Guidelines for a Pleasant Visit-Information Release-History

Most Special Events Included With Admission
$10 for Adults, $5 for Ages 5-12

Summer Hours Resume May 1, Sunday
6 a.m. - 3 p.m. daily through Sept. 30
May brings the return of our summer schedule; now and every day through September 30 the Arboretum is open daily from 6:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m; admission is taken until 2:00 pm. No visitors are admitted after 2:00, so our final visitors have one full hour to walk the gardens and trails.

National Public Garden Day Friday, May 6 - Free Admission
coupon required - see link below
Here's a great way you can help promote the Arboretum to friends, neighbors and co-workers who haven't visited: forward the link below or post it on your Facebook and let 'em know they can obtain a coupon to visit free on Friday, May 6, when BTA offers free admission to coupon-carrying visitors on national Public Gardens Day. Without the coupon, admission is the regular $10 for adults or $5 for ages 5-12. Follow the link below to obtain your free coupon from the Public Gardens Association:

Main Trail Guided Walk May 7 and May 21
9:00 am
Arizona State Parks Volunteer Jim Shepherd guides a walk showcasing the beauty of Arizona's oldest Arboretum, nestled against Picket Post Mountain. Increase your understanding of plants and trees from around the world with an emphasis on flora of the Sonoran Desert. Find out about the history of the park, its founder, and his famous mantion on the ridge of volcanic rock. Tours depart from the visitor center at 9:00 am and are included with daily admission $10 -- free to BTA annual members, and also free if you have an Arizona State Parks pass. Our Summer schedule returned May 1 and hours are now be 6:00 am to 3:00 pm daily through September 30. read more in our E-newsletter

Dragonfly Walks May 7 , June 4 , July 2
8:30 AM
Dragonfly enthusiasts Justin Jones and Roger Racut guide our once-a-month odonate excursion interpreted walking tours to Ayer Lake and garden water features -- a chance to learn about these beautiful, fascinating insect predators. Bring your camera because Roger safely nets a few dragonflies for visitors to view and photograph close-up, before releasing the insects unharmed. Check out colorful photos and read more about Flame Skimmers, Blue Dashers and Mexican Amberwings at this excellent website launched by ASU Professor Pierre Deviche:

Girl Scout Badge Workshops May 7, 14 and 28
$10 per scout, $10 per adult chaperone - call 520.689.2723 to pre-register and prepay

Girl Scout badge workshops continue with the 'Senses' activity for Brownies May 7, 'Wood Worker' for Cadettes May 14 and the 'Arizona' patch for Brownies May 21

May 8 Mother’s Day Camera Classes: Camera Basics #1 and #2
A truly thoughtful, unique gift for mother’s day > eEnroll mom (or your wife, aunt, daughter or sister) in either of three camera classes that will be offered by popular instructor Lisa Langell. Abbreviated descriptions are below; enroll online and read more complete class itineraries at
Cell phone photography May 7 learn composition tricks, basic settings - and how to make better use of available light so you can take better photos with your most available of all cameras -- your smart phone camera! Read class times and specific details at the link above
May 8 Sunday Morning Camera Basics I: a 3-hour class in manual exposure settings such as aperture, shutter speed & ISO. Lisa employs a warm, friendly, supportive approach during an indoor class that introduces you to the most basic three settings that help control exceptional photography. Learn these settings and artistic effects they can create such as depth-of-field, ‘bokeh,’ motion-blur, stopping action & more. Most time will be spent in the lecture room, but class will end with a short in-the-field exercise to strengthen and apply your skills – before the morning heats up too much.
May 8 Sunday Afternoon Beyond Camera Basics II: from 1-4pm. Building on the skills learned in level 1 (see above), this class covers proper use of ISO and manual settings (shutter speed, aperture and ISO combined). Learn to take complete control of your camera and photography from an artistic perspective. Class begins with lecture room indoor time and ends with in-the-garden exercises to strengthen and apply your skills. Enrollees should have completed Lisa’s ‘Camera Basics #1’ or a comparable class prior to this – or be confident as intermediate photographers who know the basics covered in her AM class listed above.
Enroll online via Lisa’s website

Learn Your Lizards Guided Walks May 14 and June 11 -- also July and August
with 'Wild Man Phil' Rakoci at 8:00 a.m.
This entertaining guided tour around the gardens is not just for kids -- our popular Lizard Walks are for all who enjoy Arizona's most common, colorful and charismatic little reptiles. Casa Grande outdoor educator 'Wild Man Phil' Rakociis our special guest tourguide. Daily hours move to the summer schedule May 1; during May we're open 6:00am to 3:00 pm and the start time for this walk is 8:00 am May 14 and again June 11.
connect with Wild Man Phil on Facebook
Walks continue July 9 with Arizona Game & Fish Department reptile researcher Dan Leavitt and Tucson author Larry Jones ("Lizards of the American Southwest"). Our walks on August 13 and also September 10 feature Arizona Audubon naturalist Steven Prager, Dan Leavitt & Jamie Wisenall. There's no additional fee to attend Lizard walks and other nature tours here, and no pre-registration necessary, just be in our Visitor Center breezeway at start time. See photos and read more
Arrive early and explore - during Summer months from May-through-September BTA opens at 6:00am.

