Native Plant Nursery


Native Plant NurseryIn 2001, as part of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan, County staff wrote and prepared a proposal for a Native Plant Program that would minimize some of the more harmful impacts of urban development on native plants and plant communities and address some of the problems that public works departments had found in obtaining appropriate plant material for projects. Since then, Pima County has put many of these ideas into practice, including creation of the Native Plant Nursery that has provided tens of thousands of native plants for County public works projects. Participating departments have included Transportation, Flood Control, Water Reclamation, Development Services, Sustainability and Conservation, Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, and Community Development and Neighborhood Conservation.

The Native Plant Nursery is located at the Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation main facility. All of the plants grown by the Native Plant Nursery end up in public spaces. At present, there are over 20,000 plants being grown for a variety of public projects, representing over 200 different species. In addition, the Native Plant Nursery maintains a native seed library of 130 species. The water source for the Native Plant Nursery is a high-nitrogen groundwater source which is not suitable for potable purposes, but excellent for plant propagation.

The Native Plant Nursery does not sell plants to the public, however tours and volunteer opportunities are available. For additional information, please contact Amy Belk, Native Plant Nursery Manager at or (520) 488-8022.

Nursery volunteers must adhere to Pima County Covid-19 Protocols that include social distancing, and wearing a mask when working within 6 feet of other individuals.

Native Plant Nursery Volunteer Opportunities

Native Plant NurseryI'm currently a volunteer at the Pima County Native Plant Nursery. The Nursery provides a valuable service to the County by propagating, nurturing and supplying native plants for street divides and other public spaces. They also rescue native plants (primarily succulents) from public and private property destined for development.

For a couple hours each week, I assist the staff in virtually every required function on site from watering, planting, up potting (bumping) to preparation for delivery to project sites. This is definitely NOT volunteer "busy work" but rather necessary help for their very small paid staff.

In addition to general volunteer satisfaction, I have a concentrated opportunity to learn about virtually every Arizona Uplands native plant. I also gain a tremendous amount from discussions with professional botanists, horticulturists, and irrigation specialists.

Franklin Lane
Arizona Master Naturalist
2017 Cohort

If you are interested in volunteering with the plant nursery complete the Volunteer Interest Form and email back to or

Summer Internship/Scholarship at Pima Prickly Park/Native Plant Nursery

Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS) would like to encourage young people by providing hands-on experience at Pima Prickly Park/Native Plant Nursery that would impact and leave them with lasting effects and knowledge on our Sonoran Desert Plants. TCSS would in exchange provide scholarship funds to the educational institution supporting the student’s education. Summer Internship/Scholarship at PPP/Native Plant Nursery Application

Native Plant Salvage and Preservation Program

Pima County Native Plants

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Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation

3500 W. River Road
Tucson, AZ 85741

(520) 724-5000

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