Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$12.50 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

July-August-September Hours Daily from 6:00 - 3:00 > no entry after 2:00
Summer hours continue daily through September 30.
The Arboretum is open 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with no entry after 2:00

Dragonfly Walk July 22, Sunday
Observe the remarkable aerobatics of dragonflies and learn about their fascinating life-cycle on a Sunday morning stroll guided by Maricopa Audubon Program Director Laurie Nessel. Her walk is included with $12.50 daily admission ($5 for ages 5-12); and of course its free to BTA annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders.
"We will visit Ayer Lake, water features in the Legume Garden and Demonstration Garden -- maybe even Queen Creek, if the creek has surface water," said Nessel. She will also have copies of the field guide Common Dragonflies of the Southwest (by author Cathy Biggs) for $10; plus free copies of a simple species checklist for Boyce Thompson Arboretum compiled from Pierre Deviche's thorough website:
What should you wear, and bring? Laurie suggests wear comfortable walking shoes; sunscreen, a hat and clothes to protect you from the sun. Carry water and bring close-focus binoculars for the best close-up views of dragonflies. Meet at the visitor center breezeway at 7:30 a.m.

Geology Guided Walk with Phil St. George July 28
8:00 a.m.
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a tour with Phil St. George guides as your guide July 28. His lively tour 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 Semkenleads the August 25 walk. Two additional 'Rock Stars' among our guide cadre areprofessional geologist Scott McFaddenand retired senior exploration geologist Geologist Rich Leveille

Butterfly Walk July 28 with Ron Rutowski
8:30 a.m., and more walks August 25
Join us for a guided butterfly walk each month of the Spring and Summer -- a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. ASU Professor Ron Rutowski guides this walk July 28 and also August 25. His leisurely, slow-paced guided tour proceeds along paths that are wheelchair-accessible, exploring our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. Start time moves back to 9:00 a.m. September 22 when Adriane Grimaldi returns as guide; she is Butterfly Wonderland Education Coordinator. Start time is another half-hour later (9:30 a.m.) when Adriane teams-up with Gail Morris to lead the season finale walk October. 27

Friday Bird Walk August 3, Saturday Bird Walk August 18
6:30 a.m.
Engaging Friday bird walk guides Lisa & Peggy return August 3 and invite all who love birds to join their 6:30 a.m. walk. Beginners are welcome and so are kids (provided they’re accompanied by a parent or chaperone); and no binoculars are no problem - ask our friendly gift shop staff when you arrive and pay admission, loaners optics are available. BTA bird walks are a great way to get into birding, sharpen your skills and appreciate nature while outdoors getting some light exercise.
Arizona Game & Fish Department's Chrissy Kondrat-Smith leads a Saturday birdwalk August 18.
Read recent bird checklists at BTA’s hot-spot page on Ebird

Book Club Friday, August 3 African American Women of the Old West by Tricia Martineau Wagner
9:00 a.m.
Stopby our gift shop and get your copy of "African American Women of the Old West" by Tricia Martineau Wagner. Shaded benches around our main trail offer a great place to read on a Summer day beneath towering trees. The brave pioneers who made a life on the frontier were not only male—and they were not only white. The stories of ten African-American women are reconstructed from historic documents found in century-old archives. Some of these women were slaves, some were free, and some were born into slavery and found freedom in the old west. They were laundresses, freedom advocates, journalists, educators, midwives, business proprietors, religious converts, philanthropists, mail and freight haulers, and civil and social activists. These hidden historical figures include Biddy Mason, a slave who fought for her family's freedom; Elizabeth Thorn Scott Flood, a teacher determined to educate black children and aid them in leading better lives; mysterious Mary Ellen Pleasant, a civil rights crusader and savvy businesswoman. Even in the face of racial prejudice, these unsung heroes never gave up hope for a brighter future. Attendance at our once-a-month book club meetup is included with $12.50 daily admission if you're not already among our annual members, or don't have an AZ State Parks annual pass (and free, of course, to all who do). Stop by our gift shop this week to buy a copy or order the book by mail, have a credit card ready and call 602 . 827. 3000. RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email an RSVP to Vicki Johnson:

