By MELINA CASILLAS
Tucson is one of many cities within the Sonoran Desert, a desert shared with Mexico. The Arizona Sonoran Desert Museum, 2021 N. Kinney Road, displays the ecosystem within 21 acres with 230 animal species and 1,200 plant species.
The museum’s goal, according to its website, “is to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.”
ASDM is open March through September from 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. daily. In June and August, it closes a half-hour early Sunday-Friday and stays open on Saturdays until 10 p.m. to let patrons view creatures of the night.
The museum primarily offers outdoor exhibits with walking trails that sometimes include dirt paths. It takes about two hours to view the entire facility.
Temperatures rise quickly, so arrive early in the morning. Bring sunblock and water.
General admission is $20.50, with discounts available to seniors, military and residents of Arizona and Sonora. For an additional $3, you can touch and feed stingrays under a cool ramada.
For more information, call 883-2702 or visit desertmuseum.org/visit.
Docent Helen Vogel demonstrates how a stingray eats before visitors get the chance to pet and feed them in the stingray exhibit. Not native to Arizona, stingrays are found in the Gulf of California near Rocky Point.
Photo: Melina Casillas