In 1998, with the Highway 90 widening project came the start of the Plant Science Center on the UA Sierra Vista campus. The purpose of the center was to maintain plants harvested prior to widening the highway until they could later be used to revegetate the highway area or in various community projects.

During the last three years the Plant Science Center has been transformed by the Cochise County Master Gardeners into the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista. It is Cochise County’s first educational demonstration garden showcasing the wide variety of beautiful and unique plants that thrive in our high desert climate. The Gardens are designed to provide our community a place to find education and motivation in efficient high desert gardening & landscaping, attend workshops and classes, or simply to take a quiet stroll. If you haven’t been lately you need to stop by and see the tremendous progress.

We are excited to announce that the University South Foundation is partnering with the Master Gardeners to raise funds for a new garden fence. The current field fencing was never meant to be permanent and it is past time that the gardens be enclosed with a secure fence that matches the beauty within.

Our “Buy a Panel – Build a Fence” Campaign will raise funds to provide a black metal 6 ft tall perimeter fence around the Discovery Gardens at UA Sierra Vista, creating a safe, secure, and attractive environment. You have a unique opportunity to leave a lasting mark on our UA Sierra Vista campus.

You can give a meaningful gift by donating a fence panel in honor of your family, memory of a loved one, a community member, your company or organization, or to remember other special occasions! Consider splitting the cost with a friend or a group. We will install a plaque engraved with a personal message on your selected panel. Each sponsored panel will be a visible part of the UA Sierra Vista campus.

Please know that due to limited availability, specific panels and gates are reserved on a first come, first served basis. You can get further information, view panels already reserved, and reserve yours online at:

For more information about the Discovery Gardens contact Jan Groth at 520-559-7078 or email

The Discovery Gardens at the University of Arizona Sierra Vista have come a long way in a few short years and with your help the Cochise County Master Gardeners and partners will continue growing the Discovery Gardens.

Submitted by Susan Pater, University South Foundation

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