You can help protect the Preserve by recylcing.

Remove invasive weeds from your landscape to help ensure seeds don't make their way into the Preserve with the potential for spreading wildfire.


The McDowell Mountains and surrounding Sonoran Desert are unique. They are home to organisms that only live here and nowhere else in the world.  Artifacts of a rich human history, from Native Americans, to ranching, to mining, are preserved in this area. The McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the largest urban preserve in the country, is also part of a vibrant human community in Scottsdale, Arizona. This Preserved open space and natural habitat is essential for protection of the organisms that live here. Through our dedicated stewards and support from the community, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is able conserve this land ensuring that the beauty of the Sonoran Desert, one of Arizona’s unique treasures, can be enjoyed by generations to come.

What you can do to help:

•    Invasive Species- Avoid planting non-native plants in your garden. Their seeds can be transferred into the preserve inadvertently. These non-native plants, that do not have natural predators in the desert, upset the balance of the ecosystem, stealing resources from the native vegetation. Also many non-native plants use large amounts of water, removing it from an environment where it is already very scarce. (List of invasive with alternatives coming soon)

•    Interaction with Wildlife- Remember that wild animals are wild and to survive they must remain in their natural habitats. Please limit interaction with wildlife to observation at a distance or picture-taking. 

•    Littering- Do not leave any kind of trash in the preserve. Even the smallest amount could injure or kill plants or animals.

•    Removal of items from the Preserve- We want to protect the historic artifacts and living organisms in the Preserve by leaving them in their natural setting. Please do not remove anything from the Preserve.

•    Off-trailing- Please stay on the trails. Trails ensure your safety and the safety of the natural environment around you.

•    Live Sustainably- What we do in our human communities outside surrounding the Preserve affects the natural environment inside the Preserve. Simple changes such as conserving water and biking or walking instead of driving can have drastic impacts on the health of the environment if we work together as a community.

Do your part in protecting this special place. The best way to help in protecting the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is to get involved with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy. Visit the Preserve and enjoy its pristine beauty. Remember, leave it as you found it. Learn more about the ecosystem that we protect through a variety of programs we offer. Vote to protect open spaces. Donate to support the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy in our conservation efforts. Volunteer to help educate others about conservation in the Preserve. As a community we can ensure that our unique desert home remains healthy now and in the future.