Green Infrastructure implemented in Nogales, Sonora

06/11/21 03:42:pm

A team of Udall Center’s collaborators recently implemented a green infrastructure project at a middle school in Nogales, Sonora. This middle school is located in a low-income neighborhood that experiences intense flooding and soil erosion. Green infrastructure is likely to mitigate these impacts that disproportionately affect low-income neighborhoods in Nogales, which constitutes an environmental justice issue.

This project was initially funded by a seed grant from the Arizona-Sonora Intrauniversity Alliance. Udall Center researchers Stephanie Buechler and Adriana Zuniga-Teran partnered with colleagues from the Colegio de la Frontera Norte (COLEF) in Nogales (Dr. Hilda Garcia Perez), Watershed Management Group (Joaquin Murrieta), and Arizona State University (ASU) (Prof. Francisco Lara Valencia). They conducted a workshop at the school to engage with the students and faculty. Through a drawing contest, they invited students to reflect on the impacts of storms in their school and their lives.

A CAPLA student, Gabrielle Spickard, designed the landscape for the school with terraces to slow down runoff and mitigate flooding and erosion. UA students Alexandra Huerta (CAPLA) and Karina Martinez (Arid Lands Resource Sciences) also worked on this project. Below is the design drawing showing the area that was recently implemented.

Last year, our ASU partner got a Border 2020 grant to continue this work, and our team at UArizona is part of this next phase. Our role in this project consisted of studying the regulatory framework for green infrastructure in Ambos Nogales. Funding from the Udall Foundation was used to support the work of Patricia Schwartz, a Geography student. Patricia and Adriana conducted interviews with stakeholders, surveys, and convened a focus group to identify policy barriers and opportunities for green infrastructure. UA students Oscar Rodriguez (CAPLA) and Alma Anides (SWES) are also collaborators on this project.

Partners for this larger project include the University of Arkansas (Prof. Gabriel Diaz Montemayor), the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ) (Claudia Gil and Joaquin Marrufo), US Geological Survey (USGS) (Laura Norman), COLEF (Hilda Garcia Perez), and Instituto Municipal de Investigación y Planeación (IMIP) (Maria de los Angeles Estrella and Edgar Castellanos). Our partner Joaquin Murrieta, from Watershed Management Group, led this implementation project at the school.

Below is a video of the implementation.

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