Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$10 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

Daily Guided Walking Tours "From Saguaros to Tequila Plants" at 11:00 am
Our volunteer tourguides research, study and prepare themselves to answer an array of interesting questions – just ask veteran guide Rich Adams. Guests often ask whether its true that Saguaro cacti grow arms to counter-balance the trunk; what plant tequila is distilled from, whether an extract from creosote bush produces the pungent coating on railroad ties - and if palm trees are native to Arizona. Where does BTA get its water? And how do those massive boulders of volcanic rock stay in place above the ‘Switchbacks’ section trail below Picketpost Mansion? Learn about the Sonoran Desert and hear the answers to those and many more questions on a guided 11a.m. tour; they're included with daily admission of $10 (free, for our BTA annual members), and depart from the breezeway lobby of BTA's visitor center daily at 11am. Read more about Daily Guided Tours

One O'Clock Guided Wildflower Walks February 28 -- and Sunday March 1
every Thursday and Saturday in March - plus three Sunday walks March 1, 15 and 29
Staff and volunteers report more flowers every day along our trails - and guided wildflower walks at 1:00 pm will be every Thursday and Saturday of February and March - with bonus Sunday walks March 1, 15 and 29. Flower walks
start earlier in April -- moving to 10am. What's to see during this final week of February? Early-season flowers such as rhyolite bush (Ragged Rock Flower), purple bladderpod, miner's lettuce, bluedicks, desert phlox, blue lupines, apricot globemallow, Mormon tea, jojoba, London rocket and henbit. Watch for vines of the Wild Cucumber (Marah gilensis) seen in shaded spots along the Main Trail. Clusters of flowers are fingernail-wide and cream-white, the little flowers resemble starfish -- and the vines growing from the Wild Cucumber tuber are truly impressive, some already 10-feet-tall! Learn more about these "Jack And The Beanstalk" vines any day this month a guided walking tour - walks that circle our 1.5 mile main trail daily starting at 11:00am and included with Arboretum admission of $10 for adults or $5 for kids (and at no charge, of course, for our annual members and visitors with annual AZ State Parks pass). Connect on facebook for up-to-the-minute flower updates and photos:

Craft Classes - Gourd Art & More March & April
fees $30-$85; have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Classes & dates: Thunder Gourds Feb. 28 & March 1; Rain Sticks March 5 ($45-$55), Wine Bottle Wind Chimes March 26; Clay Pot Wreaths April 2, Build-a-Terrarium April 4 & April 30; Tipsy Pots April 9, Gourd Masks April 11-12;. Basic Gourd Art April 22; Advanced Gourd Art with Pine Needle Coiling April 23y. Specific questions about these workshops? Call Lacey at 520.689.2723 or email

Geology walking tour Saturday, February 28 at 1:30 PM with Rich Leveille
** tour at 1:30pm repeats March 28 with Steve Semken as guide
Professional geologist Rich Leveille guides this walk February 28, a chance to see rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour that compresses almost two billion years of geologic history into just over one educational hour! Learn about Pinal schist, the volcanic origins of Picket Post Mountain and the Apache Leap tuff. ASU Professor Steve Semken returns March 28 as guide; Rich Leveille returns April 25.

Guided Bird Walks at 8:30am March 1 with Carl Tomoff
8:30 am, again March 7 with Cynthia and Pete
Neotropic Cormorant, Brown Creeper and Northern Cardinal were reported following recent bird walks here week;Read recent bird checklist reports and join us for guided walks to learn basic bird identification skills, and where to find birds at BTA. Guides scheduled include Carl Tomoff on Sunday March 1, then Cynthia & Pete return Saturday, March 7. Kathe Anderson & Troy Corman team-up to lead our March 21 walk, with Charles Babbitt and Jay Taylor here Sunday March 22. Revisit this page to confirm dates and times before you drive up -- and for the most updated list of dates and bird walk leaders.

