[Source: Florence Reminder, Bonnie Bariola 1-21-2010] — Of the five Arizona State Parks located in Pinal County, only one is slated to remain open. The reason being that in 1976 the Arizona State Parks Board entered into an agreement with the Boyce Thompson Arboretum Board and the University of Arizona to cooperatively manage the park. All funding for the Arboretum from the Arizona State Parks Board will stop, leaving the Arboretum to be funded through the University of Arizona and the Boyce Thompson Foundation.
Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park: Located just west of Superior on US 60, the Arboretum was founded in the 1920s by mining magnate Col. William Boyce Thompson. In 1917 Col. Thompson served as co-leader of a Red Cross mercy mission to Russia, where he came to understand the importance of plants as the ultimate source of a large portion of mankind’s food, clothing, and shelter. It was then that he determined to use his great wealth to improve the use of plant resources. The Arboretum is one of his legacies.
Encompassing 323 acres, the Arboretum is Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. It was the first purely botanical institution in the intermountain states. Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is the place to discover the intricate beauty and many faces of Arizona’s oldest and largest botanical garden. Featured are plants from the world’s deserts, towering trees, captivating cacti, sheer mountain cliffs, a streamside forest, panoramic vistas, many natural habitats with varied wildlife, a desert lake, a hidden canyon, specialty gardens and more. [Note: To read the full article, click here.]