Cactus flowers provide brilliant highlights to a desert landscape, as this photo of a flowering barrel cactus shows.

New Academy Village/Altura resident Steve Harris has followed his passion for cacti and succulents to the Arizona desert after a career at the Naval base in San Diego, where his wife Kathy also worked. They have been long-time members of the Cactus and Succulent Society of America, and have studied the plants extensively as an avocation.

In a talk set for Thursday (July 13) at 3:30 p.m. in the Arizona Senior Academy’s Great Room, Harris will focus on species native to our area, with an overview of the special adaptations of these plants that enable them to thrive in an arid environment.

Steve Harris

A native of Spokane, Wash., Steve was intrigued to learn as a student there that there were cactus species native to eastern Washington. That surprising revelation was enough to spark a lifelong interest in these extraordinary survivors. We will have the benefit of that interest at his talk on “Cacti.”

Written by Betty Feinberg, Academy Village Volunteer

More Info on attending an event
Academy Village is an active-adult community located off Old Spanish Trail six miles southeast of Saguaro National Park East. Its residents support the Arizona Senior Academy, a non-profit charitable organization whose mission includes offering free concerts and lectures to the public.

These events are held in the Great Room of The ASA Building adjacent to the Academy Village Community Center. Due to the popularity of cultural events, non-residents who wish to ensure priority seating are advised to make reservations by email at or by phone at (520) 647-0980. To learn more about the Academy, go to

Parking for visitors is in the lot behind the Community Center. All parking spaces in front of the Academy building are reserved.

How Cacti Thrive in Arid Environments: July 2017
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