Mission: As a living museum, the organization's purpose is for advancing excellence in education, research, exhibition, and conservation of desert plants of the world with emphasis on the southwestern united states, and engaging in any lawful act or activity not for pecuniary profit for which nonprofit corporations may be organized, so far as is or may be permitted by the laws of the state of arizona and section 501(c)(3) of the code.
Programs: Horticulture - propagating & maintaining a living plant collection of over 50,000 desert plants with particular emphasis on those inhabiting the sonoran desert, many of which are endangered species. This program also works to preserve desert plant life outside of its collection by educating the public regarding the beauty, variety and fragility of desert plant life by displaying and interpreting its collection for the public at its garden in phoenix, az which in the current year attracted approximately 757,000 visitors from all over the world. Education - provides programming for children, adults, and educators that promote greater enjoyment, understanding and stewardship of the sonoran desert. Children's programming at the desert botanical garden promotes a scientifically and environmentally literate community through hands-on, nature-based learning, and garden staff and resources. These place-based experiences inspire a connection to the unique wonders of the sonoran desert, encourage conservation of the natural world, and ignite a life-long appreciation for the environment. Informal programs span the ages of infants to teenagers alongside their caregivers through inquiry-based investigations that incorporate art, science, music, and much more. We served approximately 526 families in 2013-2014. Programs specifically for students and teachers are designed for prek-8th grade and correlate with arizona's college and career ready standards. We served 27,062 participants in the 2013-2014 school programs. Research - investigating the biology, ecology, and conservation of the desert plants and environment. The garden has an extensive herbarium containing nearly 74,000 plant specimens and a library with over 6,700 book titles and 400 botanical journals and newsletter titles to assist the public and researchers in their studies. The garden is also a primary research center and has a permanent research staff conducting a number of ongoing research projects. During the current year, the garden published 10 peer-reviewed papers resulting from their research and gave 23 presentations at professional meetings.
I visit the DBG frequently, and I had a student who studied their volunteer training programs; I'm a very minor donor. I love the Garden; its variety of weird desert plants is impressive, and it has good educational exhibits and programs--birdwalks, talks about desert plants, etc. It also has night-time hikes where one can see night-flowering plants and bats [if one is lucky]. I have seen a Road Runner standing and trotting within about 15 feet of me, Great Horned Owls flying about 20 feet overhead, and lots of other animals I've seen nowhere else outside of zoo cages. The DBG is very well maintained, and attracts traveling exhibits of art and sculpture.
My student found that the DBG has remarkable training programs for its knowledgeable, dedicated volunteers. It is worth donating to, and visiting.