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Saturdays August 4 and September 1
8:00 a.m.
Learn the edible and medicinal uses of native desert plants on a walk along our Curandero Trail on a leisurely walk guided by Desert plants enthusiast Jim Shepherd. Expect a few tasting samples, too; Jim usually shares samplers of agave syrup, mesquite flour and prickly pear cactus fruit jelly with his guests -- while explaining ways that native plants such as prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves and jojoba have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Read more about desert plants in this profile of BTA guide and Ethno-botanist David Morris
* * * Please note: this guided tour explores the Curandero Trail, which has steep sections that are not suitable for visitors who use wheelchairs or walkersRead more about jojoba, creosote and prickly pears

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Saturdays August 4 and September 1
8:00 a.m.
Learn the edible and medicinal uses of native desert plants on a walk along our Curandero Trail on a leisurely walk guided by Desert plants enthusiast Jim Shepherd. Expect a few tasting samples, too; Jim usually shares samplers of agave syrup, mesquite flour and prickly pear cactus fruit jelly with his guests -- while explaining ways that native plants such as prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves

Bat Night with AZ Game & Fish (Members Only)
Saturday, August 4, from 7 p.m to 10 p.m.
$25 Spaces Limited -- Sign-up Online
Arizona is home to 28 species of bats, many of which live and forage here at the Arboretum. Arizona Game & Fish Department's World of Wonder program Aug. 4 is a special chance for 25 Arboretum members to see bats close-up and learn about these misunderstood, fascinating mammals. $25 registration per person raises money for wildlife viewing enhancements and opportunities statewide; live-streaming wildlife cameras such as the Whitewater Draw sandhill crane cam, peregrine nest cam, bald eagle nest cam, pupfish cam, bat roost cam -- and interpretive wildlife signs at viewing areas and on trails across the state. On August 4 the Arboretum will close at 3:00 p.m., re-opening at 6:30 for arrivals.
This is a members-only event, make sure to bring your BTA membership card to show for admission to the Arboretum for this special after-hours evening.
We'll meet in the picnic area at 7:00, where AZGF's Randy Babb will host an informal presentation about bat biology and ecology while waiting for the first captured bats to be brought near to be weighed, measured & photographed before being released. Programs are held throughout the state and are led by some the state's most experienced and knowledgeable naturalists.
The May 12 program is limited to 25; sign-up and prepay online:

Bird Walks & Workshops with Rick Wright August 6-8
6:30 a.m. ; other times Below
Specialized classes with and nature festival field trips with Rick Wright usually start at $30, so don't miss the chance to learn from this 'Ornithologist in Residence' Aug. 6-8 here at the Arboretum. The New Jersey author is donating his time to raise awareness of the Arboretum, and funds for the gardens. His early morning walks and specialized classes each day are included with $12.50 daily admission ($5 for ages 5-12); free to Arboretum annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders.
Rick Wright is well-known as a leader at Victor Emanuel Nature Tours and author of the American Birding Association's Field Guide to Birds of Arizona. He is the author of the American Birding Association’s field guides to birds of New Jersey, and of the Peterson Reference Guide to North American sparrows. Check out his website
Join the author for these:
Monday, Aug. 6 Bird Walk 6:30 to 8:30 am. “Join me for an early morning exploration of the birds of this desert oasis. We'll walk slowly on flat paths, pausing frequently to look at what we can expect to be a wide variety of breeders and migrants, from dazzling hummingbirds to rollicking woodpeckers and chats. We may also spend time just sitting at some of the park's water features -- letting the birds find us. Bring a notebook and pencil, a good hat and sunscreen, and plenty of water. After a break, join me in the Lecture room for "Figuring out the birds" – a presentation at 9:30 a.m.
Monday, Aug. 6 “Figuring Out the Birds” indoor workshop[ 9:30-11:00 am (no additional charge, included with $12.50 admission!). Join Rick Wright for a cool indoor look into the history of our favorite pastime. Where does all the knowledge in the bird books come from, and who first put it all together? And what can we learn ourselves by retracing the steps of our ornithological forebears? His informal workshop is included with $12.50 daily admission, and will teach you how to go beyond the field guides to get to know the people and the puzzles behind North American birding as we know it today.
Tuesday, Aug. 7: “Bird Sit” from 6:30 to 8:30 am. Don’t want to walk? Lets Sit and watch birds for two peaceful hours! We'll install ourselves at one of the park's irresistible water features, with convenient nearby parking – just a short walk, or wheelchair roll, away. We’ll wait for the birds to come to us, hoping for great views of Yellow and Lucy's Warblers, Anna's and perhaps Costa's Hummingbirds, Abert's Towhees, and Hooded Orioles; this time of year is always great for a surprise, too. Bring a notebook and pencil, a good hat and sunscreen, and plenty of water.
Tuesday, August 7: Sparrows?!? 9:30-11:00 am (no additional charge, included with $12.50 admission!)
The author of the Peterson Reference Guide to North American Sparrows, invites you for a cool indoor introduction to North America's most fascinating birds, the sparrows. Yes, the sparrows! They're not nearly as difficult and not nearly as dull as birderly tradition would have it. In addition to some identification secrets, we'll learn about the natural and human history of these birds. You'll never look at a sparrow the same way again.
Wednesday, August 8: Bird Walk 6:30 to 8:00 am. We'll walk slowly on flat paths, pausing frequently to look at what we can expect to be a wide variety of breeders and migrants, from dazzling hummingbirds to rollicking woodpeckers and chats. Bring a notebook and pencil, hat and sunscreen, and plenty of into

