A Mermaid in the Desert

Amy Avocado is a mermaid in the desert. Growing up in the Midwest, Amy never imagined she’d live in such an arid climate, so far from the lakes and waterways where she felt so at home summer after summer.

Amy did not intend to set down roots in Southeastern Arizona, but when she found Terraform Together, she met Richard Ward, bought tiny home, and began to fall in love with the beauty of desert life.

Rock spiral. Credit Val Davidson/TSM
Rock spiral. Credit Val Davidson/TSM

A Dream of Sustainability

Richard Ward is a man with a dream, and he’s putting that dream into reality. Working to crafting a uniquely sustainable community in Cochise County in some cases, literally from the earth around him with his own hands.

Richard built his first tiny home in 2015, eventually purchasing 24 acres in Southeastern Arizona where the community Terraform Together was born. Since then, Richard and the many volunteers - some part time and some full time - have built a sustainable oasis.

According to the Terraform Together website, “Terraform Together’s mission is to provide environmental sustainability education to our community and to a network of travelers. We believe major environmental change starts at a local level, individual by individual. We work to inspire, teach, and groom the next generation of environmental advocates by teaching ways to live more sustainably and live outside the prescribed unsustainable system.”

A building fashioned from the earth. Credit Val Davidson/TSM
A building fashioned from the earth. Credit Val Davidson/TSM

Seeing for the First Time

I’ve lived in Southeastern Arizona for nearly 3 decades, but the day Amy gave me a tour of Terraform Together’s evolving site I felt I finally saw the desert for not only what it is, but for the beauty and possibility of what it could be.

Terraform Together is a non-profit, and the best way to learn more is through Richard’s own words in the video below.

If you’d like to learn more about Terraform together, make a donation, or arrange a visit, please check their website. You’ll have to arrange a visit in advance; the road to the site requires a strong, capable vehicle and an advance reservation.

Check out the Gallery of Terraform Together!

Terraform Together

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