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SLO Botanical Garden – Green Architecture Tour

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SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – From the ashes of the Highway 41 Wildfire in the 1990’s sprung a model for sustainable human habitation. Join pioneering passive solar architects Ken Haggard and Polly Cooper for a behind the scenes tour of the revisioned Trout Farm Complex in Tassajara Canyon on April 11th from 10am-2pm. Originally developed in the early 1950s, the Trout Farm consisted of six ponds using run-off from the north side of Cuesta Grade, extensive stonework and native plantings. In the aftermath of the wildfire, a “green” architectural complex was built, consisting of passive solar heating and cooling, fire resistant design, straw bale construction, and solar electricity. The site has evolved into a sanctuary for threatened native species like red-legged frogs, California newts, California pond purples, and is the residence and office of Ken Haggard and Poly Cooper.

Enjoy an intimate tour of this fascinating complex and enjoy lunch while touring the buildings and adjacent landscape, consisting on a rare grove of Sargent’s cypress, riparian oak woodland, coastal chaparral and uncommon Oracle oak, and other rare plants that only occur on the Cuesta ridge.

This fundraiser benefits the non-profit San Luis Obispo Botanical Garden.

$150 for two people, or $80 per person. Register and more info at

 Polly Cooper is a registered architect with more than 25 years’ experience in design and architecture. She founded the San Luis Sustainability Group (SLSG) with fellow architect Ken Haggard. Polly specializes in sustainability, passive solar, and natural lighting design. She is a professor emeritus at California Polytechnic State University where she taught for more than 20 years. Polly has designed hundreds of passive solar buildings and has received numerous sustainable architecture awards.

Ken Haggard is a pioneer in passive solar design and has over 32 years of architecture experience. He served as architect and senior researcher for the first passive solar house in California in 1972, and has received numerous awards for his sustainable designs. Ken has authored several publications on sustainable design, covering topics of passive solar, straw bale construction and roof ponds. Ken taught architecture and environmental design at California Polytechnic University for more than 15 years.

SLO County Parks & Recreation