Tucson's renowned Desert Museum turns 59

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- A world renowned institution in Tucson celebrated a big birthday Monday.  The Desert Museum turned 59-years old.

The sound of the streams, the sway of the wind, at the Desert Museum it's all about exploring nature.

"I see like butterflies, lizards, dragonflies everywhere flying around," said Julian Teran.

Nine-year-old Julian Teran visited Monday with his father and little sister Jazmine.

"I hear the wind, and I hear the water and I hear the birds," said Jazmine Teran.

The sounds have soared through the museum's pathways since it opened Labor Day weekend 1952.

Today about 460,000 people visit each year.

"The Desert Museum is actually a very unique organization, it was when it opened originally and it still is today," said Desert Museum Executive Director Craig Ivanyi.

Julian and family got a look at just a few of the museum's more than 300 species.

"I saw big horn sheep, bears, mountain lions, javelina, wolves," said Julian.

It's also home to 1300 varieties of plants.

It all form the sights and sounds that contribute to the museum's rich past.  And what employees hope is a long-lasting future.

"It's great to remind ourselves of what a jewel we have in the desert," said Ivanyi.

Next month the museum will launch a new festival.  It's called "Festival of Flight" and features animals with wings.  It runs October 14 through the 16.