The Desert Botanical Garden, located in Papago Park of Phoenix, Arizona is a breath-taking desert oasis offering a one of a kind experience, with the natural and harsh landscapes that comprise Arizona. The botanical garden encompasses 140 acres and is one of only 24 botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums (formerly American Association of Museums). Of their 140 acres, 55 are under cultivation and boast over 50,000 plant displays exhibited in their outdoor areas. Sprinkled in with their plant species are 485 rare and endangered species that the botanical garden cares for, and all of this is possible because of their 116 full-time staff members and over 700 volunteers!
The Desert Botanical Garden got its start in 1939, when a small group of passionate people saw a need to fight for the conservation of the desert landscape. Among them was Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck, who located other like-minded citizens by posing a sign simply stating “Save the Desert”. With the support of these people, along with social influencers such as Gertrude Divine Webster, the Desert, the botanical garden was able to grow. While they have had setbacks, such as World War II leaving them with just a skeleton crew, they have managed to keep the garden growing and flourishing for decades.
The Desert Botanical Garden offers activities such as trails, dining, a gift shop, and a library. They host special events such as weddings and celebrations, and offer a wide variety of exhibits for their patrons viewing pleasure. They promote early childhood learning activities, and host family nature walks along with other adventures. The garden has also been host to a variety of field trips. Not just for viewing pleasure, the Desert Botanical Garden also serves research and conservation, with staff dedicated to that purpose.
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