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

Friday Yoga with Lance December 19; January 2, 9, 16, 26; and February 6, 13, 20
4:00-5:00PM in the Smith Building Lobby
Free to BTA members and their guests. Yoga with Lance is an easygoing, all-levels class fusing various styles of hatha yoga. Classes are in the Smith Building lobby, located between the display greenhouses, on Fridays just before sunset; classes are free to BTA annual members and their guests. Lance is a trained yoga therapist and has been teaching yoga since 2001. He has a degree in sociology/religious studies and possesses an extensive background in massage therapy and instruction. Questions? email Lacey

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday December 20 at 1:30 pm
Second Sunday and 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 January 11 and 17, February 8 & 21, 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

Saturday Winter Solstice Concert With Silverback , December 20
2:00 - 3:30 PM

West Valley singer-songwriter Eric Laubach and percussionist John Mahoney set a June concert attendance record at Boyce Thompson Arboretum when they lured about 150 to an evening of live music as the sun set at the end of the year's longest day. The solstice lures them back each year: celebrate the Winter Solstice on Saturday December 20, from 2:00-3:30pm when they debut some of the new music they've created under the stage name 'Silverback'. Music's included with $10 daily admission (and of course, at no charge to our annual members!). Wondering about their musical style? Laubach says: "I began playing gigs around the valley in 1989; shortly after I began writing songs about Arizona. John Mahoney's an excellent percussionist and bass player, we met through the Arizona Flute Circle and I've done all my recording in his studio. We play covers such as San Francisco Bay Blues and Bobby McGee along with my original Arizona songs such as Under a Coyote Moon, Tarantulas in the Moonlight, and The Zonie and the Genie. Something extra special about our concert on the 21st is Loren Russell, a Native American storyteller and flute player, who adds to our music with his own stories of life on the Gila River Reservation - and his masterful flute playing. So why do they mark the seasonal solstice events? And how did they choose the name 'Silverback'? Connect with Silverback on Facebook:
Preview Laubach's original songs:

Tree Tour With Jeff Payne Sunday December 21
1:30 PM, repeats January 18
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.

Christmas Bird Count Friday , December 26
Competent, confidend birders are needed as volunteers for the annual Audubon Society Christmas Bird Count. Cynthia Donald coordinates the Superior count circle which begins at Queen Valley and Whitlow Dam to the west and extends to the Oak Flat campground above the town of Superior to the east; encompassing Hewitt Station Road and “Area 51″ around Montana Mountain, also Queen Creek upstream of the Arboretum, Arnett Creek and Canyon, Picketpost Mountain, and ‘urban birding’ around the town of Superior. To volunteer on a team for this count and get more information call Cynthia Donald at 480-283-4515 or email
Volunteers are needed in others regions throughout the state, too. For more information, go online to

Geology walking tour Saturday, December 27 at 1:30 PM
** tour at 1:30pm with Scott McFadden as our guide - tour repeats January 24 with Steve Semken
Professional geologist Scott McFadden is our special guest tourguide for this once-a-month walk, 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 guides this walk January 24.

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By Jean Groen December 28
** at 1:30 PM - tour repeats December 28, Also January 10 - and January 25 with Tom McDonald
Explore our Curandero Trail on a guided afternoon one-hour walk with Apache Junction author Jean Groen, sharing her knowledge about the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Jean guides the walk Saturday December 13 and also Sunday December 28; again January 10 - and then Smiling Dog Landscapes owner Tom McDonald is our special guest tourguide January 25. ** 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

