Boyce Thompson Arboretum celebrates its 100th year as Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. Located near Superior, AZ and an hour drive from Phoenix, the Arboretum will host a year of events, highlighting their mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of desert plants, wildlife and ecosystems through education, research and conservation.

“This centennial year is an opportunity for us to share more broadly the beauty of Boyce Thompson Arboretum, our botanical collections — and our history,” explained Lynne Nemeth, Boyce Thompson Arboretum Executive Director. “The calendar is packed with events that will serve to both educate and inspire, reflecting a century of commitment to environmental stewardship.”


100 Tree Spree, Sept. 2023 – Dec. 2023

Boyce Thompson Arboretum is celebrating its centennial year by committing to partner with schools, municipalities, community organizations, parks and non-profits to plant a total of 100 native trees throughout the valley-metro area and its neighboring communities.

100 Tree Spree Kickoff Event – Sept. 23, 2023

The 100 Tree Spree will kick off by planting trees at the newly restored Ayer Lake.

Then and Now History Installation, Oct. 2023 – Oct. 2024

Guests will take a trip down memory lane as historical photos are placed throughout the Arboretum at key locations, allowing guests to view “then and now.”

Inaugural Green Gala, Oct. 21, 2023

The Green Gala will celebrate 100 years of past, present and future, highlighting those who strive to create a more sustainable landscape.

Spiny Splendor: Hedgehog Cactus Art Exhibit, Jan. 2024 – Oct. 2024

A larger-than-life art exhibit showcasing the Boyce Thompson Hedgehog Cactus (Echinocereus boyce-thompsonii), a species embodying the history of plant stewardship.

Legacy Tour, Jan. 2024 – Apr. 2024

A docent-led tour highlighting the history of Boyce Thompson Arboretum and the realization of Colonel Thompson’s vision through key contributors throughout the decades.

Members’ Month: Centennial Focus, Mar. 24, 2024

Arboretum members will honor founder, Colonel Thompson, with a party, sharing pictures, videos and memories.

Sustainability Programming, Jun. 2024 – Sept. 2024

Boyce Thompson Arboretum leadership will host a collaborative discussion with key thought leaders around sustainability education programs.

2nd Annual Green Gala, Oct. 2024

The Green Gala will be back again, highlighting and celebrating champions of sustainability along with auctioning pieces from the Hedgehog Cactus Art Exhibit.

“Our founder, Colonel William Boyce Thompson realized one hundred years ago what we still believe today: All life depends on plants. As we face a future impacted by climate change, we know that stewardship of the land and all creatures is vital,” shared Nemeth.

For more information about Boyce Thompson Arboretum, go to Boyce Thompson Arboretum

About Boyce Thompson Arboretum

Boyce Thompson Arboretum, Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden and top tourism site, is managed by the nonprofit Boyce Thompson Southwestern Arboretum 501(c)(3). The 372-acre facility has nearly five miles of paths and trails through plant exhibits from 11 of the world’s deserts, a native riparian habitat and colorful specialty gardens.