James Family Discovery Gardens

Come check out our new and unique eight-acre attraction!

Experience outdoor learning in a whole new light! The Discovery Gardens celebrate the beauty and biological richess of Prescott and the Central Arizona Highlands. Discover accessible demonstration gardens and exciting interactive ‘Learning Cirlces’. The James Family Discovery Gardens provides family fun year round!

Learning Circles


The James Family Discovery Gardens will feature Learning Circles focused on the natural history and ecological diversity of the Central Highlands. These interpretive areas will serve as an introduction 
to the plant communities represented in the region,
 as well as techniques for sustainable living, such as rainwater harvesting and landscaping with native plants. Interpretive signage will be located at each of the Learning Circles and will allow visitors to have a full, self-guided experience.

  • Gathering Circle

  • Grow Native Demo Gardens
  • Riparian Riches

  • Rainwater Harvesting

  • Ethnobotanical Gardens
  • Secret Nook

  • Woodland Wonders
  • Graceful Grasslands
  • Chaparral Hillsides
  • Forest Play

Learning Lenses

Lens on Learning Guidebooks will bring educational opportunities to visitors on a range of topics regarding the natural history and ecology of the Central Highlands. Each lens will offer interpretation on a single theme at varying levels of depth. Lenses are designed to allow visitors of all ages and abilities to experience the Discovery Gardens and return again for deeper understanding. General “Pocket Guides,” themed by season, will also be available and will include a map of the trails along with common plants and animals one might encounter in the Gardens.

Visitors can explore the Discovery Gardens throughout the year and make new discoveries with each visit.

Celebrating the Central Highlands

The James Family Discovery Gardens will open in the Spring of 2017 and will celebrate the beauty and biological richness of Prescott and the Central Arizona Highlands. The Gardens will add a new and unique eco-tourism attraction to the area that will appeal to local residents and visitors from around the state and region. Visitors will discover demonstration gardens and exciting interactive “Learning Circles”. The design also includes a children’s nature play area, an Ethnobotanical garden, and a Ramada suitable for educational workshops and special events.

Here, visitors of all ages and physical abilities will be able to connect with the natural world in safe and controlled environments.

The Gardens will add a new and unique eco-tourism attraction to the area with appeal to both local residents and visitors.

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Community Partnerships

The Highlands Center and the new Discovery Gardens present multiple opportunities for Community Partnerships which provide vital support for the Center’s many nature-based educational programs. In return, our partners receive a variety of benefits that will make a lasting impression on clients, employees, and target audiences.

With a Ramada, children’s nature play area, and
 Ethnobotanical Garden, the Discovery Garden is
 a naturally beautiful setting for your business or organizations special event. The Highlands Center also offers opportunities for local businesses to sponsor a specific Educational Learning Lens. As a sponsor an ad featuring your business will appear on your chosen lens.

To learn more about Community Partnerships with The Highlands Center’s Discovery Gardens, please contact Dave Irvine, Executive Director at 776-9550 to customize a sponsorship package!

Contact Us

Learn more about our location and site hours.