Cacti and other desert plantsCacti, agaves, and other desert species thrive in the Xeriscape Demonstration Garden (Credit: Tom Bulinski)

The Mesa Community College Arboretum, located at MCC's Southern and Dobson Campus, is free and open to the public. It is home to more than 100 species of trees and over 80 species of cacti and succulents.

What is the MCC Arboretum?

An arboretum is an area devoted to specimen plantings of trees, shrubs, and other woody plants. Distinct from a forest, nursery or park, it is in a sense an outdoor museum of trees. It is a place where many varieties of trees and shrubs are grown for research, educational, and ornamental purposes.

In 2018, Mesa Community College acquired arboretum accreditation from, the international accreditation program which facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals. MCC is the first college in Arizona to have achieved this honor.

In 2021, MCC also became the first community college in Arizona to be recognized as a Tree Campus. This honor is awarded by the Arbor Day Foundation to colleges and universities that have shown a commitment to campus trees for their many environmental, economic, and educational benefits.

Visit MCC and Explore the Collection

Trees in the MCC Rose GardenThe Rose Garden provides a shady respite from the summer heat (Credit: Tom Bulinski) The Mesa Community College Southern and Dobson campus is home to thousands of plants from around the world. Visitors are welcome to explore the arboretum during normal school hours. The interactive online map of the arboretum can be viewed on a computer or on a mobile device while on campus. Use the map to search for specific trees by their common name, scientific name, or family.

Learn and grow with the Arboretum

The MCC Arboretum serves as a living laboratory dedicated to educating students and the public about horticulture and plant ecology. Are you eager to delve deeper into these fascinating subjects? Start your journey with a class in Environmental Biology or Landscape Horticulture. Students can also participate in independent research projects to investigate the benefits of the Arboretum's plants. Visit our Events page to sign up for a volunteer event and learn more about how we maintain our collection. Contact us to find out how you can immerse yourself in a transformative experience that will empower you to make a lasting impact on the world around you.

More Information

Sean Whitcomb, Arboretum Director and Life Science faculty