New Year's Day Concert & Blessing With Arvel Bird
12:00 Noon til 1:30pm, January 1, Thursday
Here's a resolution we think you'll find easy to keep: spend New Year's Day at BTA, with the unique and inspiring music of Arvel Bird - starting just after 12 Noon with a Native American style New Year's blessing to begin 2015. Arvel will present a concert surrounded by desert beauty, performing new music from his two CDs as well as fan favorites from releases including Animal Totems, Tribal Music Suite and Titanic Centennial. His performance is co-sponsored by the Superstition Area Land Trust (; visitors will have a chance to meet volunteers from SALT and learn more about the organization and its efforts to preserve the Sonoran Desert. Arvel Bird spent a decade playing fiddle for country legends including Glen Campbell, Loretta Lynn and Louise Mandrell; now based in Nashville, he's chosen life on the road to connect with audiences the old-fashioned way -- live -- where his visceral performances and high-energy Celtic-Jazz fiddle ignite concert venues, symphony halls and festivals from coast-to-coast. Don't miss this talented musician, storyteller and world-traveled entertainer, whose continuously-evolving music delights audiences around the globe. Music is free if you're a BTA annual member or if you have an Arizona State Parks yearly-pass; it's included with the $10 daily admission for those who don't.
Read more at:
Connect with the artist at:

Gourd Art Classes January 3 - 4 ; Basic Gourt Art Saturday, advanced 'pine needle coiling' Sunday
Basic Gourd Art repeats April 22
Pine Needle Coiling repeats February 7
Gourd Mask_making February 26-27
Thunder Gourds March 1

9am - 1pm. $35-$55. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Sign up soon for any of these informal and fun art classes -- a basic class for beginners-intermediates, or the advanced class in pine-needle coiling for experienced gourd artists. Each is a four-hour workshop where participants have the use of tools and art supplies to burn, paint, etch and emboss decorative gourds with coaching from Mesa artists Gerald and Vicki Johnson. Enrollment for the beginners class is $35-$45 and includes a gourd, use of paints and brushes, tools and art supplies for the day, plus four hours of coaching and inspiration from Vicki & Jerry. Pine Needle Coiling enrollment is $10 more to learn the art of pine needle coiling; with the additional fee for specialized materials and instruction.

The Story in the Rocks Walk: A Beginners’ Geology Walk
Saturdays Jan. 3, Feb. 7, March 7, and April 4 from 10:30am-11:30am
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
Saturday January 3, at 1:30pm
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

Arboretum History Walk Sunday January 4 at 10:00am
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

LightRoom 5 Users Group January 10, Saturday,
10am til noon in the Smith Building Lecture Room
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

Terrarium Workshop January 15
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

"The Science of Soils" Lecture & Lab Garden Class - January 24
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne launches a new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures with a seminar on soil. These are included with daily admission of $10; no pre-registration required. If soil isn't dirt, what is it - what does soil do, and how does it work? How does water actually move through soil - and what's it composed of? Jeff will guide participants through an informative talk and hands-on lab about soils. Future topics include 'Selecting the Best Tree or Plant' Feb. 21; 'Planting and Establishment' March 21, and 'Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis' April 18.

Guided Bird Walks at 8:30am January 31, February 7, 21 and 22
8:30 am
White-crowned Sparrow, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Red-breasted Nuthatch 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 Anne Leight January 31, Cynthia Donald & Pete Moulton February 7, Anne Leight Feb. 21, and Kathe Anderson Feb. 22; Cynthia & Pete return March 7, with Mark Ochs March 8. Revisit this page in late January for a more complete and updated list of dates & bird walk leaders.

Book Club Discusses ________ by _______January 20 , Tuesday
8:30 a.m. - 9:30 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room
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. The 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

Master Gardener Presentations February 7 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 Feb. 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. Learn about other Arboretum guided tours and events at; 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. Is there a challenging spot in your garden or landscape where nothing will grow? Learn the biggest little secret to successful gardening: selecting the right plant for the right place. Superstition Mountain Master Gardener volunteers live in Gold Canyon, Apache Junction, Mesa and Florence - they've learned what plants love full sun, shade, wind or very little water. March 7, just in time for BTA's annual Spring Plant Sale, they'll share suggestions for a perfect plant for every space! And then April brings a session focused on Butterfly Gardening. Did you know butterflies are nearsighted? That they don't like fresh water? Or which plants butterflies must have to mature from egg to the adult? Mark your calendar, hear the answers to these questions and many more with the Superstition Mountain Master Gardeners.

