Nature & Science
Nature in the Historical Park
Tumacácori National Monument (now National Historical Park) was established in 1908 to protect, preserve and tell the story of the old Spanish and O'odham mission church. In 2005, more than 300 acres were added to the park, reuniting the church grounds with a small piece of historical mission property and placing more than a mile of Santa Cruz River riparian environment, mesquite bosque (forest) and a section of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historical Trail ("Anza Trail") within the park.
The 4.5 mile stretch of Anza Trail that extends from Tumacácori to the Tubac Presidio State Historic Park in Tubac was the first stretch of this trail to be established in Arizona. The trail follows the river in the shade of mesquite, hackberry, elderberry, cottonwood, and willow trees.
The riparian, mesquite bosque, and surrounding desert scrub environments within the park provide shelter to more than 200 species of birds. A bird list is available upon request at the visitor center.
Other animals take refuge in the park, including mammals such as coyote, javelina, and raccoon, twenty-four documented species of reptiles and amphibians, and notable insects such as the giant mesquite bug, tarantula, tarantula hawk, and velvet ant.
Did You Know?
Some Apaches raided somewhere in the Pimería Alta during the full moon nearly every month, using the darkness for cover and the light of the moon to travel swiftly.