Arboretum History Walk Sunday March 1 at 10 am
You may have walked our trails a dozen times and never crossed paths with the Galapagos Tortoise pens. Take a moment to scan the horizon above Picket Post Mountain, can you imagine cavalry soldiers camped in this region in the late 1800s? Learn about the life and times of Colonel William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum on a walking tour guided by Phoenix historian Sylvia Lee. Walks typically last about 90-minutes, departing at 10am from the Visitor Center breezeway. Correspond with Sylvia, or read more about

Craft Class : Rain Sticks March 5, Thursday
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Artists-In-Residence Vicki and Gerald Johnson offer a new class teachign participants to make a rain stick. Details? Contact Lacey at

Camera Basics with Sue Tatterson March 6, Friday

Gold Canyon artist Sue Tattersonoffers a special Friday afternoon workshop here at Pinal County's most 'camera-ready' location of all for $30 on March 6 ($20 for BTA members), from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Tatterson has spent nearly three decades behind the lens and is expert in the settings and dials of digital cameras, from simple point-and-shoot models to complex DSLRsead more complete details on our Photo Class Page

The Story in the Rocks: A Beginners’ Geology Walk
10:30am-11:30am on Fridays and Saturdays March 6, 7, 13, 21, also April 3, 4, 10, 18, also May 1-2
Volcanoes Rock! Ancient stories are written in the boulders, rock formations and mountains around the Arboretum; learn more on this hands-on geology walk for beginners. This walk is intended for school-aged children and their families as well as novice adults curious about geology. Participants in our Story in the Rocks Walk will explore lesser-used trails that reveal the Arboretum’s deeper secrets. Tour lasts about one hour. Would your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, student science club, or other group like to join this walk -- or arrange a private group tour? Contact Lacey at

Life In The Sonoran Desert Guided Walk March 7, Saturday
1:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays March 6, 7, 13, 21, also April 3, 4, 10, 18, also May 1-2
The Sonoran Desert covers most of southern Arizona, northern Sonora, Mexico and part of southern California. It’s a place where a toad lives underground for most of a year until rain soaked soil causes it to spring forth to find a mate, where pigs aren’t pigs but related to hippos. It’s a place where a bat may land on the ground grab a grasshopper or beetle and sometimes catch a pocket mouse carrying it to a cave to eat, where a skunk may do a hand stand to get in position to spray a predator, where a snake may swim in the sand. Learn more about some of our unusual Sonoran Desert wildlife neighbors, join our “Life In The Sonoran Desert” guided walk Saturday afternoon. Would your Boy Scout or Girl Scout troop, student science club, or other group like to join this walk -- or arrange a private group tour? Contact Lacey at

Friday Yoga for BTA members-only March 6
4:00-5:00PM in the Smith Building Lobby - continues March 6, 13, 20, 27
Free to BTA members and their guests, we offer a relaxed Friday afternoon session for all-levels fusing various styles of hatha yoga. Meet in the Smith Building lobby, located between the display greenhouses, February 20 from 4:00-5:00. Classes are free to BTA annual members and their guests. Yoga coach Lance has been teaching the style since 2001. He has a degree in sociology/religious studies and possesses an extensive background in massage therapy and instruction. Questions? email Lacey

March 7 -8 Workshop Build & Play an Agave Didgeridoo
$120 (or $100 BTA annual members). Enroll today, spaces are limited! March 7-8 participants will make their own Agave Didgeridoo with instruction from West Valley recording artist Scott Schaefer. Saturday you’ll cut, sand and glue your agave; Sunday participants will learn the technique of ‘circular breathing’ that allows players to create an unbroken drone. Enrollment of $120 for non-members and $100 for members includes two days worth of instruction, an Agave stalk, and lessons to play it using the challenging technique of circular breathing (daily admission, too). Class participant will need to furnish their own chisel, sandpaper and other supplies -- all easily obtained from your local hardware store; Scott will supply a complete list of supplies to enrollees. During the workshop Scott will be demonstrating on a truly ‘larger than life’ Agave Americana stalk he plans to turn into The World's Largest Didgeridoo.

