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Saturday, September 28, 2002

The UA Campus Arboretum

I went to the ribbon cutting for the University of Arizona Campus Arboretum. Actually it was a vine cutting which was fun. The entire campus of the University of Arizona is now an arboretum, recognized by and a member of the botanical gardens association. It is such a great idea. An arboretum open to everyone. No fences or gates or fees. You just walk in and look at the plants.

There are a lot of unusual plants as people have been bringing them back for the last 100 years from arid areas all over the globe. After the ceremony I went on a plant tour and the guide showed us several trees that should not be viable even in Tucson because we do have the occasional frost each year but they survive because of the microclimates between the buildings. It's rare that Tucson doesn't warm up from the sun during the day and the bricks and sidewalks reflect the heat back to the plants at night. We have boojums and cork trees and dozens of different kinds of legumes, plus several kinds of palm trees and, of course, lots of cactus of every kind.

I thought the idea was so great that I actually joined as a member, the cheap $25 membership, even though it won't give me a reduced rate when I visit, since no one pays to get in. Oh, yes, there is also a rose garden on campus that eat breakfast at occasionally. I really love working at a major research university.

Rachel Aschmann 2002.
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