We do not inherit the
earth from our ancestors,
we borrow it from
our children.
- Native American Wisdom

Enhancing Visitor Experiences

For over 80 years, Saguaro National Park has been protecting exceptional stands of majestic saguaro cacti -- but this park is about so much more than cacti.  Through its interpretive programs, the NPS seeks to help visitors understand the "story" of Saguaro National Park, and better appreciate the connection between people, and this very special place.  Saguaro's interpretive themes enable visitors to better understand, and explore, all of the park's distinctive features:

  • Saguaro Cacti.  The saguaro is the tallest cactus in the U.S., and its distinct form is recognized worldwide as an icon of the American Southwest.
  • Ecosystem Diversity.  Saguaro National Park contains the largest roadless Sky Island in North America, encompassing a wide range of elevations that support extraordinary biodiversity.  The park preserves one of the largest concentration of rare and distinct aquatic micro-habitats in the desert Southwest.
  • An "Enduring Resource of Wilderness."  The park's close proximity to a large urban community provides convenient opportunities for people from diverse backgrounds to enjoy natural areas and wilderness experiences.
  • The Land & The People.  The park contains abundant evidence of a wide range, and long history, of human interaction with the land -- and has enormous potential for teaching contemporary people about adapting to, and thriving in, an arid environment.

In 2014, Friends of Saguaro financial support enabled the park to replace the outdated, 55-year-old interpretive exhibits at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center.  The new bilingual exhibits relate the "story" of Saguaro National Park in an interesting, and technologically-current way.

In 2017, Friends of Saguaro financial support enabled the park to build a 2,000 square foot Educational Patio at the Rincon Mountain Visitor Center. The year-round patio was completed in 2019 and is used for daily interpretative programs.

These projects would not have been possible without the support from the National Park Foundation, Tucson Electric Power, Diamond Ventures, Southwest Gas Corporation, Jim Click Automotive Team, Western National Parks Association, Zuckerman Family Foundation, Richard Schoen, Virginia Van Der Veer, Spears Family, Friends of Volunteer Alan Solomon and private individual donations.