Master Gardener Presentation March 7 , and April 4
11:00am, included with $10 daily admission, no pre-registration needed

Volunteers with the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners program resume their once-a-month Saturday series of seminars on the first Saturday of each month with a February 7 workshop demonstrating 'Amazing Aloes'. February's a Winter month not known for color, but a peak month for these African succulents which thrive in our corner of the Sonoran Desert. Aloes are a staple in the desert garden; with sensual shape that adds structure and grace to our hot environment. Evergreen Aloes offer long lasting blooms much loved by our native hummingbirds. There's no pre-registration required to attend these once-a-month workshops offered by Superstition Mountain Master Gardener volunteers, and no additional fee or enrollment - these are included with daily admission of $10 at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. For more info about our local Master Gardeners group, their classes and volunteer work, call Carol at 602-438-4003 or email
Future workshops include "Right Plant - Right Place" on March 7, and then "Butterfly Gardening" April 4.

'Indigenous Instruments’ Saturday Sunset Concert March 7 5:00 – 6:30 pm
March 7, Saturday, included with $10 daily admission

West Valley recording artist Scott Schaefer will spend his weekend March 7-8 as ‘artist-in-residence’ here, leading a two-day workshop teaching students how to make howling, growling didgeridoos from hollowed Agave stalks. Being onsite for a Saturday evening inspired Scott to offer a unique concert featuring ‘Indigenous Instruments,’ playing didgeridoo and Native American style flutes accompanied by Saggio - an East Valley recording artist who adds ethereal percussion with hand-pan and hang instruments (plus his own music on Native American style flute, too). We’ll stay open one hour later than usual – taking admissions ‘til 5:00pm, and then music is from 5pm – 6:30pm, included with $10 admission (and free, of course, for our treasured annual members). BTA closes at 6:30 that evening –Scott & Saggio shared the stage in November during the Arboretum's Fall Foliage Festival; their audience will urge you not to miss this upcoming concert. “The didgeridoo is a powerful instrument – with a sound even more soul-inspiring when that hypnotic drone of the didge wraps around Saggio's percussion, using hand-pans and a hang drum. Listeners unfamiliar with a hang drum often remark that it sounds like the lilting steel drums that are typical of Caribbean music,” said Schaefer. “I'm always honored when Saggio has an evening free to create a completely new, organic and exotic musical improvisation together. Our time on stage is a rare event you won't want to miss - and I'd also invite others who play an instrument to bring it along; you might just be invited to share the mic with us for a melody or two that evening.” Musicians who'd like to play are asked to call Scott Schaefer ahead of time at 602.570.9396

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Sunday March 8 at 1:30 pm
Second Sunday and again Third Saturday each month at 1:30pm through April
The Sinai Desert lies roughly at the same latitude as our own Sonoran Desert; many of the same plants common in the Middle East thrive in our Arizona climate, and can be seen here at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Join Arboretum volunteers on a guided tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Tours are scheduled March 8 & 21 and April 12 & 18. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, and don't forget your sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times. Read a more complete description of our Plants of the Bible Land Guided Tour

Tuesday Book Club Discusses "The Fourth Wife; Polygamy, Love and Revolution" March 10
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room
The Fourth Wife; Polygamy, Love and Revolution by Carolyn O’Bagy Davis is the biography of Julia Abegg Call, the fourth wife in a polygamous marriage to a Mormon Bishop in revolutionary-era Mexico. Julia became the mother of twelve children and experienced poverty, prejudice and tragedy during her life. The Fourth Wife offers the reader an intimate look into the life of Julia and her polygamous family and their struggle to stay together despite the laws of their homeland and the challenges of surviving the political turmoil and war in Mexico. Davis brings the characters to life in this true story of polygamy, love and revolution. Join our once-a-month lively book club discussion - included with $10 daily admission if you're not already among our annual members, or don't have an AZ State Parks annual pass. This book is available in the BTA Gift Shop; to order a copy by mail, have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723. To RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email Vicki at

