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Desert Botanical Garden Turns 85

Over the years, you’ve watched Desert Botanical Garden transform and grow. Now, as we celebrate our 85th anniversary, the Garden is excited for what the future holds and wants to recognize what we have accomplished.  In 1939, a small group of passionate local citizens saw the need to conserve the beautiful desert environment. The group was led by Swedish botanist Gustaf Starck, who found like-minded residents by posting a sign that read “Save the Desert” with an arrow pointing to his home. With the support of social influencers of the time, like Gertrude Divine Webster, the Garden was established  More than eight decades later, Desert Botanical Garden has blossomed from a dream into a living museum that attracts more than half a million visitors a year. In addition to boasting 50,000 desert plants, the Garden has been a pioneer in research and conservation, with an emphasis on Sonoran Desert native plants. As we commemorate 85 years of local-to-global work to help save cactus and exciting art, cultural and educational offerings for our guests, the Garden is well rooted to be here for generations to come.  This 85th year is sure to be exciting with the opening of the Christensen Family Desert Oasis Garden later this year, a new artist experience tied to Las Noches de las Luminarias in the fall of 2024 and so much more.  I’d like to thank the Garden staff, volunteers, members and donors for making the Garden a place we all can be proud of. Please join us in celebrating our anniversary this February and throughout 2024! For more information visit