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Arizona Lottery Gives Back Program Provides $50,000 to Expand Living Lab and Water Harvesting Infrastructure

New Learning Center helps provide education and tools for Arizonans to build a water-conscious, sustainable future

TUCSON, Ariz.- (March 17, 2023)- The Arizona Lottery's Gives Back program has funded $50,000 to the Watershed Management Group (WMG) in Tucson to expand their Living Lab, a community hub and leading demonstration site of watershed resilience.

The Living Lab is a showcase of innovative sustainable practices, including water harvesting, native habitat, food forests, passive solar energy, and composting systems. It culminates in a campus supported almost entirely by rainwater. WMG directly engages around 3,000 school-aged children, families, and adults at the Living Lab every year through their educational programs.

The partnership between the Arizona Lottery's Gives Back program and the Watershed Management Group (WMG) is important as WMG is a leading organization in promoting sustainable practices and environmental education in the community. The expansion of their Living Lab will allow them to reach even more people and empower them to take action and adopt sustainable practices, contributing to a healthier environment.

"Watershed Management Group is doing important work to promote sustainable practices and educate our community about the importance of preserving our natural resources within Arizona, and beyond," said Raynie Hosto, Arizona Lottery Deputy Director of Customer Service and Sales. "We are proud to support their efforts through our Gives Back program and help expand their Living Lab, which serves as a model for sustainable living."

The funding from the Arizona Lottery's Gives Back program will help WMG expand the Living Lab and enhance its educational programs by adding a multi-purpose indoor classroom, known as the Learning Center. Lottery funds will also pay for the infrastructure (cistern and gutters) needed to harvest another 5,000 gallons of rainwater annually in addition to their existing 11,000 gallons of cistern capacity. With additional rainwater capture, their facility will be more resilient to rely entirely on rainwater for indoor and outdoor water uses instead of imported Colorado River water.

With increasing water shortages and climate impacts in the Southwest, it’s more important than ever that WMG has adequate space to teach about hydro-local water solutions. Hydro-local solutions focus on valuing and stewarding local water resources instead of depleting distant rivers and watersheds, like the Colorado River.

“We would like to transform Tucson to a hydro-local community and at the same time restore our heritage of flowing creeks and rivers, the Living Lab, and the new Learning Center is essential to achieving that vision,” said Lisa Shipek, Executive Director of WMG. “We are looking to shift our relationship from being water consumers, to water stewards, and with this Arizona Lottery funding, it will help us do just that.”

The Arizona Lottery has a long history of supporting public programs that help keep natural spaces beautiful, protect the wildlife that live here, and educate Arizonans on how they can help. This partnership highlights the Arizona Lottery’s commitment to supporting environmental conservation.

The expansion of the Living Lab is expected to be completed in the fall of 2023. For more information about WMG and their programs, visit their website at www.watershedmg.org.

To learn more about Arizona Lottery and its Gives Back program, please visit www.arizonalottery.com.

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About Arizona Lottery
Since 1981, the Arizona Lottery and its retail partners have generated nearly $5 billion in net
funding to support programs that help to improve the quality of life for the people of Arizona. Proceeds from Lottery ticket sales fund programs in higher education, economic development, environmental conservation, and health and human services. The mission of the Lottery is to support Arizona programs for the public benefit by maximizing net revenue in a responsible
manner. Learn more at ArizonaLottery.com

About Watershed Management Group
Watershed Management Group (WMG) has been helping communities go hydro-local for twenty years, through its free, educational programs. The Tucson-based non-profit is working towards a 50-year vision of restoring Southern Arizona’s heritage of flowing creeks and rivers through water conservation, groundwater recharge, and riparian restoration projects. The mission of WMG is to develop and implement community-based solutions to ensure the long-term prosperity of people and health of the environment.