Preserving Saguaro/Ironwood Habitat
Tucson Audubon’s Mason Center is a sanctuary where youth, families, educators, and others can appreciate the beauty of our local landscape, enjoy native wildlife, and learn about sustainable living in the Sonoran Desert.
Donated to Tucson Audubon in 1998, the 20-acre Mason Center is a richly vegetated parcel of nearly pristine saguaro-ironwood habitat visited by over 80 species of birds as well as many iconic desert mammals and reptiles. Feeding and water stations, as well as pollinator and habitat gardens surrounding the facilities support seasonal and year-round populations of wildlife. Solar cells, composting toilets, and water harvesting structures model the best of Sonoran Desert sustainable living.
The Center was donated to Tucson Audubon 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. As a protected area adjacent to additional natural desert in Arthur Pack Park, it provides habitat for the preservation and study of many desert plants and animals.
Mason Center Saturday Morning Birdwalks
- Every 1st & 3rd Saturday, Nov-Dec (8 am), March (8 am), April-May (6:30 am)
- Every Saturday in January & February (8 am)
- See the Field Trip list to find the next walk and sign up
After an introduction to birdwatching basics and feeder watching at the Center, stroll across Hardy Rd to Arthur Pack Regional Park for some 20 to 30 more species along the trails and golf course pond. Great for families. Loaner binoculars available.
Trip Rating: Easy; Walking Distance: 2.5 miles; Trip Duration: 2 hr 45 min; Elevation Gain: none; Ground Condition: groomed trail. Drinking water not available on trail. Restrooms at the Mason Center and one restroom midway.
COME FOR A VISIT
Mason Center Mission:
Safeguard saguaro-ironwood habitat
Foster awareness, understanding and stewardship of our desert environment
Provide educational programs and research opportunities at the Center
Honor Mrs. Orpha Mason by protecting this land for future generations
Half-mile loop trail invites visitors to explore a dense mix of native plants including stately saguaros and ironwood trees.
Offices, classroom, picnic tables, demonstration gardens, rainwater harvesting, composting toilets, and more.
From formal classes to weekly bird walks, educational offerings span an array of natural history topics.
Mason Center Support Fund
The Mason Center is a state of the art, demonstration retrofit net-zero-carbon/energy building. We are seeking funds to maintain and sustain the Center that are separate and above those funds that members give for our program work. Please contact Executive Director Michael McDonald by email or by phone on 520 209-1801 to discuss how you can help. Thank you.
On-site Educational Field Trips
Educational and environmental groups may schedule a visit to this 22-acre, ironwood-saguaro habitat site for a fee of $50/hour with a minimum of 2 hours. Groups are scheduled on Fridays on a first-come, first-serve basis and must be accompanied by Mason Center staff or naturalists for the duration of the program.