Stewards participate in research as Citizen Scientists.

Jane Rau with many stewards at the Jane Rau Trail Opening.

Steward Programs Offer Diverse Opportunities

McDowell Sonoran Conservancy stewards support 11 programs ranging from rugged outdoor work to public outreach, all of which enable stewards to learn and participate in a variety of Preserve Programs. The list below offers a general overview of the options available, but each volunteer brings unique personal contributions to these experiences, ensuring these activities are successful in supporting and sustaining the Preserve's mission and vision.

Pathfinders - These trailhead hosts/ambassadors welcome visitors to the Preserve and inform them about its trails, biology, and conservation value

Fundraising and Development Program

Citizen Scientist - Volunteers participate in research, fieldwork, or program support activities that focus on the Preserve's natural resources.

Construction and Maintenance - Crews perform trail and trailhead maintenance, land restoration activities, and other work necessary to keep the Preserve open for everyone to enjoy.

Tours - Volunteers serve as leaders or assistants to ensure that visitors can enjoy and learn about the natural resources of the Preserve in a safe manner on foot, on bike or on horse.

Patrol - Volunteers monitor hundreds of miles on foot, mountain bike, or horseback, providing information about trail conditions for both safety and sustainability.

Nature Guides - Stewards provide the community opportunities to learn about the value, significance, and wonders of the Preserve through interactive tours and trailside learning.

Steward Education -  These stewards educate fellow volunteers in a classroom setting beginning with New Steward orientation and continuing with a variety of courses oriented toward natural resources, history and other features of the Preserve.

Volunteer Support - Through Steward Retreats and other activities, this team facilitates the sense of common values, "connections", and shared purpose that unite the steward community.

Community Relations - These stewards provide information to the public through select outreach events, a speakers' bureau, and the quarterly magazine, Mountain Lines.

If you are interested in any of these programs or have any questions about the skill sets or time requirements needed to participate in then, contact Kathy Dwyer, Director of Steward Operations, 480-998-7971 ext. 106. Interest and enthusiasm are the only prerequisites, so feel free to explore your untapped potential through these unique activities!