United Way Days of Caring and Make a Difference Day

October 23rd and 26th, 2013

We will be cleaning up buffelgrass from Airport Wash! Come help us make a difference, and learn how you can get rid of buffelgrass in your own neighborhood! 

When: 8am-12pm on October 23rd and 26th, 2013

Location: Sunnyside Neighborhood Peace Garden, located near 12th Avenue and Drexel Road. Turn East on Calle Alvord off of 12th Ave until you reach Manuel Herrera Jr Park.

Parking: Parking located on side streets surrounding Manuel Herrera Jr Park (Calle Alvord, Liberty Ave, Calle Francita, S Fiesta Ave and W Finedale St).  

Register your Neighborhood Association or other group on United Way starting on September 9th and get a free t-shirt!

Details: No children under 12 years allowed to work in the wash. This project will primarily involve digging buffelgrass and carrying out bags of buffelgrass, but some light work will also be available. Closed-toed shoes and long pants are required. Long-sleeved shirts are recommended. Also bring a hat, sunscreen and water bottle. Snacks and water provided. 


For Past Events, select


National Public Lands Day - 2012

There are several opportunities to help our public lands get rid of buffelgrass this year. Check them out!

Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park:

7:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Where – Meet at the Red Hills Visitor Center of Saguaro National Park.

WhatBuffelgrass removal along Manville Road. Removal of buffelgrass, an invasive non-native plant that threatens the entire Sonoran Desert, will benefit both Ironwood Forest National Monument and Saguaro National Park.

No experience is necessary. Everyone can help pull, dig and bag up buffelgrass. This project is recommended for volunteers 16 years and older.

Registration – Please sign up in advance at or call 520-628-2092.

Supported by - Saguaro National Park; Bureau of Land Management; Tucson Clean and Beautiful; Friends of Saguaro National Park; Friends of Ironwood Forest; Southern Arizona Buffelgrass Coordination Center; National Parks Conservation Association; Pima County Natural Resources, Parks, and Recreation; Sonoran Desert Weedwackers; Tucson Water, Bureau of Reclamation; Arizona Native Plant Society; Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection, Tucson Audubon Society, Town of Marana.

Saguaro National Park and Ironwood Forest National Monument in Tucson, Arizona plan to participate in National Public Lands Day for a third consecutive year. This year a record number of organizations are joining together to promote volunteer participation and public awareness of invasive buffelgrass.

According to Lahsha Brown, the Executive Director of Friends of Ironwood Forest, this invasive African weed is threatening to destroy the delicate balance of the park’s desert ecosystem.Buffelgrass outcompetes the native plants for space, nutrients, and water. In addition, it is fire-adapted and our native plants are not. With its drought tolerance, prolific seed production, and capacity to spread fire, buffelgrass has the potential to turn our parks with their iconic Saguaros, Paloverde, and Ironwoods, into bleak grassland savannas. More information about buffelgrass is at

National Public Lands Day provides Saguaro National Park and Ironwood National Forest with vital manpower in the effort toward buffelgrass eradication. Volunteers are still needed and people are encouraged to sign up in advance, although not required.


The Coronado National Forest will once again be sponsoring an invasive weed removal project at Sabino Canyon to celebrate the day (see attached flier). Our target invasive weeds will be buffelgrass and fountain grass, African grasses that compete with and increase fire frequency in our native Sonoran Desert plant communities.

NPLD will be held on Saturday, September 29. The Sabino Canyon Weedwackers usually have their first fall event on the 4th Saturday of the month, but this year we will combine it with NPLD on the 29th. We will register between 7:00-7:30 am and work for 2-3 hours. We will meet at the Southern Arizona Rescue Association (SARA) parking lot– see the map in the flier and follow the signs past the main entrance to Sabino Canyon.

All are welcome! Wear boots or sturdy shoes, hats and long sleeves and pants. Bring water bottles. We will provide tools and water to refill your bottles. Hope to see you all there!

Download flyer


Did you know? National Public Lands Day (NPLD) is the nation's largest, single-day volunteer event for public lands in the United States.

Please join us to clean up the Bear Wallow camping area near Bigelow Mountain on Mt. Lemmon. Great for families!


9:00 AM to 3:00 PM

For your safety, please wear sturdy close-toe shoes, long-sleeved shirts, and pants.

  • Bring refillable water bottles as water jugs will be onsite
  • Bring insulated igloos/lunch bags to take your brown-bag lunch to your worksite
  • Bring hats/sunscreen/insect repellant as needed

To *register in advance, you must sign-up with Jean, SCC, at (520) 884-5550, x8, or


PLUS! Breakfast snacks & brown bag lunch for all registered* volunteers.

We will be removing litter from disbursed campgrounds, trimming back brush, closing illegal trails & campsites. SEE MAP in flyer.

Helping Hands for Americas Lands


Northern Jaguar Project needs buffelgrass help!