Home School Day Tours March 11, April 8
10am. $2 - $10
Pre-registration and payment for Homeschool Days is required and is non-refundable. Space is limited. Families are asked to register for the tour no later than one week prior to each 10am tour. $2 per student from pre-kindergarten through high school (ages 4-18) and $2 per adult, with a limit of two adults per family - additional adults pay regular admission of $10 each. Sessions continue Wednesday, March 11 is the Arizona workshop. This special tour highlights unique attributes of Arizona, including geology, edible plants, state symbols, and habitats. (2 hours)
Wednesday, April 8 is "Plants of the Bible Land". The Arboretum is home to several plants found in the Middle East. Using references in ancient texts, guides will describe how people of the Bible Land used plants as food, medicine, and shelter in ways similar to how native peoples of Southern Arizona continue to do so in modern times! (2 hours). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date; download our informative PDF

Terrarium Workshop March 12, April 4 and April 30
9-11:30 a.m. $30-$40; with credit card ready call 520.689.2723
Get your hands a little dirty create your own low-maintenance - and completely portable -- indoor garden; participants will arrange soil, decorative rock and assorted succulents in a drum-style glass fishbowl, creating a unique terrarium. All materials, including terrarium, soil and plants are included. Read more in our E-newsletter. Popular during the Victorian era, terrarium art is bring revived by mixed-media artist Vicki Johnson in workshops teaching the history of terrariums and offering step-by-step, hands-on instructions to build your own. Registration of $30-40 includes a (7-by-10-by-10 along with succulents, soil, rocks, and decorating materials. Vicki will explain types of succulents ideal for a terrarium, how to arrange them for aesthetic balance, and how to care for your mini-ecosystem (succulent terrariums are low-maintenance easy to maintain. This workshop is also available to private groups, for details email Lacey at or call 520.689.2723

March 13 - 29 Spring Plant Sale

Members-Only Friday shopping March 13; sale open to everyone March 14-29 daily from 8am-5pm
Stock-up on plants for your garden, backyard or patio; many of the plants available for purchase during this seasonal fundraiser are grown by arboretum horticultural staff in our own nurseries here on-site. Consider annual membership, a bargain at $50 for a couple or $75 for a family - and our annual members get first pick of the select plant sale stock on our opening Friday March 13. Experienced arboretum horticultural staff and Pinal County master gardeners are on hand weekends during the plant sale to answer your questions about plants and landscaping. Arboretum staff grow the plants for the sale and also maintain many of these same plants in our gardens and exhibits - they know firsthand how these plants perform, from nursery pot to maturity in an Arizona garden and landscape. Got a University of Arizona ID?
The Arboretum is affiliated with UA's College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, so bring your CatCard or other UA I.D. during the Spring Plant Sale because our regular $10 daily admission is waived for UA employees and students. Guided nature walks are offered most weekendsyear-round, and during March-April there are daily 11 a.m. general tours included with daily admission. Invite friends and bring a picnic; explore the scenic gardens and walk more than two miles of paths and trails during a day trip. The arboretum is a College of Agriculture And Life Sciences affiliate, about a 90-minute drive from campus. You may even bring a dog; the arboretum welcomes leashed and well-behaved pets.

