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Wilderness Volunteers

Madrona, Saguaro National Park, AZ (Feb 23rd - Feb 29th 2020)

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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 Herbert Hoover 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 building upon the very successful removal of the invasive Buffelgrass from the Madrona area. This is an ongoing project which has seen great results because of our consecutive yearly projects. 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 strands which are highly susceptible to large-scale wildfires. The Sonoran desert is not naturally adapted to wildfire and the results are often catastrophic. Please note: This project is rated as strenuous as removing Buffelgrass over rough terrain for a week will be demanding & physically taxing work. The daily commute to the project site will be a 30-minute hike. 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.


Feb 23rd - Feb 29th 2020

Service Project

Invasive Removal of Buffelgrass

Agency logo

Free Days

Day hikes to peaks or cactus gardens, photography, and soaking up the southwestern sunshine


Car Camping in Secluded Area

Project Difficulty

Strenuous : bending, digging, ~30 min. hikes in to and from worksites


Lee Cooper
Ross Holloway

Equipment List