|Board bus 1:00 PM for an hour-long driving exploration of the city of Tucson. Your group leader will be your guide.|
Arrive at approximately 2:00 PM at the first of two Tucson nurseries, where you'll begin to learn about the adaptive characteristics of plants that do well in desert climates. First you'll visit Mesquite Valley Growers, specializing in shade trees, house plants, cacti and succulents - and a huge selection of citrus trees. Next we'll take you to Desert Survivors, a native plant nursery is located on the banks of the Santa Cruz River in Tucson. They grow well over 400 species of bioregional plants and have chosen to define bioregional as plants which are native to within 500 miles of Tucson. This allows them to grow plants from the Sonoran Desert, Chihuahuan Desert, and Mohave Desert, although their primary focus is on plants native to southern Arizona. Over the years, plants of various desert origin have been offered at Desert Survivors, but they now have decided to grow only plants indigenous to our region. As Arizona is the 3rd most biodiverse state in the United States, the nursery is not at a loss of species to choose from. In fact, over 600 species are native to the Tucson Mountains, over 1,000 species are native to the Rincon Mountains and over 1,250 species are native to the Santa Catalina Mountains. All are found within 50 miles of the Nursery, not to mention the rest of southern Arizona. Desert Survivors Native Plant Nursery also feels that is important to being as ecologically sensitive as possible, and thus they use organic gardening practices and only certified organic fertilizers, herbicides and fungicides in the production and maintenance of the plants that grown onsite. The bus will return to the hotel at approximately 5:15 PM.