Volunteer at Mission Garden

Volunteer at Mission Garden

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

Mission Garden is a beautiful and healthy four-acre outdoor setting, where physical distancing is easy. Please wear a mask, and 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.


Through the end of January 2021 Mission Garden and partner organization Presidio de Tucson are collecting donations for refugees. They can be dropped off at Mission Garden or the Presidio when open. Specifically, they are looking for donations of toiletries, cleaning supplies, warm clothing, blankets, and ponchos. Items can be dropped off without close contact with other people, either by leaving them on the porch of the Mission Garden Education Building, or at the front gate with the greeter there.


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 February 11)

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 10 a.m., changing back to 9a.m. starting January 5

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.

Local Heritage Fruit Trees and Backyard Propagation Techniques
Saturday February 13, 10am – 2pm FULL–PLEASE SIGN UP FOR FEB 27
Saturday February 27, 10am – 2pm SIGN UP HERE

$65. Class will be limited to 10 people. When February 13 fills, a second class will be scheduled on February 27. Bring your own sack lunch. COVID-safe, socially distanced seating will be provided. Propagation materials provided by Mission Garden.
This class has been expanded and improved from previous years. Agroecologist and ethnobotanist Jesús García teaches the origins of Mission Garden’s heirloom fruit trees, how to prune them, and how to propagate new trees from the cuttings. Learn all about the unique heritage fruit trees of the Sonoran Desert region, and simple propagation techniques you can use at home to grow your own favorite heirloom fruit trees. Course/workshop includes:
1. Introduction to the Kino Heritage Fruit Trees Project
2. Basic pruning and vegetative propagation techniques
3. Overview of grafting methods
4. Free Mission Garden heritage fruit tree cuttings and hands-on vegetative propagation practice (take home some potted-up cuttings to grow in the backyard)
Pruning and propagation are age-old techniques to keep trees healthy and productive, and to grow new trees faster than they would grow from seed. The survival of the lineage of fruit trees brought by European missionaries in the 18th century is, in part, due to expertise in pruning and propagation handed down generation after generation. You can help carry this knowledge into the future. All class members will take home some cuttings to grow.
Jesús García has degrees in education and ecology, is a Research Associate at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, and is a member of the board of Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace.


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


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or (520) 955-5200