Learn Your Lizards - Guided Tours Saturday August 11, September 8
8:00 a.m.
Arizona lizards do comical pushups to display their blue bellies - attend a guided tour this summer to learn why these little reptiles have azure abs. Boyce Thompson Arboretum is an ideal place to observe native reptiles such as Tree, Side-blotched and Greater Earless Lizards while learning about their behavior and Sonoran Desert adaptations. Casa Grande outdoor educator Phil Rakoci is our special guest leader for Saturday walks August 11. The August outing is extra-special, because he's likely to be joined by Arizona Audubon wildlife biologists Steve Prager and Cathy Wise.
Guided lizard walks continue September 8 and September 29.
Read more about Lizard Walks

Carla Keaton ‘Paint & Wine’ Class Sundays August 12, Sepember 9
12:00 pm – 2:00 pm
$35 members, $47.50 non-members - with credit card ready call 602 . 827. 3000
> please note our new phone
number above
Take home your own unique painting of a hummingbird after Carla Keaton’s two-hour class for novice artists July 15; or enroll in future $35 classes to paint our Drover’s Wool Shed on Aug. 12 or the Outback Bridge over Silver King Wash Sept. 9. “Paint-and-Wine classes are loads of fun,” says Carla, “and Arboretum participants will learn to paint very simplified scenes from the arboretum, taking home with them a piece of memorabilia of their experiences in the lovely gardens.” Enrollment of $35 for Arboretum members and Az State Parks pass-holders includes art supplies to use during the session, plus two hours of coaching and encouragement from Carla Keaton. Nonmembers $47.50, which includes daily admission required to enter the Arboretum. Have a credit card ready and call Arboretum staff during daytime business hours (6am-3pm)
602 . 827. 3000.
Connect with Carla on Facebook call her at 480. 228. 1500 or email

Tree Tour August 19
8:00 a.m. > note new Summer start time for this Sunday once-a-month guided walk
Silviculturally-speaking, and since an Arboretum is by definition a living collection of trees - what guided tour could be more fitting than our once-a-month Trees Of The Arboretum guided walk? We invite those who love all things sylvan and want to learn more about trees to be here for a relaxed, slow-paced afternoon tour featuring Arboretum staffer certified Arborist Jeff Payneor else Miguel Hernandez, a chance to learn about trees both native to the Sonoran Desert and exotic, with a skilled professional's tips on tree care and horticulture.

