According to research done by the Place-based Education Evaluation Collaborative (PEEC), people engage more strongly with information that is presented to them while they are in nature. 

Studies indicate that people develop a stronger connection with nature through place-based experiences, and then become stewards of their community’s natural lands. 

Education & Research

The Preserve is the product of millions of years of geologic and ecologic processes. Scientists consider the Sonoran Desert, and specifically its mountains, the richest desert habitats in the world. The plants and animals are specially adapted to live here – and in some cases, are so specialized that they could live nowhere else. People have also been part of the Preserve’s story for thousands of years.

Visitors to natural open spaces seek more than a place of beauty—due to our innate sense of curiosity about the world around us, we also want information.  As part of our stewardship of the McDowell Sonoran Preserve, the Conservancy focuses on providing information about the Preserve and the environment to recreationists who use the Preserve, families whose proximity to the Preserve creates an impact, environmental enthusiasts, and community leaders. Learning about the Preserve, its residents, and its history both enhances the enjoyment of visiting the Preserve and reveals the significance of this living treasure.