Day 30: The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens

By on December 2, 2013

Chihuahuan Desert GardensToday is Day 30 in the Countdown to UTEP’s Centennial Year.

The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens on the UTEP campus are located on the grounds of the Centennial Museum & Welcome Center.

The gardens were formally dedicated in 1999 and contain over 625 different species of plants native and adapted to the Southwest, making the gardens one of the largest collections of Chihuahuan Desert flora in the world.

One of the highlights of the garden is the Terrace Garden which features plants of the eastern & central Chihuahuan Desert.

Visitors can also visit the Wall Garden and rest under a shady pergola.

The Succulent Garden is filled with various species of lechugilla, yucca, bear grass, and sotol.

Plants aren’t the only highlight of the gardens: a Bhutanese Prayer Wheel which was installed in the gardens in 2004.  It was a gift from the Kingdom of Bhutan.

The Rake Mark is a dramatic red sandstone and green glass sculpture donated in 2007.

El Fortin is a partial replica of the circular adobe and stone fort-like towers that served as refuges in the early southwest.

A Bird Fountain, Water Garden, and Arroyo Garden attract birds and provide peaceful relaxation while highlighting the plants that do well in some of the Chihuahuan Desert’s wetter spots.

Garden curator John White and his staff tend the gardens to make sure there’s always something new to explore, no matter the season.  The Chihuahuan Desert Gardens are open to the public year round.

Jessica Molinar Muñoz is the director of communications for UTEP's Centennial Office.