Home School Day Tours February 11 , March 11, April 8
10am. $2 - $10; credit card ready and call Arboretum staff at 520-689-2723 during daytime business hours
For more info download our HomeSchoolDays PDF
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 begin Wednesday, February 11 with the Trees workshop: BTA is a natural fit for the study of trees, this tour teaches students about basic tree physiology; how trees work, plant classification, and even some mathematics with a 'tree-ometry' activity. (2 hours). Then 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

"Selecting the Best Tree or Plant" Lecture & Lab Garden Class - February 21
10 a.m. , included with daily admission - no pre-registrration required
Arboretum staffer and Certified Arborist Jeff Payne invites gardeners to the 2nd in his new series of once-a-month horticultural lectures; they're included with daily admission of $10, no pre-registration required. What is a Site Analysis? Why plant Native? What is a “naturalized species”? What is Acclimation? Adaptability? Hardiness? What is a “Microclimate”? What should I really be looking for when selecting from a nursery? Join Certified Arborist Jeff Payne as he guides you through an informative talk and hands-on lab about tree and plant selection from the ‘roots up.’ This hands-on lab includes a mini field trip to the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Retail Nursery. Future topics include 'Planting and Establishment' March 21, and 'Plant Problems, Disorders and Diagnosis' April 18.

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.

"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.

"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.

Tom Boggan's Camera Basics Class DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
2pm. $20-$30; call 520.689.2723
Wish you were more confident with your camera settings? Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Boggan leads a monthly outdoor 'walk-a-bout'photo workshop demonstrating how to set your camera's aperture, exposure and white balance – all during a relaxed outing where you're surrounded by beautiful gardens and learning from a pro. Tom generously volunteers a morning or afternoon each month here helping our visitors improve their camera skills, donating his time so enrollments help benefit the Arboretum. Read more about this class, and connect with Tom

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

Rustic Leaf Picture Mat Class DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
9am - 1pm. $25-$35. have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723 to enroll
Keep a touch of fall in your home all year! Class attendees will use autumn leaves that have been pressed and dried to create a beautiful, one of a kind picture mat to frame and highlight a special photograph.  Attendees will learn how to press their own leaves and flowers and receive all materials to complete their project.  Materials include a picture frame with mat and pressed leaves. Read more about Crafts Classes at the Arboretum
For more specific information about this workshop, email Lacey at or call 520.689.2723

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

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

Lisa Langell Camera Basics Class - Its OK To Use AUTO
*** DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED - get on the waiting list online via this link
Artist Lisa Langell easily fills classes at $50-a-pop for basic photography; $75 and up for specific topics. So why would she offer her services free to a fortunate 20 enrollees at Boyce Thompson Arboretum? "BTA is one of my favorite places in Arizona - I love the gardens, and I love photography. Here's a chance for me to meet new beginner photographers who want to improve how they use their cameras...and to see that "Ah-HA!" moment light up their eyes when they master a new setting or technique," said the Scottsdale pro photographer. "I'm hoping the room will be filled with new faces - people who've never attended one of my classes before, and also haven't visited the Arboretum. I'm volunteering my time that day - and keeping the cost negligible. This workshop's included with $10 daily admission to BTA, but you do have to pre-register as we can only accommodate the first 20 attendees. I'll keep a wait list and if this proves popular enough, we'll repeat the same class in
July for those on the wait list." EDITOR'S NOTE - register via this link:
Enroll in this class online at

