Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Boyce Thompson Arboretum

It's been a pleasure writing about this place and I hope many of you get to go and visit.  Right now it can be hot, so bring a hat and some water with you.  Also bring sunscreen as there are parts of the trail that are sunny and exposed to our intense desert sun. 

 First off, some of you may wonder what an Arboretum is....

The dictionary definition: a place where trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants are cultivated for scientific and educational purposes. The short answer is always "it's like a museum for trees." Arboreta and Gardens collect plants as a museum collects artifacts, not only to study them but to preserve them. Each tree, shrub and herbaceous plant chosen for BTA gardens and grounds is the museum equivalent of a work of art.  In our region of fractured ecosystems and declining genetic diversity, the soul of BTA is an educational and research station for desert crops and how they'll be integrated into sustainable crops for future generations. You will really see the fractured ecosystem if you come to the Arboretum from Tucson to Globe.  Mining has scarred some of the towns around the areas of Globe and Superior.  Ironically, William Boyce Thompson, the man who founded the Arboretum, was a miner himself.

There are many trails at the Arboretum and ALL are lovely.  They are easy to maneuver and I rate them as a 1 or 2 level for difficulty.   The "High Trail" is a bit more challenging as you have to climb rocky stairs, but it's quiet with a breeze.  Perfection for you birders:)  Pack a lunch and sit under the many ramadas/trees at their plentiful picnic tables.

Another thing that I like about this place is that you can bring your dogs.  I don't have a dog, but it was fun seeing everyone walking them.  Just make sure you clean up after them and remember that they must be on a leash no longer than 6 feet and under the physical control of the owner.  No smoking is allowed inside the Arboretum, but if you do smoke, you may do so in the parking lot.  If you have to smoke, please don't throw your cig butts on the grounds as you can spark a grass fire faster than you can say, "HOLY #$@&!" And then you'll probably end up in jail on top of it.  My advice and opinion...stop smoking and wasting your money:)

Remember to not take anything off the grounds, but DO bring your camera for A LOT of fantastic shots.  Here is what I will say about the water situation.  There isn't any AT ALL around the park so bring your own.  They do sell small bottles of water in the gift shop at around 75 cents.  If you are 6'2" like I am, you'll need to buy at least 3-4 to get around the park comfortably during this time of year.

One of the many types of ice plants you'll see at the entrance of the park.

I took many of these pics in March when the plants were coming back from a difficult winter.  The prickly pear is extra purple after a cold winter.  Every month the Arboretum hosts themed events.  This month, May, they had sessions related to Migratory Birds.  For summer, the Arboretum offers specialty guided walks and tours.  They offer walks, tours, classes, and lectures free with admission which was around 8 dollars.

   The Boyce Thompson Arboretum
37615 U.S. Hwy 60, Superior, AZ 85173

                                                                  Phone (520)689-2723

The above information is there to help you. I'm not going to lie. This place should not have been so difficult to find. The first time we passed it while the second, I had doubts that I was driving in the right direction. However, I'm a guy who didn't bring the directions and just started driving eating a breakfast burrito from a place in Florence. Until next time, happy adventures!!!

1 comment:

Thanks for stopping by!