The new horticulture campus – the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science is the heart of the Desert Botanical Garden. After nine years of planning and preparation, phase one of this state-of-the-art facility is complete. The idea of the horticulture The New Horticulture Campuscampus came out of a 20-year Master Plan that recommended a new horticulture facility that encouraged interdepartmental collaboration and honored the Garden’s outstanding collection of arid plants. 

Staff, volunteers and trustees created a plan and selected architectural firm, coLAB studio along with180degrees as co-designer and general contractor. 

“The design process used is called ‘integrated design’, a methodology that brings all project stakeholders on both the design and client side together from day one. Approximately 40 people, including architects, engineers, contractors, staff, trustees and volunteers participated in the horticulture center master plan process,” says Brian Kissinger, Director of Horticulture. 

Featured in phase one of the Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science:Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science

  • Greenhouse West - a 5,300 square foot fully automated and environmentally controlled facility for housing thousands of  Garden plants
  • Marley Horticulture Learning Lab - an indoor/outdoor facility that will host the Garden's Desert Landscape School and support new experiential learning opportunities
  • Cohn Ironwood Courtyard - a space that encompasses and expands upon an existing outdoor area for use by staff and volunteers
  • Ottosen Great Wall – pays tribute to the beauty of Arizona’s geological features and provides a beautiful boundary between the public and behind-the-scenes work areas
  • Sustainability – the Center’s sustainability features, including LEED and Living Building Challenge principles, smart siting of structures, passive solar design, repurposing of materials and plantings, and water harvesting are sponsored by SRP.

Future phases of the center will include:The Center

  • A second greenhouse
  • Desert conservation laboratories
  • Headhouse
  • New shade facility
  • Exhibits building 

“When the horticulture campus is complete it will integrate sustainable innovations with state-of-the-art technologies to provide space and optimal environmental conditions for the growth and maintenance of the Garden’s world-class plant collections,” says Dr. Kimberlie McCue, Assistant Director of Research, Conservation and Collections. “It will also facilitate exceptional learning and training opportunities for horticulture professionals and the general public and provide opportunities to showcase the plant collection and behind-the-scenes activities of the Garden.”

Tours of the Horticulture Campus are available through May 11 on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 10-10:45 a.m. Hazel Hare Center for Plant Science Entrance

Tours will showcase the sustainable horticulture practices used by the Garden and show guests where our horticulture staff, researchers and volunteers grow, study and take care of our plants, including many rare, endangered and threatened species. Included with membership or paid Garden admission. Reserve your spot today,