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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Environment, Land Resources Conservation, Natural Resources Conservation & Protection

Mission: We are stewards of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, a large urban preserve located in Scottsdale, Arizona. We offer and promote community educational programs on the necessity for and the methods to achieve appreciation, preservation and stewardship of our natural environment.

Results: For the past 18 years, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has championed the need to protect the 36,400 acres, or 1/3 of the land in the City of Scottsdale, of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve making the 57 square mile area the largest urban preserve in the United States and protecting vital watersheds, wildlife habitats, and the fragile flora of the Sonoran Desert

Target demographics: The community we serve includes 5,000 active members; the members of our partner organizations; residents of the nearby communities of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve and Maricopa County; and countless thousands of visitors from around the world who come to experience the McDowell Mountains and surrounding Sonoran Desert.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Thousands of species of wildlife, flora, and fauna. Thousands of visitors and local residents

Programs: Maintaining trails, restoring damaged desert habitat, and removing invasive plants. Educating young people and the general public about the wonders of the Preserve through public hikes, lectures, and outreach programs. Advocating completion of the Preserve plan to acquire 36,000 acres of Sonoran Desert within the City of Scottsdale, and the integration of the resulting trail system with other existing and planned local, county and national preserves.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Marsha L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is an amazing place! I've worked as a steward for the last two years to help bring education about the Preserve to the public. In steward education,nature guides and pathfinders...I help connect the public to the magic of the Sonoran desert and our crown jewel, the Preserve. It is our mission to be THE people preserving nature.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great organization working to maintain and develop the McDowell Sonoran Preserve in Scottsdale, one of the largest urban preserves in the U. S.

Susan P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering has a meaningful, positive impact on your community. My search for volunteer opportunities in non-profit organizations brought me to the MSC and what peaked my interest was a call for stewards to assist in the patrol of trails, and I could do it on my horse! What has motivated me to continue with this group of dedicated people, is the variety of ways that I can engage in land conservation and stewardship. From opportunities in trail maintaince to outreach and education programs that build support for open spaces in the community. It is important to enjoy the type of volunteer service you choose and the MSC provides me the chance to make a difference for the beautiful open lands and communities of this region and I take great pride in the fact that I have had a hand in protecting them forever.

David W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a McDowell Sonoran Conservancy trail maintenance volunteer I have been to work everywhere in the preserve. What a beautiful ecological and geological gem it is! At 16,000 acres and still growing, the City of Scottsdale could not develop and maintain the preserve without the assistance of hundreds of MSC volunteers. There is a wide variety of volunteer opportunities to meet the interest of anyone wishing to become involved.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I continue to be amazed at what a volunteer work force can do when they have a shared purpose. The concept of "preserving our desert and mountains for the benefit of this and all future generations" is a lofty yet achievable goal. The city of Scottsdale, owners of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, has paved the way by allowing the McDowell Conservancy (MSC) to train and educate over 400 Stewards to help protect the preserve, make it safer and affordable to all who desire to enjoy what nature has provided.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a Steward for the McDowell’s, I am there to assist hikers, and help them make good choices. I make sure they are carrying enough water, have proper foot wear and understand the complexity of the trails