VOLUNTEER PROGRAMS

URGENT NOTICE

In light of COVID-19 and guidance from local, state and federal public health agencies, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy continues to suspend public activities that require the gathering of groups of people or close personal contact until guidance allows for resumption of those activities. For as long as necessary, the Conservancy, its staff, and stewards will continue with much of their work while maintaining a safe working environment.

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McDowell Sonoran Conservancy Stewards support 9 programs ranging from rugged outdoor work to public outreach, all of which enable Stewards to learn and participate in a variety of Programs. The list below offers a general overview of the options available, but each volunteer brings unique personal contributions to these experiences, ensuring these activities are successful in supporting and sustaining the Conservancy’s mission and vision.

STEWARD PROGRAMS FOR VOLUNTEER ENGAGEMENT

Click on the title/icon below to learn more about each program offered to our volunteer stewards by McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.

The Guided Hike & Bike program offers education and fitness-oriented tours in the McDowell Sonoran Preserve for the general public and for private groups. the program includes hike and mountain bike guided tours to promote the Preserve and to educate the diverse audiences who visit.

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Patrol Stewards monitor over 225 miles of beautiful trails on foot, mountain bike and horseback.  We are the eyes and ears for the Conservancy and the City of Scottsdale on the trails, on patrol to support the objectives of the Preserve. We are also the face of the Preserve for visitors on the trails, helping them enjoy the Preserve safely as they learn more about this very special place.

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Pathfinders are McDowell Sonoran Conservancy steward volunteers who serve as ‘trailhead hosts’ for the City of Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Pathfinders help visitors to the Preserve pick the best hikes by learning their interests, abilities and the amount of time they have to spend on that visit.

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Mission TBD.

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Conservancy stewards who volunteer as citizen scientists typically have a science-minded curiosity and desire to ask questions, work in a professional manner, participate in lifelong learning and share what they have learned. They are a permanent program run by volunteers who work side by side with professional scientists on Parsons Field Institute research projects. By becoming a citizen scientist, you can expect to meet interesting people, learn about new concepts and creatures, participate in science projects, get great exercise and have fun.

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The Construction & Maintenance (C&M) program works closely with City of Scottsdale staff to maintain the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, utilizing the time and talents of an all-volunteer workforce to perform work including trail maintenance, non-native plant removal, trimming vegetation and trailhead area beautification. C&M efforts help assure safe, barrier-free access to the Preserve for visitors of all ages.

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Education connects you to learning resources and hands-on opportunities to deepen your understanding of the Sonoran Desert: its flora, fauna, ethnobotany, geology, ecology and the colorful characters who have left a lasting impact on this beautiful place we call our backyard. As community educators, we deliver modern curriculum to youth and adults. Combined with our youth and adult education are our outreach lectures provided by the Speakers Bureau.

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The Nature Guides Program provides opportunities for the community and visitors to learn about the value, significance and wonder of the Sonoran Desert through interactive tours and trailside learning on the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. We promote stewardship of natural open space by fostering an appreciation of the natural and cultural resources of the Sonoran Desert.

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The Steward Experience Program focuses on activities that help ensure stewards have an enjoyable, meaningful experience and provide the Conservancy with knowledgeable, engaged, and productive volunteers.

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