Pictures From Our Past - Slideshow & History Talk Sunday September 2
10:00 a.m.
Phoenix historian and author Sylvia Lee guides monthly walking tours narrating nuggets of Arboretum history - and putting her anecdotes in perspective next to 1920s structures, and the very first trees planted here. Sylvia host another slideshow of vintage photos projected enlarged on a big screen - a chance to get better acquainted with Col. William Boyce Thompson and his Arboretum. This was also arranged for history fans who are physically unable to walk the 1.5 mile main trail. During an hour in our air-conditioned Lecture Room, Sylvia will show images of vintage historic structures and arboretum gardens while sharing her behind-the-scenes knowledge from spending the past decade researching the history of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.
READ MORE about arboretum history

Beginners Photography Workshop and Outdoor Shoot
September 16, at 9:00 a.m. -- also Sunday October 14 and November 18
Read more and RSVP by Email
or phone 480.319.2229
There's no separate fee to attend - these informal sessions are included with $12.50 daily admission; free to Arboretum annual members and Arizona State Parks pass-holders.
Valley photographers MiMi, Mark and Bob volunteer a day here at the Arboretum each month -- sharing their camera skills and coaching beginners.Read more in MiMi's E-news email to participants
The goal is to share a few basic camera lessons while photographing the gardens. These photo walks include time for participants to learn basic camera functions ranging from aperture and exposure to white balance. In addition, participants will be able to ask their specific questions answered in a supportive small groups, each with a friendly camera coach whose goal is to "put the fun in camera functions, and eliminate aspects of photography that can be intimidating to beginners."

Bye - Bye Buzzards Sunday September 23 - Sunday
7:00-8:30 Vulture Viewing with ASU Professor Dave Pearson
8:30-10:00 Guided Bird Walk with Dr. Pearson and Friends

September brings the Autumnal Equinox, observed by cultures from the ancient Greeks to Aboriginal Australians - at the Arboretum one sure sign of Fall is the annual departure of our seasonal resident flock of Turkey Vultures. Saturday September 23 we open at our usual 6:00 a.m., then at 7:00 a.m., join ASU Professor Dave Pearson near the Desert Legume Garden while he hosts an hour observing the big, black birds.
Events are included with adult admission of $12.50; free to BTA annual members and AZ state parks pass-holders. Arrive early for the 7am special Vulture Viewing Saturday to observe our famous flock of Turkey Vultures perched on the cliffs before they depart to spend their day soaring the skies; world-traveled ASU Professor
ASU Professor Dave Pearson will be the guest 'Vulture-ologist' stationed near the Desert Legume Garden from about 7:00 am until 8:30 "talking about TUVUs", sharing a few jokes 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 other guides will lead a bird walk through the gardens at 8:30 in search of other birds, mammals and crittersd

Acrylic Painting For Beginners and Intermediates
> call 602. 618. 3055 to RSVP and pre-register with Chuck

Ever wanted to try your hand with a brush and canvas -- or you just need to fine tune your skills? Enroll in a Fall or Winter acrylic painting class that accomplished local artist Chuck Davison will coach here. They're affordably priced at $35 for BTA members, and if need more encouragement to signup, here's what one happy painter said:
"We enjoyed Chuck's class and loved that it was held at our very favorite place: the Arboretum! Chuck is friendly and made the class fun. Because he allowed us the freedom to express our individual tastes through our paintings, we feel we brought home a unique piece of art...even though we all painted the same lizards. Friends and family are able to easily pick out who painted which lizard with the comment that they can tell because each lizard matches the personality of the artist."
Read more, and see a few of Chuck Davison's own paintings

DATE TO BE ANNOUNCED Sunset Live Music: ‘Handpan’ Percussion
If you love the sound of steel drums or marimba – just wait ‘til you hear the peaceful sound of ‘handpan’ drums on a date to be announced when East Valley recording artist Saggio shares his singular music here, just before sunset. Saggio loves to create music outdoors, surrounded by nature and beauty – and wanted to celebrate the season with Arboretum members and visitors. “I prefer to play informally, unplugged and improvising – to just be a part of the organic unfolding of the plant life as visitors make their way around, enjoying the gardens. I believe I have a beautiful unique sound to share, and I want to complement the natural beauty of the arboretum, not upstage it.”
Saggio’s new CD ‘Tree of Life’ will be available for purchase, too. Read more about Saggio and his dedication to the healing power of percussion and music at