The Tucson Botanical Gardens, a tranquil oasis in the heart of Tucson, strives to be recognized and respected as the best small public garden in America.
The entity known as “Tucson Botanical Gardens” was originally founded in 1964 by horticulturist and collector, Harrison G. Yocum. The gardens at his home on North Jefferson Street were open to the public, and contained an extensive collection of cacti and palms.
Memberships became available in 1968, and the group became chartered as a non-profit corporation the next year. As the organization grew to 100 charter members it found a temporary home at Randolph Park, using display space available in a greenhouse. Dr. Leland Burkhart, UA professor of Horticulture, was president of the TBG at the time and the society began formulating a dream for its future. Plans were then created for a larger, permanent home. Friends of TBG and local garden clubs organized fund-raising activities to further this purpose. In 1974, Tucson Botanical Gardens attained its current location at the historic Porter Family property.