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The primary mission of Mesa High's garden is to create a natural Sonoran desert ecosystem and outdoor classroom where students, faculty, and the Mesa High School community can learn about indigenous flora and fauna, local geologic characteristics, and our relationship with the sun.
Some of that learning comes from active participation in the garden's development. Mesa High students helped design the basic plan, cleared weeds, worked the soil, germinated seeds, transplanted the seedlings, researched indigenous species, planted larger shrubs, and watered the plants. Students from industrial technology and art classes created pieces that enhance the natural and cultural garden atmosphere. The mosaics, ceramics, metal silhouettes, bee and bird boxes, and interactive sundials were created by Mesa High students.
The plants of the garden have been chosen specifically to attract the pollinators of the Sonoran desert. "B's" is an abbreviation for the birds, butterflies, bees, beetles, bats, and bunnies (jackrabbits and desert cottontail) that we hope to draw into our acre oasis (over 20 species of birds and the cottontail have already been observed). Mesa High is certified as a monarch butterfly waystation (#9999) by Monarch Watch. Whereas the trees, shrubs, cacti, and wildflowers will provide the pollinators with food and shelter, the garden also supplies water for the pollinators from drip misters and bird baths. Bird, bee, and bat houses have been installed as well to supplement the natural shelter of the vegetation.
Sundials and analemmas will teach garden visitors about seasonal and daily changes in sun position. The "mountain mural" and rock/boulder specimens will help our students become familiar with local geology .