Monday, February 2, 2015

Desert plants star at Yuma Conservation Garden

Duck pond at Yuma Conservation Garden
Vegetation from the Lower Sonora Desert fills 28 acres along one of Yuma, Arizona’s, major streets. The Yuma Conservation Garden also has a nice collection of antique farm machinery and a large pond filled with swimming ducks and geese.

The garden got its start in the 1950s, and was taken over by the Yuma, Laguna and Wellton-Mohawk Valley Natural Resource Conservation Districts in 1987. The garden’s mission is to encourage environmental education that involves protection of the area’s natural resources.

Dirt and gravel trails take visitors around the garden, which includes a variety of cactus from the U.S. and Mexican sides of the Sonora Desert. The list of cacti includes the saguaro, cholla, prickly pear and pine cone.

Though the garden is in an urban setting, visitors may see long-tailed lizards, rabbits, coyotes, roadrunners and night hawks. The garden also has a resident desert tortoise, the 75-pound Baloo.

Yuma Conservation Garden
The centerpiece of the garden, however, is the pond where visitors can sit on benches and watch a variety of geese and ducks swim by; waterfowl are a mixture of wild and domestic. Tall palm trees surround the pond, creating a relaxing view.

The garden has been designated an urban wildlife area by both the state Land, and Fish and Game departments.

As an educational center, the garden hosts upwards of 5,000 students every year. It is certified by the Arizona Department of Education for students in kindergarten through the 12th grade.

The garden is located next to the Pima County Fairgrounds at 2520 E. 32nd Street. It is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays November through April. Admission is free.

More photos of Yuma Conservation Garden can be seen on my Youtube channel,

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