The Southwest Desert School Gardener's Almanac began on February 5-7, 2020 with the convening of a 2.5 day conference at the Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix, Arizona, and Manzo Elementary School in Tucson, Arizona. Both opened in 1939 and have grown to become noteworthy illustrations of the southwest desert. The ecoregional excellence of these nearly 80-year-old organizations are compelling attractions in their own rights and were inspiring settings for launching an ecoregion alamanac and educator network.

Desert Botanical Garden

Desert Botanical Garden is a 140-acre botanical garden with a living collection of over 4,300 species and one of only two dozen botanical gardens accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. Conference attendees met here on days 1 and 3 for participant-led investigations. Explore the garden's living collections management system to identify the 27,000+ spectacular plants for which staff keep scientific records.

Manzo Elementary School

Manzo Elementary School is a public elementary school in the Tucson Unified School District. Conference attendees visited Manzo on day 2 in order to tour campus garden sites and its food literacy lab. Manzo is the demonstration site school for the University of Arizona's Community and School Garden Program.