Volunteer at Mission Garden

Volunteer at Mission Garden

See events taking place at Presidio de Tucson, our partner organization

We ask that you wear masks when entering our beautiful and healthy four-acre outdoor setting, where physical distancing is easy. Visit Pima County Health Department COVID-19 page for other details on staying safe. Statement on Mission Garden’s COVID-19 measures.

Unless otherwise noted, events are free with suggested $5 donation at the garden gate.


October – March, 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.
(April – September, Wednesday – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.)

Closed for the following 2020-21 holiday dates
November 26
December 25-26
January 1-2


Our shop carries shirts, hats, masks, books on history and gardening, and a variety of other products. We now also feature fertilizer, compost and mulch. A small range of trees, native shrubs and garden vegetable plants are available–this will be increased in the near future. Watch for special plant sales.


Tours of Mission Garden
Every Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m.

This 45-minute tour covers the whole garden, with information on Tucson’s history and about gardening in the Sonoran Desert. Group size limited to 10. First come, first served. Tours for small groups and families can be arranged at other times Wednesday through Saturday by contacting us at 520-955-5200 or

Monthly Mission Garden Bird Walk
Every Second Thursday at 8 a.m. (next is December 10)

Join a Mission Garden birder for a walk around the garden finding birds that probably have specialized in living in gardens on the Santa Cruz River floodplain for thousands of years. Great for beginning and intermediate birders.

Mindfulness class seating

Mindfulness class physically-distanced seating

Jennifer Knochel Mindfulness and Meditation Sessions
Every Tuesday at 9 a.m. starting October 27

Learn techniques for stress reduction in these tense times through mindfulness and meditation with expert and teacher Jennifer Knochel. Jennifer is a certified mindfulness facilitator through the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and is presently enrolled in an Eco-chaplaincy program. Eco-chaplains work to establish healthy, compassionate, and mutually supportive relationships with the natural world as a resource to meet contemporary environmental, social, and health crises with wisdom and compassion. Her teachings strive to include all people; presenting mindfulness practices in a secular/non-religious way.

This class taught on a donation basis. It is held in our ramada with physically-distanced seating. Masks are required in the garden. The garden is not open on Tuesdays except for this class, so please arrive promptly at 9 a.m. so that we can keep the gate closed and the garden secure during the class.

Food Preservation Class: Bichicori–Dried Squash
Friday December 4, 11am

Teachers: Dena Cowan & Jesús García
Food preservation and storage were key issues for folks reliant on a seasonal garden. A technique with a deep local history is bichicori–dried squash. This new class teaches you how to make this form of dried squash. A winter squash is peeled and hollowed, cut into a long strip and dried. Get a glimpse of this process in this Mission Garden video. The class includes a squash from Mission Garden and a recipe for how to use the dried squash. The class is limited to 10 people and is expected to last no more than 90 minutes. $40. Contact Kendall, (520) 955-5200 x2, to enroll.

Tohono O'odham arts event

Native American Arts Fair

Native American Arts Fair
Saturday December 5, 9am-2pm

Native American artists display and sell their baskets, ceramics, carvings, jewelry, clothing, paintings and more. About twenty-five vendor booths will be spread around the garden, at safe distances apart, with Tohono O’odham, Navajo, Yaqui, and Hopi artists. Do your Christmas shopping at Mission Garden! This event is free with your donation to the garden at the garden gate.

Holiday Ornament-making Workshop
December 12, 10am-2pm

Every year Mission Garden holds a workshop in which participants learn to make holiday ornaments from gourds, devil’s claw pods, and dried okra pods. This year we’re adding cornhusk dolls! This event is free with your donation to the garden at the garden gate.

Carlos Figueroa

Carlos Figueroa

Corn Traditions and Tortilla-making Demonstration
December 12, 10am-2pm

Sky Antone and Maegan Lopez, of the Tohono O’odham Nation,  will talk about traditions associated with the O’odham 60-day corn that we grew in the garden this summer. Sky is author of a blog called Stories from My Stomach.

Carlos Figueroa of Maiz Tucson will demonstrate steps it takes to get from the hard corn kernels of that 60-day corn, to warm, tasty tortillas made from the corn. Carlos will describe all the steps from seed to tortilla with practical examples on hand of each part of the process. The demonstration ends as he presses tortillas and puts them on the comal to cook! Carlos and Mission Garden are collaborating to introduce heirloom varieties of corn into the process and to provide Tucson with the best corn tortillas possible. Come see the process and taste the resulting tortillas.


September 28 – October 5, 2021
A 7-day tour to benefit Mission Garden. Experience Oaxaca on a cultural jouirney with Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace. Tour includes: Jardin Botanico, Monte Alban, Teotitlan del Valle, Cuajimoloyas nature reserve, Mitla, Tlacolula, Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, El Tule, local markets, carving and weaving workshops, art exhibitions, artisanal mescal palenque. Trip includes trasportation (including air fare), lodging, breakfasts and lunches, 3 dinners, expert guides. Cost: $3,800/person. Single supplement $300. Reserve your spot by contacting Dena Cowan at


dena-pomegranates2Teosinte 2squash 2ripening-grapes 2Figs cropped 2 - 2017


or (520) 955-5200