2012 Sustainable Santa Fe Winner

2012 Sustainable Santa Fe Award Winner

We are delighted to announce we have received the 2012 Sustainable Santa Fe Award for Water Conservation. This award recognizes the Academy’s innovative approach to water usage and the landscaping for our new campus.

When we began construction of a new campus in Santa Fe in 2008, we sought to honor our vision by designing and building in ways that work with the natural world, rather than impose upon it. Conserving and recycling water was a top priority. Working with Wolf Corp and Richard Jennings of Earthwrights Designs, we created state-of-the-art treatment systems to recapture grey and black water for irrigation. Likewise, rainwater and snow runoffs are harvested and discreetly channeled to an underground 55,000 gallon tank.

Combined with careful xeric landscaping by Christie Green of Down to Earth landscaping (see Learning Landscape), these systems have made it possible for us to meet our goals of conserving water while rebuilding the soils and stimulating new growth of native plants on our 86-acre campus, fostering an ecosystem that will naturally capture and conserve rainwater and seasonal floods in the future. Finally, to extend the project we sponsored production of a short documentary about water conservation on our site and others, which is nearing completion and has already been used in local high school science courses.