Smartphone, 'mirror-less' and Point-n-Shoot Basic Photography with Tom Boggan
Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to enroll
If you’re a beginner/novice photographer, this one’s for you – and it’s a bargain at $20 for BTA members ($30 nonmembers). As Scottsdale Pro photographer Tom Boggan describes it: “the best camera is the one you have with you. Even if you're shooting with your cellphone or apoint-n-shot, you can still make great photos. In this two-hours class I'll demonstrate ways to capture better photos using compact cameras, mirrorless cameras, point-n-shoot cameras, and especially your smartphone. We'll spend about 45 minutes in the classroom talking about gear, apps for shooting and editing on your smartphone, capturing light and methods of composing a shot -- then head into the garden to practice together. “ Connect with Tom Boggan on Facebook
Wish you were more confident with your camera? Tom generously volunteers a morning or afternoon each month here helping our visitors improve their camera skills, donating his time so enrollments benefit BTA. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students; we challenge you to find a better opportunity – and value - than Tom Boggan's recurring workshop. Consider this email we received after one of Tom's classes; Cave Creek resident and BTA member Carol wrote: "Tom - thank you so much for the great photography class, you have a gift for taking something complex and bringing it down to a level that the average person can understand! I tried with books and magazines to make sense of the dizzying array of counter-intuitive settings on my camera such as ISO, F-stop etc. but things just continued to be confusing. With your concise handout and your class, I actually feel as though a light bulb has come on and I am beginning to understand these concepts for the first time! I now enjoy the challenge of creating a photo and taking photos feels more about my artistic efforts vs. the camera's magical workings. Thank you again for helping me move to a new level in my enjoyment of photography and (by extension) my real passion: nature." See More Arboretum Camera Classes

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 Users Group DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
These informal two-hour user’s group meetings each month are free to BTA annual members - included with daily admission of $10 for nonmembers. One of the most popular photography software packages, Adobe Lightroom, is described by the company as: "Photo editing software built for photographers, by photographers. From first look to final image, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 makes everything about digital photography easier, faster and more amazing. Perfect your shots with powerful new adjustment tools, efficiently organize all your photos and share them almost anywhere." Read More About this Photography Software Users Group

Camera Class: "Switching To Manual" With Michael & Patty DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
10:00 a.m. until 3:00 p.m.
$30 BTA members or $40 nonmembers
with a credit card ready call 520-689-2723

Gilbert pro photographers Michael Madsen and Patty Van Herpen will teach camera basics and more - here's a chance to learn camera functions and to practice what you have learned in the Demonstration Garden alongside two professionals, a Canon and a Nikon expert. Gilbert professional photographer Michael Madsen is among featured artists in our Visitor Center Gallery and is expert with Nikon gear while
Patty Van Herpen, prefers Canon . Classes with Michael and Patty coach beginning-to-intermediate photographers who are ready to harness the horsepower of their digital cameras by getting past the AUTO settings in favor of manually controlling your own aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and white balance.Read More About this Photography Class

Tom Boggan Camera Basics Photo ClassDATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
2:00 - 4:00 PM. Enrollment $20 for BTA members, $30 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723
Do you have a fancy new digital SLR, or even a digital point-and-shoot camera that you're eager to learn to use more effectively? Once-a-month photo workshops with Scottsdale artist Tom Boggan offer that chance all four seasons of the year at BTA.
See More Boyce Thompson Arboretum photography workshops Tom's once-a-month outdoor shoots help improve your camera skills on a relaxed outing surrounded by beautiful gardens and alongside a pro -- and with plenty of chances to ask questions about the dials, settings and controls on your own camera. Learn basic photography skills including composition, lighting, white balance and aperture-exposure.
Pro photographer Tom Boggan has a talent for portraits and a passion for nature photography, and he generously volunteers by dedicating a day each month to be here helping our visitors hone their camera skills. Workshops with Tom are limited to eight students. Pre-payment of $30 is required ($20 for BTA annual members). Enroll by phone, have your credit card ready and call our staff at 520-689-2723. View other workshop images on the Tom Boggan Arboretum Flickr Gallery

Camera Class: Digital Photo Post-Processing Basics With Rim DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
10 AM. $20 BTA members or $30 nonmembers
with a credit card ready call 520-689-2723

