VOLUNTEERING AT MCDOWELL SONORAN CONSERVANCY
Becoming A Volunteer
Thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer Steward with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy.
To become a steward, you must complete and submit two applications and an orientation. To make sure the experience is not overwhelming, mentors and program representatives provide a support system. The process of becoming a full-fledged steward is upbeat and uplifting. You will feel that you’ve joined a great organization serving a great cause, and you will be on your way to working with others like you.
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.
- Complete the application and save it.
- Attach the application to an email to email@example.com or mail it to Luke Challis. at the address shown below.
Luke Challis, Program Coordinator
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy
7729 E Greenway Road, Suite 100
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
(480) 998-7971 (x106)
- Please submit your orientation fee at least two weeks prior to the class date to reserve a spot.
- Make checks payable to McDowell Sonoran Conservancy or call us with your credit card information. Our office number is (480) 998-7971; please ask for Debbie McKeighan (x100).
- Questions about the application process should be directed to Luke Challis, Program Coordinator.
This class is the first step in learning what you need to know to become a steward. Stewardship 101 is an introduction to the Preserve, the Conservancy, what it means to be a steward, and meaningful ways in which stewards can get involved. You’ll learn about expectations, requirements and tools you can use to learn more.
The seven-hour orientation is fun. It includes “speed dating,” a fast-paced introduction to all 8 programs by program leaders themselves. After Stewardship 101, you are required to participate in four activities in four different programs of your choice and complete a simple, open book, online exercise to familiarize you with the website’s content before achieving stewardship. Mentors will help you plan to meet those requirements. On average, most Stewards-in-Training become stewards within six to eight weeks.
This intensive workshop provides important information about the history and background of the Preserve, the relationship between the Conservancy and City of Scottsdale and the important mission of the Conservancy. Participants are introduced to the trails, trailheads and other features of the Preserve; safety issues, communicating with the public, patrol strategies, how to report trail conditions, contact information and the wide range of stewardship opportunities.
Participants who complete the class portion of the orientation are assigned a mentor. The mentor helps guide a participant with field orientation sessions and introduction to the variety of stewardship opportunities and steward programs.
As stewards, we pride ourselves on recognizing what needs to be done for the Conservancy’s success and partnering with staff to make it happen. In our organization, we all share the load. We’ve determined that we should be prepared to contribute in four key areas critical to ensuring our sustainability. These areas and their guidelines are:
- Time (volunteer in multiple programs and roles. Aim is a minimum of 60 hours per year)
- Leadership (throughout the course of your stewardship be prepared to accept some level of leadership role)
- Support (help with both the public-facing and behind the scenes work)
- Financial Contribution (contribute according to your means. Aim is a minimum of $60 per year)
Your active participation in all four areas is a simple but crucial way to support your fellow stewards and ensure that the Conservancy’s mission is accomplished.
We understand the demands on time and schedules, and being a steward may not fit into your plans. We also offer service days and periodic volunteer events within the Preserve and the City of Scottsdale, so please keep an eye out for those opportunities. Also know that your financial contributions go a long way to help our programming in the Preserve, education outreach in Title 1 Schools, and further our scientific research within the Sonoran Desert!