SUPERIOR — Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park and Wallace Desert Garden has welcomed a new horticulturist to its ranks.

Jason Wiley joined the park staff in December.

He has a bachelor’s degree in science from Arizona State University and has been interested in horticulture since childhood, having grown up on a sod farm, a press release from the park said.

“His early experiences led him to a career in horticulture, where he seeks to connect people to their environments by creating meaningful experiences in gardens and landscapes,” the press release said.

Wiley, who studied landscape architecture at Colorado State University, has worked in public gardens for nine years, including a stint at the Anheuser-Busch Brewery in Fort Collins, Colorado. He has also worked as the landscape supervisor at the Phoenix Zoo.

He has been a professional horticulturist for 16 years.

Before joining Boyce Thompson Arboretum, he was a horticulturist at the Arizona-Sonora Desert Museum, where he maintained the Cactus Garden, Agave Garden and various other gardens,” the press release said.

The mission of Boyce Thompson Arboretum State Park and Wallace Desert Garden is to “inspire appreciation and stewardship of desert plants, wildlife and ecosystems through education, research and conservation.”

The park features several miles of hiking trails and a new 13-acre garden. Visitors to the park may stroll or hike on their own or take part in a guided activity such as morning bird walks, general tours, historical tours and workshops.

For park hours, events and for more information, visit the Boyce Thompson Arboretum website at btarboretum.org.

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Melissa St. Aude is the Arts & Entertainment editor at PinalCentral. She can be reached at mstaude@pinalcentral.com.