OK, you have pictures in your camera -- now what? If you've wanted to learn to easily and efficiently download, organize and archive your JPG or RAW files -- including basic digital imaging skills such as resizing, cropping and simple editing, East Valley photographer 'Rim' Vidziunas offers a two-hour Saturday afternoon workshop in post-processing and work-flow April 30, Wednesday from 10am til noon. A bargain at $20 for BTA members ($30 for nonmembers) this workshop will cover skills such as transferring RAW or JPGs from camera-to-computer to basic image archiving, work-flow, resizing and basic photo editing. Bring your laptop - this will be a hands-on class; no camera required. Rim will also discuss and demonstrate basic functions of popular software ranging from Adobe Photoshop Elements to Lightroom.Read More About this Photography Class

Painting With Light Nighttime Photo Shoot Date to be announced
from 6:00-8:00 p.m. $40; call 520-689-2723 to prepay and enroll

Preview our unique nocturnal Painting With Light Photo Workshopson YouTubeand see links to photo galleries on our ourBTA photo classes page. Few visitors get a chance to see the Drover's Shed, the old Dodge Power Wagon or our gardens lit quite as they will appear after dark on February 22, familiar plants and scenery rendered a candy-colored rainbow of colors after sunset by custom-made, high-power LED light boxes strategically placed and arranged by Phoenix artist and luminary John Aho. His painting-with-light nighttime shoots are limited to one dozen photographers, and the $30 fee for these special access evenings is a fundraiser for the Arboretum ( $40 for nonmembers). Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723 to reserve your spot; please make sure to spell out your email and give your current cell# or home phone to our clerks when you sign up so we can provide specific meeting/parking instructions just ahead of Saturday's shoot. If this class has filled when you call, make sure to leave your name, phone and email (again, please take a minute to spell it out so we have it right) so we can alert you to January-February shoots as dates are added to this calendar. See more of John's surreal nighttime scenes -- such as Superior Architecture, and these scenes from
scenes from Besich Park Downtown

Photo Class: 'Macros' With Paul Landau - DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED
$30 (or $39 non-members). call 520.689.2723
Look closely at the bright red larvae of a Pipevine Swallowtail; before the colorful caterpillar morphs into one of the blue-black butterflies commonly seen in our gardens, they have a beauty all their own - with intricate rows of dorsal spikes making them resemble an undersea creature more than a denizen of our Sonoran desert. The human eye can only look so close; Scottsdale photographer Paul Landau has learned to capture microscopic scenes with his camera, revealing compound eyes, antennae and patterns almost invisible to the human eye. During a unique photography workshop with Paul Landau on Sunday May 19, the artist will share techniques during an afternoon spent in search of tiny creatures and plants here, and photographing them along with 15 participants. "You'll probably be amazed to find out what your camera can do," predicts Landau. "Even the simplest 'point-and-shoot' digital cameras have close-up capabilities that reveal inner worlds of detail, iridescent green beetle wings, and the intensity of nature on a scale that's overlooked until you learn where to look - and how to see. One of the great things about macro photography is that my quarry is tiny - and often fairly easy to photograph once you know where to look for them. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is my favorite place, no question, to photograph vivid insects and flower blossoms, along with other natural phenomenon." Landau's photography was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Arboretum in 2012, where he taught a popular series of workshops specifically devoted to hummingbirds – and macros. See more of the artist's work at

Welcome Back Buzzards March _________ Saturday 7:00am-1:00pm
7am Vulture Viewing, 8:30am bird walk, 9am-1pm Live Animal And Bird Exhibit
September 20 brings the Autumn 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 'Bye-Bye Buzzards' seasonal send-off and continuing through evening hours with live music from 5-7p.m. Read more in our E-newsletter. The afternoon includes a Scorpion lecture from 3:00-4:30, music 5-6:30pm, then a black-light scorpion walk after 7:00pm. Its all included with adult admission of $10; free to BTA annual members and AZ state parks pass-holders. The Arboretum opens at 6:00; arrive by 7:00 for the 7am special opening Saturday 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 the 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. 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 a 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

2014 Dates To Be Announced : Members-Only Event After Hours Live Music & Moth Night
gate reopens Saturday to BTA members for a special live Music and "Moth Night" 5:00pm - 9:00pm
complete event details are posted at
You're not among our members yet, and want to attend? Call during daytime business hours 8am-5pm to purchase membership by credit card and over the phone. 520.589.2723.

