Monday, November 23, 2009
Tohono Chul Park Tucson Arizona
My family has been in Tucson Arizona a few days visiting family and it has been great to feel the heat of the the sun. My mother in law and I visited a really neat place today called Tohono Chul Park in Tucson. Tohono is a Native American tribe name of the region...Tohono O'odham Nations. It is only about five minutes from my brother in laws house which is really great because it was recently named one of the top ten botanical gardens in the world. I had never visited this park before and thought it was just awesome. It is located in the city which makes it even more special because it is a mini oasis amongst tons of homes, businesses and convenient stores. Living in the mountains we never get to see all of the cool desert plants such as agave, cholla cactus, saguaro cactus, ocotillo, palo verde trees and so much more!
The history of this place is quite interesting. We talked to a volunteer at the park and she told us that a family named Wilson owned 39 acres of land here for many years. They were offered a truckload of money to sell to a development company that wanted to build a strip mall. They turned down the offer and decided to turn the property into a non profit park. Teaching people how to preserve the fragile Sonoran Desert was much more important than the lure of money. This was an incredible decision because it has turned into a wonderful park that people from all walks of life can visit and learn from. Plus at the same time this family has a legacy they can leave for their children and generations to come. Such a gift to give....
I would say it is worth a stop if you are ever in Tucson. They have a tea room where they serve "high tea" and they also have an excellent lunch menu using local organic produce. There is a wonderful children's garden area, performance garden, art exhibit area, gift shop and much more. They also have "Holiday Nights" coming up here for a couple of weekends at the end of November and first of December showcasing music, lights, hot cider and holiday fun!
It was a lot of fun to check out a new spot in Tucson. I have been here many times before and I have to admit it is growing on me. I know I wouldn't survive in the summer but in the spring, fall and winter it is just lovely.
Here is a photo of the typical desert scene in Tucson....saguaro cactus, prickly pear and many more poky plants! By the way...we had a prickly pear lemonaid at lunch and it was super refreshing and interesting to try. Next time I will try the Prickly Pear Margarita! Are you up for it girls?
Until next time....Anne