A goldfinch dips its beak in the water at the top of the fountain in the outdoor patio of the Tohono Chul Park.
A volunteer offers that the newly constructed base of the sundial is patterned after the stone buildings of Chaco Canyon in New Mexico.
A guide proudly shows the handmade paper art in the Garden’s gallery. I am grateful that she takes my heavy camera I spend time reading about each work of art.
I am drawn – once again – to Tohono Chul park on the northeastern side of Tucson. Its rippling water smothers the sound of traffic from Ina and Oracle roads. “We wanted to keep something natural in the middle of all the surrounding development so people could come easily for a few hours and get out of the traffic and learn something at the same time,” says Jean Wilson, who with her husband Richard started in 1968 to piece together patches of for people to have something like this, she says. The couple, who opened the park to the public in 1985, deeded the property to a nonprofit foundation in 1988, and now live in Flagstaff. They have seen what was a 37 acre desert preserve grow 249 acres. Some of the activities which the Wilson’s thought would be oppositional to daily urban life the desert that would become the park’s core. It’s probably contrary to what most people would do but we feel it’s really important