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Dear friends of birds,
I spotted my very first Phainopepla the morning I first visited Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center. I won’t confirm or deny if I pronounced the name correctly, but I will tell you that I immediately fell in love with the place that brought me face to face with this dazzling black, red-eyed beauty. Tucson Audubon’s Orpha Mason Center for Ironwood Tree Preservation and Environmental Education is a true desert delight brimming with gifts like this—and it rests at the heart of Tucson Audubon’s mission.

I’m asking you to support this incredible place, and to let you know that a small pool of generous donors has committed $20,000 as a matching gift if we can raise a total of $20,000 from donors like you.

Donated to us in 1998, the 20-acre Mason Center is a richly vegetated parcel of Sonoran Desert thornscrub visited by over 80 species of birds. Volunteers and staff maintain a one-mile loop trail through a dense mix of cholla, prickly pear, and hedgehog cactus presided over by stately saguaros and ancient ironwood trees. Only 20 years ago this property was part of a much larger expanse of relatively untouched desert but now with a school, subdivisions, and commercial complexes sprouting up all around, it is increasingly becoming a true island oasis surrounded by a rapidly growing city.

The Mason Center rests at the heart of Tucson Audubon’s mission, a place where all of our mission-driven efforts are able to thrive and grow. The former home of Orpha Mason now serves as base of operations for staff focused on advocacy, education, membership services, and fund development. Native plant gardens surround the main house, classroom, and restroom ramada, providing inspiration for visitors wanting to benefit birds and pollinators at their homes.

In the months to come, we envision the Mason Center living up to its namesake as a venue for environmental education. We plan to headquarter a reimagined Institute of Desert Ecology—a series of multi-day education programs for families and adults—at Mason. As a staff, we’ll be using the property more for training, regular staff meetings, and engagement with our members and donors. We’ll continue sharing the Mason Center with a nationwide audience via our social media channels, weekly email series, and the Vermilion Flycatcher member magazine.

A contribution to Tucson Audubon’s Mason Magic | Summer 2019 Matching Gift Challenge will support Tucson Audubon in many ways. Perhaps you live far away or have yet to visit the property, but a gift to this cause ensures a healthy, prospering Tucson Audubon for many years to come. Your gift could help ensure the safety of birds, allowing us to install the latest anti-collision window treatments, or your donation could help develop a new suite of environmental education programs for students.

And most exciting of all, a small pool of donors has brought together $20,000 in matching funds to effectively double all other contributions to this summer campaign. $16,000 of the total funds raised will be set aside to benefit a reserve fund specifically for the Mason Center. The rest of the funds raised will serve all of Tucson Audubon’s programs and operations, including those at the Mason Center.

Please give to Tucson Audubon today to ensure a bright, long-lasting future for the Mason Center and all of our projects and programs that endeavor to inspire people to enjoy and protect birds.

With gratitude,


Jonathan E. Lutz
Executive Director

 

 

Giving by writing a check?

  • Make checks payable to: Tucson Audubon Society
  • Please write “Mason Magic” on memo line
  • Send to:
    Tucson Audubon Society
    300 E University Blvd #120
    Tucson, AZ 85705

THANK YOU!

Mrs. Mason’s gift is one we continue to cherish and build upon. To this day, I’m grateful to the many volunteers and donors who helped make the Mason Center what it is today–a destination and venue for learning about birds and the ecology of the Sonoran Desert. Mrs. Mason, who loved this land deeply and wanted it to be preserved, would be very pleased.

Kevin Dahl

Executive Director (1997–2001)

Orpha Mason

The Mason Center represents what’s vital about protecting and living in the Sonoran Desert—lush, oldgrowth ironwood forest and saguaro habitat reliant on seasonal rains and rainwater harvesting, water conserving composting toilets, and energy efficient adaptations create a sustainable wildlife oasis and a model for the region. All the same qualities that caused us to set down our own roots in the neighborhood.

Christina McVie

Neighbor and long-time advocate

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Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120 Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447

color_square_face_right

Tucson Audubon Society
300 E University Blvd. #120
Tucson, AZ 85705

Mason Center
3835 W Hardy Rd.
Tucson, AZ 85742

Paton Center for Hummingbirds
477 Pennsylvania Ave.
Patagonia, AZ 85624
520 415-6447