The Tucson Audubon Society engages the public through its conservation, education and recreation programs at many locations in the Tucson area. Learn more about these varied activities and sites!
Tucson Audubon's Paton Center for Hummingbirds
The Paton property in Patagonia, Arizona, has been purchased and will continue to provide world class birding opportunities. Tucson Audubon Society, American Bird Conservancy and Victor Emanuel Nature Tours cooperated to secure the property and it is now under the ownership of Tucson Audubon. Many generous donors made this possible. In addition, donors are coming forward to help assure there are funds to manage the property.
The Center grounds have undergone a major transformation leading to a more inviting space for birds, all wildlife and human visitors. Hundreds of native grasses, shrubs and trees have been planted that are now and in the future providing food and habitat for birds to thrive. The former horse paddock has been replanted as fertile meadow, and also includes a pond that serves as a magnet for wildlife activity. New trails and feeding stations have been added all around the property providing more viewing opportunities. Educational programming has been started and will be further developed in the years to come. Mulitple web cameras are now online allowing people to experience the Paton Center from afar.
Of course, vegetation takes time to grow and become established. Please visit to see for yourself!
Atturbury Wash drains fairly large areas southeast of Davis Monthan Air Force Base and runs north ultimately to Pantano Wash. It passes through Fred Enke golf course and Lincoln Regional Park before spilling into the lake at Lakeside Park. The reach through Lincoln Regional Park has been named the Atturbury-Lyman Bird and Animal Sanctuary, due to the thicket of trees and shrubs that harbour wildlife along the wash.
This vegetation has begun to decline due to drought and hydrologeological issues in the area. Under a grant from the Arizona Water Protection Fund Commission, Tucson Audubon has used "natural channel design" to address the hydrological issues and is planting hundreds of trees and shrubs to revegetate. We are also doing extensive public outreach about the importance of riparian floodplains and habitat. You can join in.
Tucson Audubon's Mason Center
The Mason Center is a place where youth, families, educators and others can appreciate the beauty of our native desert and participate in a great variety of natural history learning experiences. Owned and managed by the Tucson Audubon Society, it is located on 20 acres of mostly undisturbed saguaro-ironwood desert donated by its former owner, Mrs. Orpha Mason, in an area of Tucson’s northwest side that is rapidly growing and in great need of outdoor education opportunities. Some Tucson Audubon staff recently moved offices to the Mason Center, so come by and take a tour!
Tucson Audubon, in cooperation with the City of Tucson, is enhancing wildlife habitat along the lower Santa Cruz River in northern Pima County. The project sites have a riparian zone fed by effluent from Tucson, and adjacent abandoned farm land in the river's floodplain.
The Simpson Farm is west of Trico Road, north of Trico-Marana Road, and south of Hardin Road. The Martin Farm site is a 30-acre portion of the former Martin Farm lying north of Marana Road just west of the Santa Cruz River. The project site includes a riparian zone fed by effluent from Tucson, adjacent former mesquite bosque and an upper area of creosote flats. Project personnel produced a site assessment and plan, and work began in the fall of 2006. In addition to planting, seeding and fighting invasives, erosion control features have been constructed.
Barrio Kroeger Lane
A TogetherGreen Innovation Grant has allowed us to partner with Barrio Kroeger Lane to improve landscaping in the neighborhood. The Barrio Kroeger Lane neighborhood is an underserved, lower-income area between downtown and “A” Mountain. Historically it was cut off from downtown by I-10 and severely affected by flooding in 1983. It has benefited from nicer-looking landscaping, and we have demonstrated the use of water-harvesting features in the landscape. If residents continue to install them, they may suffer less street flooding.
Bird-friendly plants and vegetative structure in the new landscaping should improve shelter, food and nesting opportunities for birds. We are working with the University of Arizona 's Tucson Bird Count to monitor how bird populations may change there in the future. A vibrant neighborhood association in Barrio Kroeger Lane has shown great interest in the project.
TogetherGreen is a program of the National Audubon Society and is funded by Toyota.
Tucson Audubon is enhancing wildlife habitat along the lower Santa Cruz River in northern Santa Cruz County. The project site includes a riparian zone fed by a combination of natural flows and effluent from the Nogales International Wastewater Treatment Plant. Restoration focuses both on the hydroriparian vegetation along the river and on adjacent former farm fields and grazing land in the river's floodplain. Esperanza Ranch is an area of sensitive habitat and its access is governed by a conservation easement agreement between Tucson Audubon and the landowner.
Esperero Canyon is a narrow drainage in the front range of the Santa Catalina Mountains, located between Ventana and Sabino Canyons. Tucson Audubon owns 15 acres of steep canyonside and canyon bottom between the foothills area and the Coronado National Forest boundary. We have done regular reconnaissance and volunteer work to remove invasive buffelgrass from hillsides and fountaingrass from the canyon bottom. Access to this property is restricted because of gated communities at the base of the mountains. Look in the Tucson Audubon calendar for specially-organized events that allow members and volunteers access to the canyon.