The Desert Botanical Gardens of Phoenix is a must see for lovers of the great Sonoran outdoors. For 70 years and counting, the gardens have been a source for teaching, exhibitions, research and more for visitors of all ages. The grounds cover a vast 145 acres with over 50,000 plants on exhibition. Each year there are more than 625,000 visitors to the gardens, including school children and other groups.
“The Garden’s vision is to be the premier center in the world for the display, study and understanding of desert plants and their environments. The Garden strives to be an indispensable resource in the Southwestern United States for helping individuals learn about Sonoran Desert Plants as well as desert plants of the world, so that they will conserve and protect the natural world for the benefit of future generations. Every element of the Garden will reflect excellence, beauty and inspiration to transform the visitor experience into one of discovery and meaning about deserts and desert plants.”
The garden began as an idea from Phoenicians who saw that there was a need to protect and safeguard the Sonoran beautiful environment in the 1930’s. A Swede by the name of Gustaf Starck who was also a botanist gathered others of the same mind set and posted a sign in the earth, thereby proclaiming the need to “Save the Desert”. Later on in that same decade, this group established the Arizona Native Cactus and Flora Society to provide education, gratitude and advancement of the Sonoran desert. Gertrude Webster joined the society and it was with her influence and financial backing, that the botanical garden was established in Papago Park where it is located today.
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