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

Culinary Presentation with Chef Eric of Tall Order Catering - Date To Be Announced
at 1:00 p.m.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum members Eric Naddy & Terri Farrington own Tall Order Catering; they had so much fun helping out with our September pomegranate classes at BTA that they've enlisted as volunteers. Sunday November 25 they will be set up near the Herb Garden and our weekend festival site, continuing their informal series of culinary classes designed to spotlight seasonal vegetables or fruits: roasted pumpkin and cream cheese soup with rosemary; possibly also roasted tomato bisque with creme fraiche. Got recipe questions? Or suggestions for December-January-February workshops they should offer at the Arboretum? 'Friend-up' at, or email queries to the Tall Order Chefs via

Boyce's Beer - Desert Homebrewing Class - date TO BE ANNOUNCED
12:00 - 3:00 p.m.
$25 for Arboretum members, $34 nonmembers
email [ ] to be on our waiting list for alerts to the date scheduled
Chandler father-and-son brewers Pete and Greg Rendek return to the Arboretum by popular demand for a home-brewing class featuring ingredients derived from desert plants. Boyce Thompson Arboretum has earned a reputation for innovative classes teaching visitors to harvest and prepare prickly pear cactus fruits, process promegranates and mill mesquite flour. On a date to be announced, enrollees will learn to make a batch of home-brewed 'Holiday Beer' when the Rendeks lead a 12-3pm workshop showing beginning brewers how to brew a five-gallon batch of holiday vanilla porter using native mesquite flour. Have a credit card ready and call 520-689-2723. Better known at the Arboretum for his popular series of photography classes, Pete has been home-brewing for several years with his son Greg; together they've crafted a variety of tasty ales, porters, weissbiers -- and, most recently, a great prickly pear IPA using juice from cactus fruit harvested in Superior. Their workshop will run from noon to 3pm. Class will
be held in the ramada in the Children's Garden; proceeds raised are a fundraiser for the Arboretum - a registered nonprofit. For non-members, the $34 fee includes Arboretum admission, so Pete & Greg advise enrollees to arrive earlier that morning and enjoy the gardens, get a late breakfast or lunch in nearby Superior before the afternoon session, and enjoy a fine October day. "This workshop's designed for anyone who has been wanting to take the plunge and begin brewing your own beer, we'll have basic equipment on hand and will give a discussion of ingredients as well as different brewing styles, techniques, and the equipment needed to get started," said Pete.

Australia Day Tours January 2015 -- and Didgeridoo Jam
2015 Date To Be Announced
The howling, growling, haunting Aboriginal sound of the didgeridoo is showcased at the Arboretum, which has a forest of massive Australian red gum and eucalyptus trees. Why have Australian trees in the Sonoran Desert? Learn more on a guided tour lead by Paul Chambers (owner of the Australian Outback Nursery in Tonopah). Did those beer commercials make you want to learn How To Speak Australian? Check out that link with Dingo Lingo tips! Didge players, and folks who own a didge but never learned the technique of "circular breathing" to play it, are invited to join Musician Bernie Haley for an informal didge jam session (Time To Be Announced) in the lecture room. For details or to sign-up, Call Bernie at 250. 927. 5544, or e-mail him at Haley will also offer a concert open to all visitors that afternoon from (Time To be Announced) outdoors beneath the Eucalyptus trees if the weather is clement -- or in our lecture room of the Smith Building if the event of rain or excessive cold. Read more about this event