Paradise Valley resident to chair botanical garden luncheon

(Photo by: Adam Rodriguez/Desert Botanical Garden)

The Desert Botanical Garden is bringing scientist and wild-nature advocate Dr. Wallace “J.” Nichols to the garden for a luncheon on Feb. 9 to spark conversation about the greatest love story ever told¬—our love of the natural world.

Dr. Nichols’ talk, You on Nature, will focus on how experiencing and connecting with the beauty, wonder, and inspiration of the Sonoran Desert transforms our lives—making desert residents happier and healthier, according to a press release.

Event chair is Anne Stump of Paradise Valley.

While Dr. Nichols career and passion has focused on ocean conservation, his recent work has made him a pioneer in the green world: combining environmental activism with neuroscience in a field he calls “neuro-conservation.”

“The logic is ripe with possibility; by including the cognitive benefits of nature in the broader discussion of ecosystem services and wildlife conservation, a more complete picture is generated where the interests of humans and nature are aligned and intertwined,” said Dr. Nichols in the release. “With this connection, conservation is the meaningful course of action, for everyone involved.”

The conversation is timely, the release stated. With Maricopa County projected to grow from 4.3 to 7.1 million residents in just the next 25 years, there is a critical need to change the conversation about the many ways nature enriches lives.

The first annual Vision and Leadership in Conservation Award will also be presented at the luncheon to Mayor Jack Meck of the city of Buckeye.

Mayor Meck has worked for 20 years to secure open space in his community (now Skyline Regional Park) and has a vision for a conservation trust to protect the ecosystems, biodiversity, and way of life in the far West Valley where much of the Valley’s population growth is expected in the coming 25 years, the release stated.

The luncheon is slated to be 11 a.m. on Thursday, Feb. 9, in Dorrance Hall at Desert Botanical Garden, 1201 N. Galvin Parkway in Phoenix.

Individual tickets cost $125.

For tickets or more information contact Erin Gasser at 480-481-8142 or e-mail

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