March 22 Lecture: The Key To Successful Edible Gardening In The Desert with Catherine "The Herb Lady"
March 22, from 10:30 - 11:30, Smith Lecture Room
With an average of 300 days filled with sunshine, subtropical desert climate, and the facts, you can grow all your favorite vegetables, fruits and herbs in the Valley of the Sun. The key is knowing when to plant the variety. Example: Pumpkins are sown in July 15th - August 1st. Find out why at this lecture. Bring your questions and get answers from Catherine. After 30 years of "trowel & error" Catherine is considered an expert in edible landscaping in the desert

Girl Scout Badge Saturday Workshops Spring 2015
March 14, March 21, April 18 and 25, May 9
Girl Scouts from Brownie through Cadette can earn badges during group workshops at the Arboretum.
Download our Registration PDF. Registration of a non-refundable down-payment of $20 is required to hold a position for a scout or troop. Workshop admission fees are $10 per scout and $10 per adult chaperone; $5 for each non-scout between ages 5-12 (yes, these workshops are open to kids other than girl scouts – even boys). To sign up and prepay have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours. Make sure to pre-register at least two days prior to the workshop date, and when you call please tell our staff the specific workshop and date you wish to register for, your Girl Scout troop number, your name (or the troop leader's name); contact phone numbers, and the number of scouts and chaperones attending. Questions? email Lacey at [] or call her at 520.689.2723 during daytime business hours. Spring 2015 workshops for Brownies are 'Senses' March 14, 'Arizona' April 25 and 'Bugs' May 23; for juniors workshops are Animal Habits' March 21, Flowers April 18 and Gardener May 16; and for Cadettes Woodworker May 9.

Trailblazer Kids Hike For Kids Age 5-12 and Parents
March 14, Saturday from 9am til noon
Parents - sign up kids age 5-12 soon if you'd enjoy a guided hike together March 14; pre-registered kids will get a free backpack, a guided nature walk -- and regular $5 admission is waived for children enrolled to participate (adult chaperones still need to pay regular $10 daily admission; unless they're annual members at BTA - or have an Arizona State Parks pass). Arizona State Parks volunteer Jim Shepherd will lead the walk; kids will be given a backpack that's theirs to take home and keep - they'll start with an informal talk about items to pack for a hike, some advice for shoes and clothing appropriate to a longer walk in the desert - and very basic lessons about basic safety and way-finding. Once the walk begins Tourguide Jim and Arizona Audubon naturalists Steven Prager & Emily Maklin will point out lizards, birds, butterflies, rocks, and trees around the Arboretum. Spaces are limited, and pre-registration is required kids need to be accompanied by their parent or guardian at all times during the program. No more than two adults may accompany a participating child during the program; to register for the guided walk email Lacey [] and make sure to include full names of adults and kids who are registering; age of each child being enrolled, plus a cell or home phone number.

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Sunday Walk Guided By Kathy & Tom McDonald March 14
** at 1:30 PM - tour repeats March 22, Sunday - with Robert Lewis as our special guest tourguide
Explore our Curandero Trail on a one-hour walk guided by desert plant enthusiasts Kathy & Tom McDonald, sharing their combined knowledge about ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. This tour repeats Saturday March 14 on the opening day of our Spring Plant Sale fundraiser, and then Sunday March 22 when Arizona State Parks 'Volunteer of the Year' Robert Lewis is our guide. ** Please note: this tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkers. Read more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears

LightRoom 5 Users Group March 15, Sunday
10am til noon in the Smith Building Lecture Room (repeats April 5)
Photographers Rimgaudas and Jack coordinate our once-a-month meeting of the LightRoom5 users group. These
informal workshops are open to the public, free to BTA annual members and included with $10 daily admission if you're not among annual members. Connect with Rim and read more complete details on our Photo Class Page

Tree Tour With Jeff Payne Sunday March 15
1:30 pm
So, just what is an Arboretum? BTA staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne leads this walk where visitors learn the answer to that often-posed question during a relaxed and leisurely guided tour through the forested areas of the Arboretum. Join Jeff for a chance to learn about the Arboretum's collection of oak and olive trees, native hackberry, mesquite and many more.

