Home|Stewardship|Volunteering at McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Becoming A Steward

Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer steward with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. As a steward, you will be rewarded with educational opportunities, new friendships and the opportunity to give back.

To become a steward, the first step is to complete and submit two applications. Next, you’ll attend a comprehensive and exciting orientation that teaches you about the Conservancy, the Preserve, and how to earn your steward badge.

To guide you through the badging process, mentors and program representatives provide a support system. The process of becoming a steward is upbeat and uplifting. You’re joining a great organization serving a great cause, and soon you’ll be working with others who share your passion in our mission.

Our classes will resume in September 2021, but due to robust interest in the Stewardship program during the pandemic, it may be a several months before actual class assignments can be made.

Please read the Volunteering Opportunities page before you begin the application. This section explains what you can get out of being a volunteer, and what our expectations are of you.

Every applicant must submit an orientation fee of $75 and “The Conservancy Steward Application.” You will be asked to create a Username and Password before completing the application. This Username/Password combination will remain throughout your time with the Conservancy. You must register and complete the Conservancy’s online application below before proceeding to Step 2.

Pay Your Fee Here
Conservancy’s Online Application

Because stewards are also volunteers for the City of Scottsdale (COS), a City of Scottsdale Volunteer Application is also required. Yes, both of these applications are required. The COS uses this to complete a background check. After the COS receives your application, you will receive a secure web link where you will enter your private information.

  • Download and save the COS Application. You must download the application before you can fill it out.
City of Scottsdale Volunteer Application
  • Complete the application and save it.
  • Attach the application to an email to debbie@mcdowellsonoran.org or send by postal mail to:

Volunteer Coordinator
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

8175 E. Evans Rd., #12817
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 998-7971

  • Please submit your orientation fee at least two weeks prior to the class date to reserve a spot.
  • Questions about the application process should be directed to Debbie McKeighan. Our office number is (480) 998-7971; please ask for Debbie McKeighan (x100).

You will be assigned a mentor who will reach out to you prior to Stewardship 101. They will schedule an initial call or meeting to get to know you and offer insights to stewardship before you attend orientation.

After Stewardship 101, your mentor will help you set a plan to earn your steward badge. They’ll be available to guide you every step of the way as you explore various program orientation sessions, take the two required classes, and learn about the many exciting opportunities available to you as a steward.

Stewardship 101 orientation classes are usually held on the second Saturday of each month from September through March. S101 teaches you important facts about the Conservancy, what it means to be a steward, and meaningful ways you can get involved. You’ll learn about commitments, opportunities, and resources and tools available to you.

The orientation is fun. It includes “speed dating,” a fast-paced introduction to the programs by program leaders themselves. You’ll meet other stewards-in-training who share your passion for the outdoors. And you’ll learn the steps you need to take to earn your steward badge.

Your personal mentor will guide you through the badging process and help you to meet these requirements. On average, most Stewards-in-training become stewards within six to eight weeks – although some graduate more quickly.

Once you complete S101, you’re on your way to becoming a steward. Other requirements include participation in one activity each in three different Conservancy programs of your choice (total three activities), a Desert First Aid / CCC class and a Sonoran Desert 101 class. Finally, you will complete a simple, open book, online exercise pulled from post-S101 reading material before achieving stewardship.  Congratulations, you’ll receive your badge and have all the benefits and responsibilities of being a steward in the Conservancy.

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