The Parsons Field Institute is a proud regional partner within the Central Arizona Conservation Alliance (CAZCA). Our team helped spearhead a regional open space conservation strategy, which was completed in 2018. Dr. Helen Rowe and Master Steward Dan Gruber serve on the CAZCA steering committee, whose main task is to foster the implementation of this strategy. Our collaborative projects are helping catalyze restoration and invasive species management decisions and help reach the goal to sustain and restore open space in the region.
For instance, the Parsons Field Institute is working with Maricopa County Parks and Recreation to identify potential restoration sites using satellite imagery. Enthusiastic Stewards are already scanning Google Earth to flag degraded sites, providing valuable information to the County to prioritize restoration projects in McDowell Mountain Regional Park and White Tank Mountain Regional Park. We are leaders in the Desert Defenders team and are helping to expand invasive species surveys and removals across the Valley. We also are leading research on restoration, working with USGS, Tonto National Forest, Maricopa County Parks and Recreation, Scottsdale Community College, and CAZCA to test seeding techniques at four regional field sites. Additionally, results from our invasive species removal experiments will be shared widely to our community partners in CAZCA. These results will tell us which removal treatments are most cost-effective and result in the highest native biodiversity. Together – we are making a difference to ensure the long-term preservation of our beautiful Sonoran Desert!