‘Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park is located in beautiful and scenic Queen Creek Canyon, three miles west of Superior. Natural resource developer and philanthropist William Boyce Thompson established the Southwestern Arboretum in the mid-1920’s. The inspiration to create an arid-region arboretum sprang from a lifetime of fervent interest in things botanical, horticultural, and natural. It was specifically inspired by Thompson’s visit to Russia during the terrible famine years just after the First World War. Thompson, who was a Colonel in the Red Cross, came to realize how profoundly dependent human beings are on plants. It was Thompson’s fervent desire to do something to enhance man’s symbiotic relationship with members of the plant kingdom. A man of broad vision typical of the expansive “can-do” times, Thompson along with the Arboretum’s first Director, Franklin Crider, fashioned a mission for the Arboretum that was vast and global in scope with economic utility and aesthetic appeal being of primary importance in accessioning material to the collection.’ by Charles R. Eatherly
‘As far as I know the first desert botanical garden – It is a remarkable place!’ Benz Kotzen Chair COST Action ES1104 on Arid Lands and Combat of Desertification.