Desert Botanical Garden Opens Hazel Hare Center For Plant Science

February 28, 2017


Dana Terrazas – Director of Marketing 
Phone: 480 481.8101

Desert Botanical Garden Opens Hazel Hare Center For Plant Science

March 4 & 5, 2017

Phoenix, AZ –The new 85,000 square foot horticulture campus featuring the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science will now be the “heart” of the Desert Botanical Garden. This is a multi-phased project with Phase 1 set to open to the public on Saturday, March 4. The Center is where Garden staff, researchers and volunteers are at work growing, studying and taking care of a world class collection of desert plants that are rare and endangered. The new Center exemplifies the Desert Botanical Garden’s long-standing spirit of innovation by incorporating smart design with the concept of multi-use spaces. When fully completed it will include a headhouse, greenhouse ranges accommodating multiple environmental zones, a teaching greenhouse and outdoor classroom, exhibit space, and facilities for seed work, long-term seed storage and other conservation related activities.

The Horticulture Center will  offer behind-the-scenes tour at 10 a.m.  Tuesday-Thursday. This tour will show the visitor unique horticultural practices used by Garden staff and volunteers to care for our desert plants in a sustainable way.  Visitors will also visit the new learning lab, in which the Garden host a wide variety of learning opportunities for people of all ages. To participate in a behind-the-scenes tour, visit the Garden’s website to make a reservation. Tours are included with price of admission.

 “All new structures within the Horticulture Center will be designed and built with LEED and other sustainability principles in mind, for example, incorporating smart siting of structures, passive solar design, repurposing of materials and plantings, and water harvesting. All will further demonstrate the Garden’s commitment to innovation and sustainability,” says Ken Schutz, executive director of the Desert Botanical Garden. 

Named the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science, the new facility honors community philanthropist and the Garden’s Trustee Emerita, Hazel Hare, who passed away in 2016. Significant support for construction of the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science came from the Kemper and Ethel Marley Foundation, the Ottosen Family Foundation, SRP and many other donors to The Saguaro Initiative campaign.

The Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science will include these features in Phase One:

The Marley Horticulture Learning Center
The Horticulture Learning Center will provide unique experiential learning environments for adults, children, families, volunteers and horticulture professionals. MutliTable has generously donated customized tables for students use in the lab to maximize the learning experience Outdoor Classrooms are designed to increase the Garden’s visibility and reputation within the community as a premiere resource for desert gardening and landscaping.

Greenhouses and Shade Structures
The new greenhouse range and shade structures will provide the space and environmental control to optimize conditions for the current collections and accommodate new acquisitions as called for in the Living Collections Plan, including complete representation of cactus and agave from the western US and northwestern Mexico. Multiple separate environmental zone types, appropriate for propagation, cold desert, dry desert and semi-tropics/coastal desert plants, will not only improve living conditions for the plants, but will also represent living “galleries” of the flora of these unique arid land habitats. 

Future Phases of the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science will include: 

Horticulture Headquarters—the Headhouse
The Headhouse will serve as the horticultural “headquarters” of the Garden, bringing together the materials and space to support propagation, potting/repotting, deliveries and storage of all key tools and supplies.

Conservation Lab
A new seed workspace and seed storage room will allow Garden scientists and horticulturists to not only maintain but expand this special collection, supporting the Garden’s goal of regional leadership in research and conservation. Additionally, space and facilities to support soil science and herbarium prep work will be included in the Center.

Saturday & Sunday, March 4 & 5, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Public Opening
You’re invited! Join the Desert Botanical Garden on this very special weekend as we celebrate the grand opening of the new Butterfly Pavilion and Horticulture Center. 

  • Visit with the butterflies
  • Take expert-lead tours
  • Participate in hands-on activities
  • Desert Landscape School will host mini classes 

WHERE: Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 North Galvin Parkway, Phoenix, AZ  85008

COST: Garden Admission Rates as of March 1, 2017

  • Adults $24.95
  • Youth $12.95 (3-17) 
  • Garden members and children 3 years and younger are free.

INFO: For more information, call 480.941-1225 or visit

A “Phoenix Point of Pride”, the Desert Botanical Garden is one of only a few botanical gardens accredited by the American Association of Museums. It is a privately funded, non-profit organization and depends on revenues from admissions and gift shop sales, as well as contributions from individuals and businesses to fund its programs of environmental education, plant conservation and research.