This summer, enjoy early morning hikes at Arizona’s oldest botanical garden. Get Tickets Now!

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Our mission

The mission of Boyce Thompson Arboretum is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of desert plants, wildlife, and ecosystems through education, research and conservation.”

With the addition of the Wallace Desert Garden, Boyce Thompson Arboretum (BTA) now holds collections of desert plants from the United States, Mexico, Australia, Madagascar, India, China, Japan, Israel, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Mediterranean, and the Arabian Peninsula—all told 4,025 taxa and 20,000 plants within 135 acres of gardens. Situated on 372 acres of scenic upland Sonoran Desert with nearly five miles of trails, BTA is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden and one of Arizona’s top tourism sites.

Our History

BTA was founded in 1924 by William Boyce Thompson, a mining magnate who understood the importance of plants as the ultimate source of our survival and well-being. That legacy continues today as the Arboretum offers tours, classes and events, bringing a wide community together in appreciation of the astounding diversity of its growing collection.

Every visit supports research and environmental education, and directly benefits the mission and success of Boyce Thompson Arboretum.

With missions devoted to public education, study, research and conservation, botanical gardens and arboreta play an important role in saving the world’s plant species and making them known, understood and appreciated by the public.

Deserts are biodiversity hotspots. Deserts may seem harsh and inhospitable, but in reality, they contain a fragile ecosystem of plants and animals adapted to thrive under difficult conditions. Arid land environments are especially vulnerable to climate change, human activity and human exploitation. Gardens are important repositories for harboring, cultivating, and studying the plant life of these threatened ecosystems.

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Member’s Magazine

Members enjoy Boyce Thompson Arboretum’s glossy, quarterly magazine full of beautiful, full-color photos, gardening tips, and BTA news. Subscriptions are also available for non-members.
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Man n the garden lifting tree branches with a rake

BTA Staff & Board of Directors

Boyce Thompson Arboretum employs a professional staff and, as a private nonprofit institution, is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors.
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