UA Oral History

border-style: solid; padding: 5pxThe Oldest Continually-Maintained Public Greenspace in Arizona.


What looks today like an elegant park is, in fact, the result of over a century of research and experimentation with desert plants that began with the Univerisity's founding in 1885. The location in the frontier, encouraged use of the campus location as a living laboratory to evaluate the suitability of plants as crops and later, as landscape ornamentals. These early investments have created increasing opportunities for use of the campus as an outdoor classroom for courses in botany, ecology, horticulture, landscape architecture and anthropology. The xeriscaping concepts of the mini-oasis, transition and natural zones, used throughout arid regions of the world, for example, were developed and taught at the University of Arizona in the 1970s. Because of faculty commitment to research and education, the campus has traditionally been ahead of its time in water conservation and environmental consciousness and has continued to experiment and evolve over decades. In 2002, the UA Campus Arboretum was established for the purpose of preserving and enhancing this unique and living legacy of historical landscapes. Link to the UA Oral History pdf brochure to learn more about the landscape evolution we've pledged to continue.