Learn With Us!

As part of our stewardship of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Conservancy focuses on providing information about the Preserve and the environment to recreationists and families who use or have proximity to the Preserve, environmental enthusiasts and community leaders.
Learning about the Sonoran Desert, its residents and its history enhances the enjoyment of visiting the Preserve and reveals the significance of this living treasure.

While our in-person opportunities are restricted during the 2020 COVID-19 public health emergency, we are so pleased to bring you online opportunities for learning.

go to online learning – Conservancy kids!


The Conservancy supports Arizona teachers and students with standards-based, interactive learning both in and out of the classroom.

Sonoran STEAM

Sonoran STEAM Education integrates STEAM learning with placed-based education, enabling students to build new connections and understanding both in the classroom and their everyday lives.

  • Third Grade—Spectacular Saguaro – Curriculum focuses on the life-cycle and the role the saguaro plays in our ecosystem.

Expedition Days

Expedition Days helps students broaden their understanding of their place in the Sonoran Desert through unique, interactive stations that meet 3rd grade Arizona State Science Standard 3.L2U1.8


Educational opportunities provided to adults span a wide breadth of topics from biology, ecology, and social sciences.

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy offers classes and lectures in the Preserve and in community libraries and classrooms on a variety of topics. Our most comprehensive study of the Sonoran Desert consists of classes in Ecology, Geology, Desert Surfaces, Human History of the McDowells and Flora and Fauna of the Preserve.

Mustang Lectures

Our free public lectures provide in-depth information about various Sonoran Desert topics and are presented by seasoned content experts.

Educational Hikes

Learn by doing? Our educational hikes utilize the McDowell Sonoran Preserve as a classroom for the Sonoran Desert, covering topics such as human history, flora, fauna, and geology.


The Conservancy provides opportunities for families to explore and learn together about natural, open spaces in the Sonoran Desert.

Sonoran Sunday

Join the Conservancy for trailhead presentations by our partners about Sonoran Desert topics including geology, birds of prey, Hohokam culture, and more.

Trailside Naturalist Station

Conservancy Stewards and partners provide an opportunity for visitors of all ages to explore some of the remarkable plants and animals of the Sonoran Desert through interactive trailside stations.

Expedition Days

Join us for a day of exciting, interactive learning about the Sonoran Desert ecosystem and your place in it. Learn more by emailing

Help Support Your Sonoran Desert!

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