Welcome Back Buzzards March 21 Saturday 7:00am-1:00pm
7am Vulture Viewing, 8:30am bird walk, 9am-1pm Live Bird Exhibit
March 21 brings the Spring Equinox, observed by cultures from the ancient Greeks to Aboriginal Australians; the Arboretum has a day filled with events starting just after sunrise with the annual 'Welcome Back Buzzards' seasonal send-off. with a special Saturday early opening at 7:00 am, one hour early for this month, to see the famous flock of Turkey Vultures perched on the cliffs before they depart to spend their day soaring the skies. World-traveled ASU Professor Dave Pearson will be our special guest 'Vulture-ologist' from 7:00-8:30, talking about the big black birds, answering questions and sharing his appreciation for the soaring scavengers until the vultures take to the skies -- typically by 8:30am. Dr. Pearson and others will guide birdwalks through the gardens at 8:30, and from 9:00-2:00 volunteer wildlife rehabbers from the Arizona Game & Fish Department will have their popular living exhibit of raptors and reptiles set up near the Smith Building, so kids and adults alike can have closeup views of a real, live Turkey Vulture along with hawks and owls.
View a Bye Bye Buzzards Day event video by Arboretum Volunteer Mike Rolfe

"Planting and Establishment " Lecture & Lab Garden Class - March 21
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
You’ve bought the “RIGHT” plant, now what? What is a girdling root - and do I need to prune a newly planted tree? Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 3rd in his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What do I prune off or why not? Are cacti planted differently than planting trees or shrubs? How wide must the planting hole be? How deep? Should I amend the soil and backfill? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through an informative talk and hands-on lab about the best practices for planting your new plant and what you should and should not do. This hands-on lab includes field work on the grounds at Boyce Thompson Arboretum. Jeff's Spring series concludes with 'Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis' April 18.

Craft Workshop: Wine Bottle Wind Chimes March 26, Thursday
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Learn to convert your empty wine bottles into beautiful, melodic wind chimes Thursday with coaching from our Artists-In-Residence, Vicki and Gerald Johnson. Participants will learn how to cut and smooth empty wine bottles, then string prepped bottles to create a melodic wind chime. Wind chimes are then decorated with adornments such as beads. All materials, including cut and prepared wine bottles will be included. Would your wine club, Red Hat ladies or other community group like to have this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

Thursday Craft Workshop: Tipsy Pots April 9
9am - 1pm. $30-$40. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Artists-In-Residence Vicki and Gerald Johnson offer this new class in ways to 'faux finish' terra cotta pots to make them look aged, then use those pots to create a whimsical tabletop tower planter that appears to defy gravity. All materials are included, including terra cotta pots, paint, plants and soil. Would your garden club, Red Hat ladies or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

Craft Workshop: Gourd Mask Thursday-Friday Workshop April 11 & 12
9am - 1pm. $85-$95. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Students will create a colorful mask made of half of a gourd during this two-day class. On the first day of class, students will create their own design, burn it into the gourd and then color it and seal it with a topcoat. On the second day of class, students will learn how to add adornments such as feathers, wire and beads to complete their face mask. Would your gourd club, craft circle or other community group like to schedule this activity as a private group? Contact Lacey at

"Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis" Lecture & Lab Garden Class - April 18
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 4th and final of his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What is wrong with my plant? Is my plant dead? Why are the leaves yellow? I found bugs on my plants are they good or bad? What can cause dieback? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through problems that occur or can go wrong with your plants in your own backyard and what to watch out for during an informative talk and hands-on field lab diagnosing common problems with plants at Boyce Thompson Arboretum that the Horticulture Staff encounter on a daily or seasonal basis.

Writing Your Tree Rings - Workshop with Author / Poet Jari Thymian - April 19
9:00 a.m. $15 for BTA members, $25 non-members
Explore and rediscover surprising branches, roots, and shadows through mapping and writing your personal tree rings during a morning coached by poet and author Jari Thymian, who has hundreds of poems published in publications ranging from The Pedestal to The Christian Science Monitor.

