Tag Archives: McDowell Sonoran Conservancy

Girls on the Run (1)

Support Local on Arizona Gives Day

Every single resident in Scottsdale and beyond (this means you!) is being asked to do one simple thing today – give.

Why?

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

Musical Instrument Museum (MIM)

“On March 20, all Arizonans will be asked to participate in the first-ever Arizona Gives Day,” said Patrick McWhortor, president and CEO of the Alliance of Arizona Nonprofits, who helped to develop the initiative in partnership with the Arizona Grantmakers Forum and a team of statewide leaders.

Beginning at midnight on March 20 and continuing until 11:59 p.m., Arizonans can go online at www.AZGives.org to support a local nonprofit in their community, or pledge their financial support to one of the hundreds of participating nonprofits across the state. A day dedicated to communities that care, Arizona Gives Day, presented by First Bank, will focus on giving back to the organizations whose invaluable efforts have helped empower communities and provide services, products and more to those in need.

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation

Anne Rita Monahan Foundation

The Gives Day movement began in Minnesota four years ago as a way to increase individual giving and help nonprofits raise awareness about their cause. Each year since, these initiatives have seen increased success and have helped countless organizations continue to provide the services and programs their communities need.

Today, Gives Days are becoming increasingly more popular, leading many other states like Colorado, Georgia, Alabama and now Arizona to expand the “flash-mob type” movement into their own states. Organizers of the Arizona Gives Day hope to see the same successful response during the 24-hour statewide online giving initiative on March 20.

“For as little as $10, nonprofits in Arizona can and do make a difference,” said McWhortor. “Together, we hope to raise more than $2 million on this single day.”

Nonprofit Participation

Among the nearly 850 nonprofits participating in this event are several from around the Scottsdale and surrounding area, including:

Cave Creek Museum, Desert Foothills Land Trust, Desert Foothills Library, Foothills Food Bank, HopeKids, Wild At Heart, Yes You Have A Choice/Sofia’s House, Project Linus, Bucket List Foundation, Go Green Now Foundation, Inc., Anne Rita Monahan Foundation, Arizona Helping Hands, Inc., Arizona Music and Entertainment Hall of Fame, Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Scottsdale, Camelot Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Childhelp, Cortney’s Place, Devereux Arizona, Family Promise of Greater Phoenix, Feeding Matters, Foothills Animal Rescue, Four Seasons Orchestra, Musical Instrument Museum, Greater Arizona Chapter of Association of Fundraising Professionals, Hope Village, ICAN, International Cancer Advocacy Network, Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Phoenix, MASK (Mothers Awareness on School-age Kids), McDowell Sonoran Conservancy, New Way Academy, notMYkid, Oasis Sanctuary Foundation LTD, Partners In Action, Phoenix Herpetological Society, Pinnacle Presbyterian Preschool, Power Paws Assistance Dogs, Inc, Reigning Grace Ranch, Scottsdale, Preparatory Academy, Scottsdale Training and Rehabilitation Services, Singleton Moms, Square One Inc., The Berceli Foundation, The New Foundation, The Purple Society, The Welcome to America Project, Tourette Syndrome Association of Arizona, Inc., Tumbleweed, Valley of the Sun Jewish Community Center, Waste Not, Inc., Safe Haven for Animals

How to Participate

Businesses, schools and communities are encouraged to rally friends, family, classmates and co-workers leading up to the big day. Donors can learn more about the nonprofits participating in their community by logging on to the www.AZGives.org. Then help spread the word by joining the movement on Facebook and Twitter.

Giving is as easy is 1-2-3!

1. On March 20, visit www.AZGives.org

2. Click on “Donate”

3. Choose your nonprofit of choice and give away

Whether you give a little or give a lot, every donation will help the more than 20,000 deserving organizations statewide!

McDowell Sonoran Preserve, Photo: Flickr, Dru Bloomfield - At Home in Scottsdale

Experience The Desert At Scottsdale’s McDowell Sonoran Preserve

The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is 21,400 acres of land located just outside of Fountain Hills. The Preserve is full of geological discoveries, desert wildlife and a large selection of plant species.

The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy was created to work with the City of Scottsdale in collecting data of the area. The Preserve is currently looking to add another 6,400 acres of state land to the north of the Preserve and then another 24,000 acres in 2013. Visitors to the park can expect to see a number of different landscapes from dry deserts to lush underbrush.

“The initial idea behind the Preserve started in the 1960s when Scottsdale development started to move north, and they were concerned that some of the mountains would be built on,” says Scott Hamilton, who works for the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy’s Preservation Division.

An environmentally sensitive land ordinance was then created, and in the 1990s, they worked at acquiring and setting land aside to protect it from being built on. In 1995, the first sales tax of .2 percent was approved in Scottsdale, and the money that was generated from the sales tax was used to buy land on the mountains. At first, the Preserve was not open to the public, but they created a second tax of .15 percent in 2005 that was used to purchase land as well as provide funding to create trailheads.

Hamilton says that the public is a strong part of the Preserve. “The Peserve was created by the public and continues to be shaped by the public as we go into the future,” he says.

Tom's Thumb Trailhead, McDowell Sonoran PreserveThe preservation planners work with contractors and volunteers to create and manage trails throughout the Preserve. Volunteers can work through the Conservancy to attend “new steward classes” where they can work in an area of their interest such as building trails, maintenance and construction.

The most recently renovated trail was Tom’s Thumb Trailhead, which opened on Oct. 18. The work for Tom’s Thumb Trailhead began three years ago when the planners worked with contractors and architects to design the structures at the beginning of the trail; they then began working on creating the trail.

Each of the trails throughout the preserve is rated depending on difficulty. There are volunteers who work to hand out maps of the trails, and they also provide visitors with trail recommendations depending on what type of hike they are looking tackle.

“The program is pretty innovative,” Hamilton says. “I get calls from other land managers in other states that are looking to do what we do here. We’re really lucky; it’s still perpetuated by the citizens through volunteers and tax votes. The citizens in Scottsdale are very active and willing to spend their money and their time.”

The preserve is open daily, starting 30 minutes before sunrise and closing 30 minutes before sunset. A list of the exact times can be found at scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve.

Tom’s Thumb Trailhead at McDowell Sonoran Preserve

23015 N. 128th St.
Scottsdale, AZ 85255
(480) 312-7013
scottsdaleaz.gov/preserve