The Sonoran Desert is the world's lushest desert. It is also home to the majestic Saguaro cactus (Carnegiea gigantea), which can grow up to 78 feet tall and live well over 150 years. This desert giant is often used as a symbol of the American Southwest. Saguaro National Park was established in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as a protected area for the Saguaro. Today it encompasses 92,000-acres and is home to an astounding diversity of plants and animals. It is one of the best bird watching spots in the southwestern United States; over 200 different species of birds are found here. The area in and around Saguaro National Park offers one of the most spectacular flower displays of any desert area in the country.
Our project will be working to remove invasive Buffelgrass from a portion of land near the Quilter Trail, which is part of the greater Arizona Trail, a through-trail bisecting the state. Buffelgrass is a species native to Africa and the Middle East that is aggressively invading the Sonoran desert. Buffelgrass has the ability to displace native vegetation, often forming dense, single-species stands which are highly susceptible to large-scale wildfires. The Sonoran desert is not naturally adapted to wildfire and the results are often catastrophic. Our daily commute to the project site will be a 1 hour hike. The hike is considered strenuous, so be sure to prepare for a couple of hours of hiking off trail each day.
This project is rated as a strenuous project.
This week-long service project is part of a community-wide effort involving many groups and hundreds of volunteers to remove invasive Buffelgrass and save southern Arizona's Saguaros. Find out more about these collaborative efforts here.
Join us for a week of desert sunsets and help give something back in sunny Saguaro National Park!
Check out more photos of past Saguaro National Park service projects in our gallery.
Mar 3rd - Mar 9th 2018
Invasive Removal of Buffelgrass
Day hikes to peaks or cactus gardens, photography, and soaking up the southwestern sunshine
Car Camping in Secluded Area
Strenuous : bending, digging, long (1 hour one way) hikes in to and from worksites