Open Mic in the Garden: Poetry and Short Readings April 19
1:00 PM

Celebrate National Poetry Month along with writers, poets, and all who love words during an outdoor open mic, Sunday, April 19, from 1-3 p.m., and hosted by author and poet Jari Thymian. Poets and writers will read poetry or short writings of their own or from other authors. BTA visitors are welcome to jump into the river of words as audience and/or readers. The event is included with admission of $10 adults, or $5 ages 5-12. To sign up as a reader, contact Jari Thymian via email at

Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Classes Aug. 1-2, Aug. 29-30
9:30am. And Don't Miss Superior’s Annual Festival Aug. 24
Have you wanted to pick a peck o’ prickly pears, but didn't know how to get the stickers off before turning the bright red fruits into tasty jelly – or margaritas? On two special weekends in August we’ll offer back-to-back classes on Saturdays and Sundays Aug. 1-2 and also Aug. 29-30 coaching the finer points of processing the ripe fruit of the season for fresh batches of jelly, jam, syrup and more. Workshops feature Chef Eric & Terri of Tall Order Catering, with their unique spin on Cactus Cuisine and lessons on de-spining & processing. No pre-registration is necessary for any of these classes, just be in the visitor center breezeway by the 9:30am start time. Over the years more than 2,000 have attended BTA’s unique series of cactus classes teaching “How To Juice Prickly Pears” -- a summertime series so popular it spawned a cactus culinary festival in the neighboring town of Superior. Our experts share proven techniques to pick, prepare, process and preserve these juicy, seasonal fruits of the Sonoran Desert -- with tasty, healthy prickly pear snacks shared at the end of each class. Learn from prickly pear pickin’ pros! And mark your calendar to attend the 4th Annual Prickly Pear Festival in Superior on Aug. 22. Superior’s culinary celebration of cactus cuisine includes guided desert hike, a pancake breakfast - complete with prickly pear syrup, of course; vendors and guest speakers. Preview the event
check out this Prickly Pear Festival Gallery By Jack Haskell

John Aho 'Painting With Light' High-Power LED Night Shoot DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
6pm. CLASS HAS FILLED. To be on waiting list for John's next one, Call 520.689.2723
Familiar plants and scenery are rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after dark by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by artist and local luminary John Aho. The $40 fee for these special-access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $30 for BTA annual members). Connect with John on Facebook and see photos from prior nighttime shoots with John

Butterfly Walk Season Finale October 25, Saturday,
Central AZ Butterfly Association volunteers Adriane Grimaldi, Education Director at Butterfly Wonderland, along with Gail Morris are our special guest tourguides leading our last walk - a chance to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk that explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections.
See Butterfly Photos and Learn IDs from CAZBA

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks Sumer 2015
- with Wild Man Phil Rakoci as our guide, dates TO BE ANNOUNCED
This entertaining guided walk is for kids -- adults -- and all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Casa Grande naturalist and outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci is our sepcial guest tourguide. There's no additional fee, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in our Visitor Center breezeway at 8:30. See photos andconnect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook. See photos and read more

Full Moon Drum Circle DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
Looking for a unique way to salute the rising full moon? Cindy Green is organizing a ‘Full Moon Drum Circle’ on that Sunday evening, two hours of participatory percussion beneath our towering and shady trees that encircle the Smith Building courtyard. Drummers are invited to call Cindy Green at 480-299-4129, or to email Cindy at [] for details. Green coaches drum-building workshops, and says all drums are welcome. No percussion? No problem! Green will bring a few loaners for those who wish to participate and revel in the ancient sound of drums echoing in the towering hackberry and mesquite trees which shade the Smith Building front courtyard. BTA closes at ____ p.m. during ______; we'll reopen the main gate at ______ for BTA members on this special evening. The two-hour drum circle begins at_______, continuing through sunset and by the light of the rising full moon, expected at _________, ending and closing the park again at dark _______. You're not among our members yet, but would like to join us and attend? Membership starts at $50 for a full year for a couple - and that includes a pair of one-time-use guests passes to bring two friends or family for a visit; with a credit card ready call 520-689-2723 to order a membership by phone. View a short film clip of Cindy Green drumming at BTA