Photo by Don Boyd

Cari Powell

Desert Arboretum Manager

Cari Powell began volunteering at the Desert Arboretum in the fall of 2020 and has been on staff with the Friends of Bosque del Apache as the Desert Arboretum Manager since the fall of 2021.

Cari was born in Kansas and earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts from Washburn University.  She began working for non-profits shortly thereafter when she completed her first AmeriCorps VISTA term with a local community gardening organization.   In 2012, she moved to Durango, CO to complete a second AmeriCorps VISTA term.  Afterwards she worked in social services and as a program manager at a non-profit helping folks sign up for insurance on the “new” health insurance exchange.  After tiring of the cold and longing to be closer to cacti and chile, Cari moved to Socorro in 2017.  She worked for various social service and government organizations until the Covid-19 pandemic disrupted regular life.

Since then Cari has leaned into her passion for native plants and cacti.  She has a large greenhouse at home and operates a small business selling native cacti, succulents, house plants and veggie seedlings.  Managing the Desert Arboretum is hands down the most fun and educational job she’s ever had!




















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