Monday, January 21, 2013
Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum
Arizona has many amazing museums all across our wonderful state. Close the top of that list must truly be the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum near Tucson. If you get a chance, be sure you visit this Arizona wonder!
The Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum, just west of downtown Tucson, is a world-class zoo, botanical garden, natural history museum and desert research and education center located on 98 acres of lush Sonoran Desert land. As spring wildflowers are once again exploding all across the Sonoran Desert, March is just the perfect time to visit this one-of-a-kind Arizona treasure.
Founded in 1952 by friends William H. Carr and Arthur Pack the museum’s mission has always been to “inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.” Since its beginning the Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum has been regularly recognized as one of the top 10 zoological parks in the world.
This outdoor facility is a unique museum but with the coming together of an amazing collection of plant, animal and geological features with the “goal of making the Sonoran Desert accessible, understandable and treasured.”
Located 12 miles from downtown Tucson by way of beautiful Gates Pass, the museum is home to over 2,700 animals and an estimated 72,000 plants found on the museum’s grounds. Over 14,400 rocks and minerals specimens are also a part of the museum collection including 2,068 fossils. In addition, the museum’s botanists and zoologists study and care for 175 species of plants and animals considered endangered.
There are now 2 miles of paved paths that lead visitors to some of the most environmental sensitive enclosures found in the zoological world. As one explores the many environments, the lucky visitor often comes face-to-face with ocelots, gila monsters, mountain lions, red-tailed hawks and more. On a beautiful day in March, visitors can spend hours strolling the pathways while watching and photographing the animals of the Sonoran Desert.
Yet the Sonoran Desert Museum offers more to the people of Arizona than just botanical and zoological observing. The museum is also home to The Center for Sonoran Desert Studies that conducts the educational and scientific activities of the museum. From docent education and training to school outreach programs, the center’s staff is teaching citizens of all ages about the uniqueness and beauty of their desert home.
The center’s scientific staff is world-renowned botanists and zoologists whose research projects bring understanding, stewardship and conservation to the land and people of the Sonoran Desert.
Museum tours offered by the center’s knowledgeable staff take guests to the far outreaches of the 55 million acre Sonoran Desert to enjoy such natural adventures as whale watching along the Baja coast, to exploring the deciduous tropics considered the grandmother of the Sonoran Desert near Colonial Alamos in the Sierra Madre of Old Mexico, to the harvesting of cholla buds and so many more.
In the 1990s the Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum began to produce a television series called “The Desert Speaks.” It is produced by the Tucson PBS affiliate and is broadcasted weekly on local PBS stations. If you can’t make it to the Arizona – Sonora Desert Museum, watching this weekly show will bring the museum right into your living room.
So plan a trip to Tucson and spend a day at the Arizona - Sonora Desert Museum. It will be a most enjoyable and educational trip for the whole family.
Here is a link - http://www.desertmuseum.org/