Tree Tour May 15 and again June 19
at 8:00 am
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.

Plants of the Bible Land Guided Walk Saturday May 21 at 8:00 am
tour moves to 8:00 a.m. start time May 21, June 18, July 16, August 20
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. Arboretum volunteer tourguide Dave Oberpriller leads this tour to learn about palms, pomegranates, figs, olives, and other plants of the Bible Land. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a hat, bring sunscreen and water bottle. The tour, conducted at a leisurely pace, lasts about 90 minutes and proceeds along wheelchair-accessible paths. Check out a few Plants of the Bible Lands on Facebook. 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

Edible - Medicinal Desert Plants Walk Guided By David Morris May 22, Sunday
8am May 22 and also June 26
Explore our Curandero Trail on a one-hour walk guided by Choctaw Nation member and ethno-botanist David Morris on May 22 and also June 26. learn about prickly pear cacti, ratany, agaves, jojobas -- and the ways native plants have fed, healed and clothed Sonoran desert peoples for more than one thousand years. Daily hours move to the summer scheduled of 6am-3pm from May-through-September, and this tour moves to an 8:00 am start time May 22 and June 26. ** Please note: this guided 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

LightRoom 5 Users Group Sunday - May 22
9:00 - 11:00 AM in the Smith Building Lecture Room
Photographers and digital photo editing enthusiasts 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 organizers and read more complete details on our Photo Class Page

Geology walking tour May 28 with Rich Leveille
** 8:00 am geology walk -- please note that tour moves to a Summer 8:00 am May 28 and June 25
Learn about rocks and volcanic formations along our main trail on a guided tour with professional geologist Rich Leveille on May 28 starting at 8:00 am. This 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. June 25 our guide is Scott McFadden, then July 23 Rich Leville returns. Another engaging BTA geology tour guides is ASU Professor Steve Semken

May 28 Guided Butterfly Walk with Marceline VandeWater
9:00 AM; then June 25 at 9:00 am with ASU Professor Ron Rutowski & Laura Miller
Marceline VandeWater leads Arboretum guests on a walking tour to see, photograph and learn about colorful species ranging from Empress Leilia to Queen, Spring Azure and more. This relaxed and slow-moving walk explores our Hummingbird-Butterfly Garden, Demonstration Garden and Children's Garden collections. ASU Professor Ron Rutowski and Laura Miller lead the walk at 8:30am June 25. Start time remains 8:30 a.m. July 23 with Marceline VandeWater as guide, and also 8:30am on August 27 with Adriane Grimaldi ; she's also our guide September 24 when the start time moves to 9:00 am.

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Basics June 4, Saturday
9:00 - 11:00 AM

$20 for BTA members, $30 nonmembers. Call 520-689-2723 daytime business hours to enroll and prepay You’ve got great camera gear and a great eye for interesting shot -- this class introduces a popular software tool which can take your photography to the next level. Lightroom delivers essentials so you can organize, perfect, and share your images—quickly, easily, and powerfully—wherever you are. Basics in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Workshop will be taught by 'Rim' Vidziunas To register and pre-pay, have a credit card ready and call gift shop staff at 520.689.2723 during daytime business hours.

Guided Bird Walk Summer Dates : June 18
6:30 A.M. Our resident Northern Cardinals were among dozens of species seen and heard around the gardens this week -- Read bird checklist reports and join us for a birdwalk June 18 guided by Mark Ochs and starting at 6:30 am; revisit this page for additional Summer dates To Be Announced.

Camera Basics -- Photography With Sue Tatterson - Date To Be Announced
email to be added to waiting list for next date
Spend a couple hours learning camera basics from Gold Canyon artist Sue Tatterson; her beginners’ classes are a bargain at $30 for an afternoon's worth of instruction -- and participants have heaped praise on her relaxed, low-key instructional style. Kimberly described Sue as a “great teacher with knowledge and enthusiasm. Thoroughly enjoyed her class!” While Marge wrote: “She’s easy to work with, extremely helpful, fun and interesting,” and Richard saidshe’s “a natural teacher and a delight to spend time with in the field.” Enrollment includes Arboretum daily admission, so you can arrive early and spend the morning practicing around the gardens and grounds, get lunch in nearby town of Superior - and hone your skills that afternoon with coaching from Sue.
Read a more complete class description

Sunday History Walk - Date To Be Announced
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 -- read more

Book Club meets on a DATE TO BE ANNOUCED
Friday at 9:00 a.m.
Our BTA book club showcases a new title each month, with a lively discussion group. Attendance at our once-a-month meetup is included with $10 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). And each month's book is available in our gift shop. Stop by this week for your copy or order a copy by mail, have a credit card ready and call 520.689.2723. RSVP that you plan to attend the book club meeting, please email meeting coordinator Vicki

Home School Day Tours Fall, Winter Spring DATES TO BE ANNOUCED
for details email Lacey at
Guided tours offered to public school groups are also available to home-schoolers on special Fall-Winter dates, ranging from $2 - $10 per person; and with themes ranging from geology to edible-medicinal desert plants, the Arizona tour, and our popular Plants of the Bible Lands day. Pre-registration is required; for more complete descriptions of each day, or to be added to our email list for the 2016-2017 schedule, contact education coordinator lacey at with this as your subject line:
Home School Days at BTA