developed as an outdoor classroom, with appropriately sized children’s tools and integrated garden activities for children.

2) Silva Creek Botanical Gardens. Virginia St. and State St. Storm runoff that used to contribute to flooding and erosion problems is now helping to turn an abandoned city maintenance yard into a neighborhood park. Silva Creek Botanical Gardens is a one-acre city property where Aldo Leopold High School students built a water harvesting diversion system of earth basins and raised path spreaders that feature a passive flow limiter. During summer monsoon rain storms, street runoff water that used to go directly from this 75-acre urban watershed into the Big Ditch now irrigates a variety of native and food plants.

Hi Desert Organic Gardeners

3) Shems and Basira’s Garden 2106 N. Juniper St. (enter through the front gate). This garden has been cancelled from the tour due to a mischevious javelina that trampled the garden.

4) Anaia & Scott’s Garden 1919 N. Bartlett St. A second-year vegetable garden, with raised beds made from scrap lumber and found materials, in a very small back yard. Planted by the moon, and based on the principles of intensive gardening with trellises as well as companion planting. Hoop cold frames for year round greens. A self-designed watering system utilizes soaker hoses with filtered city water. Also features a rainwater catchment system and extensive mulching.

5) Margaret and Frank’s Garden 1017 Santa Rita St. A year-round vegetable garden which has been growing for nine years, utilizing shade cloth, reemay, and portable mini-cold frames to mitigate temperatures and extend seasons. Continuous salad greens on postage-stamp plots through mid-October, with perennial herbs amid landscape shrubs. A compost tumbler, a rustic rainwater catchment system, and straw mulch are a few of these gardeners’ tools.

6) Terry and Dianna’s Garden 811 Oak St. A permaculture, organic-registered garden designed to grow produce for sale. Year-round produce is obtained using raised beds, cold frames, shade cloth and row cover, utilizing bio-intensive planting, crop rotation, companion planting, biodiversity and rainwater harvesting. The garden is watered with rainwater, by hand above ground and drip irrigation below ground from three cisterns totaling 5000 gallons.








Viva Verde c/o Gila Resources Information Project
305A North Cooper Street • Silver City, NM 88061 • p/f 575.538.8078