News & Events at Mission Garden

Volunteer at Mission Garden

Volunteer at Mission Garden

Statement on Mission Garden operations and COVID-19 measures

Mission Garden is cautiously restarting some activities. Please consult the schedule below and continue to enjoy our beautiful, outdoor setting. Visit Pima County Health Department COVID-19 page for details on staying safe.

Unless otherwise noted, events are free with suggested $5 donation at the garden gate.

Mission Garden Open to Public
April – September, Wednesday – Saturdays, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m.

(October – March , 8 a.m. – 2 p.m.)

Tours of Mission Garden
Every Friday and Saturday at 9 a.m.
This 45-minute tour covers the whole garden, with information on Tucson’s history and about gardening in the Sonoran Desert. Tours for groups or families can be arranged at other times by contacting us at 520-955-5200 or  

Tai Chi in the Garden
Saturdays 8 – 9 a.m.
Class is free, with suggested $5 donation at the garden gate
Scott Risano, trained at Wind River Tai Chi Chuan, gives classes in the garden every Saturday. Beginners welcomed. Class is held in a shady part of the garden and participants practice physical distancing and are asked to wear masks. Limited to 10 participants–first come, first served.

Mindfulness class seating

Mindfulness class seating

Mindfulness in the Garden, taught by Jennifer Knochel
Five Thursday evenings, 6 – 7 p.m., starting June 25th & ending July 23rd
Sliding Scale $20-90 for the series. Maximum 10 participants

Sign up here. The payment form has a minimum class cost of $20 with the opportunity to add an additional donation. Questions? Contact us at 520-955-5200 or
This class series is appropriate for both experienced and beginning mindfulness meditation practitioners. Immersed in the beauty of the Mission Garden, we will use mediation practices to support and strengthen our connection to the earth.  Our time together will focus on using our senses to establish ourselves in a healthy and compassionate relationship with the natural world. This provides participants with skills and practices to (re)connect with nature, be present, and find support during the crises we face today. If you have a meditation cushion, yoga mat, and/or rug to lie down on, please bring them.  There will be chairs available.
Safety Protocols:
* Please bring a mask.
* We will be following social distance protocols to create safety and accessibility for all.
* Handwashing stations and hand sanitizer are available.
* Restrooms sanitized multiple times daily.
* Stay home if you have a fever, cough, or were near anyone exhibiting these symptoms or who tested positive for COVID-19.
About the Instructor:
Jennifer Knochel is a certified mindfulness facilitator through the UCLA Mindful Awareness Research Center and is presently enrolled in an Eco-chaplaincy program. Eco-chaplains are those who work to establish people in a healthy, compassionate, and mutually supportive relationship with the natural world as a resource to meet contemporary environmental/social/health crises with wisdom and compassion.  Her teachings are geared towards all people, presenting mindfulness practices in a secular/non-religious way.

Mission Garden Bird Walk
July 9, 7 – 8:30 a.m.
Join Mission Garden Outreach Coordinator and birder Kendall Kroesen to see birds that have inhabited gardens on the historic floodplain of the Santa Cruz River for millennia. Great for beginning and intermediate birders. Limited to 10 birders. Sign up here.


The 2020 Oaxaca trip has been canceled. We have scheduled the 2021 trip:
September 28 – October 5, 2021
A 7-day tour to benefit Mission Garden. Experience Oaxaca on a cultural jouirney with Friends of Tucson’s Birthplace. Tour includes: Jardin Botanico, Monte Alban, Teotitlan del Valle, Cuajimoloyas nature reserve, Mitla, Tlacolula, Museo de las Culturas de Oaxaca, El Tule, local markets, carving and weaving workshops, art exhibitions, artisanal mescal palenque. Trip includes trasportation (including air fare), lodging, breakfasts and lunches, 3 dinners, expert guides. Cost: $3,800/person. Single supplement $300. Reserve your spot by contacting Dena Cowan at


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or (520) 955-5200