The University of Arizona


Tumamoc Hill offers the greater Tucson community a powerful opportunity to engage local citizens in ecology, conservation of nature, archaeology and local cultural history. Tumamoc's precious status as a historical site will be jealously guarded as will her historical buildings and landscapes. Yet, a masterplan design package under development will introduce opportunities for exhibition areas, classrooms, modern offices, desert experiential zones, new research plots (two are already established) and accessible reconciled gardens that encourage public participation. Meanwhile the plan envisions refurbishing the historic buildings on the inside to make them more useful, and, in the case of the greenhouse, to return it to its original 1905 appearance.

Land not in the Tumamoc Ecological Reservation will be used for research and demonstration of reconciled habitats. Ecologists, conservationists and landscape architects cooperating together will combine suitable species of native plants into new landscape designs that do double duty — pleasing people and satisfying nature. Then scientists on the Hill will invite segments of the community to select landscapes they would like to install on their property or in their neighborhoods, and help them to do it.

At the same time, Tumamoc will offer a selection of 1-hour walks for community members and visitors. Each guided walk will focus on a topic of the Hill's ecology, history or archaeology.

Tucson cultural classes are being developed to help teach the community Sonoran culture at the Tumamoc site. These courses will be open to the public and teach all aspects of culture and history of the Sonoran region. Tumamoc will help its community become aware of all that the desert has to offer. These classes will range from harvesting cactus fruit and mesquite beans, water harvesting, passive heating and cooling techniques, Hohokam history, storytelling, desert gardening and more.

Finally, Tumamoc is planning a program to allow authors, poets, composers, artists and photographers to live in isolation on Tumamoc for two or three weeks, absorbing its atmosphere and creating a distinguished series of works inspired by the Hill.

Under the guidance of Director Michael Rosenzweig, Tumamoc Hill and its existing historic buildings and study zones offer a unique opportunity to take this historic resource into the next millenium.