The Mono Lake Committee is a non-profit citizen’s group dedicated to protecting and restoring the Mono Basin Ecosystem and educating the public about the impacts on the environment of excessive water use. The Committee envisions building a unique Outdoor Education Center that prepares today’s diverse youth for the challenges of tomorrow’s water issues as well as providing accommodations for visiting scientists and researchers. The center is to occupy the site of a historic ranch adjacent to Parker Creek several miles south of Lee Vining.
RC|A joined a design team assembled by Siegel & Strain Architects to develop a Masterplan for the Center. In support of the Committee’s commitment to conservation and stewardship, the overall site and landscape plan developed has the specific goal of implementing and making visible ecological design concepts and resource efficiency.
RC|A’s focus was to support a science-based curriculum through landscape design by creating an outdoor classroom environment including greywater and water catchment, subsurface irrigation, reclaimed and recycled building materials, low-water-use plant communities, field study stations, a comprehensive composting system, educational signage, and outdoor learning alcoves. The design team worked to maximize the educational opportunities and to minimize the boundaries between the buildings and the natural environment.