In July 2012, the Northern Jaguar Project (NJP) will begin a buffelgrass removal program at the 50,000-acre Northern Jaguar Reserve. The reserve is located approximately 125 miles south of the U.S.-Mexico border in the foothills of the Sierra Madre.

We are looking for volunteers with experience and/or an extreme willingness to perform hard work. Volunteers should have a passport, tourist visa (obtainable upon entry into Mexico), full camping equipment, and in some instances their own 4x4 transportation.

The first phase will start in late July and continue into October. Work will primarily consist of spraying newly green grass with glyphosate (Roundup or generic) along 36 miles of interior roads and on 100 acres where control may be easily monitored. We are looking for volunteers with experience driving a utility-style tractor and/or spraying with agricultural equipment. Due to the difficulty of getting to the reserve in the rainy season and the training involved, we need volunteers who are available for a minimum of two weeks.

Volunteers will be working with our reserve cowboys, our Mexican buffelgrass coordinator, and, at times, the Northern Jaguar Reserve manager, Rick Williams. Your own 4x4 transportation to the reserve would be helpful, but at a minimum you will need to arrive in Hermosillo, Sonora, on your own. NJP will cover transportation to the reserve from Hermosillo, as well as food expenses for all volunteers. This opening will be for a maximum of two volunteers at a time.

The ability to cope with hot temperatures, insects, storms, and early morning work is required. Volunteers will camp on the reserve in a primitive setting; kitchen, water, and outhouses will be available at some locations but not all. Work will begin early in the morning to make use of cooler temperatures and continue into the early afternoon each day. NJP will arrange for some after-work hiking and exploration of the reserve for all volunteers, and, if possible, time with our jaguar guardians. Once the summer rains start in July, the reserve will be incredibly beautiful into November. There is no light pollution or road noise except for what we make.

The second phase of buffelgrass removal will begin in October and could last until March.

We need multiple volunteers to assist in manually removing buffelgrass with picks and prybars. Experience would be valuable, but hardiness and a strong back may be most useful.


For more information, please contact NJP at




Saguaro National Park Weed Free Trails - January 14th, 2012 - down load poster

To register for the orientation or for more information

Contact Bethany Hontz at

or visit


Death by Fire Illustrated Talk

January 8, 2011

2:00 p.m.

NPS Fire Ecologist Perry Grissom helps the park’s ecosystems keep their natural fire regimes. In the desert portions, that means keeping fire out, as well as non-native plants that can spread fire in the park. He will discuss buffelgrass’s impact on the Sonoran Desert’s plants, animals and human residents. Learn the results of recent research into fire behavior in buffelgrass. Program is wheelchair accessible.


Rincon Mountain Visitor Center (Saguaro EAST)

3693 South Old Spanish Trail

Tucson, AZ 85730

(520) 733-5153

Friends of Ironwood Forest

Friday, December 10th, 8:00 am to 11:00 am

Saturday, December 11th, 8:00 am to 12:00 pm

Please join us this Friday and Saturday for a project that helps protect Ironwood Forest National Monument.

Friends of Ironwood Forest, Tucson Audubon Society, and the Bureau of Land Management are sponsoring volunteer opportunities at the El Cerrito Represso area of Ironwood Forest National Monument. No experience is necessary. Everyone is welcome to participate and help clean up a recreational shooting site and remove buffelgrass.

To sign up or RSVP please contact Lahsha at 628-2092 or and see additional details below.

Please wear long-sleeves, long pants, sturdy shoes, hat and sunscreen. Bring your water bottles, lunch (suggested), gloves, and friends. We will supply tools, extra water, snacks, some gloves, information on Ironwood Forest National Monument, and more.

**Special Note**

Road conditions for the last mile before the project site are sandy and are best suited for high clearance vehicles. We will have a parking area and one-mile shuttle to the project site available for anyone who does not have a safe vehicle. We may also set up come carpooling options from Tucson. Please let us know if you are interested in sharing a ride when you RSVP.

Directions: From Marana - Exit I-10 at Cortaro Rd, follow Cortaro West until it turns into Ina, continue West, then go South on Wade, follow Wade until it turns into Picture Rocks, take Picture Rocks to Sandario Rd, take Sandario South to Manville Rd, follow Manville West to the project site, about 2 miles past the entrance to the Monument.

From central Tucson - take Speedway Blvd West to Kinney Rd - same route as going to the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, go West on Mile Wide Rd to Sandario Rd, North on Sandario to Manville Rd, follow Manville West to the project site.

Approximate driving time from Central Tucson is less than 1 hour.

Click on the link below for a map to the project location location and suggested driving routes:

Map of El Cerrito Represso Project

Thank you for helping protect and restore Ironwood Forest National Monument.



Oro Valley Buffel Busters!

Date: Saturday, December 4th

Time: 8:00 am (2-3 hours)

Location: At the drainage area on Greenock Drive and Oracle Road (see map or link below). Greenock Drive is on the west side of Oracle across from the Holiday Inn Express. There is parking on the north (right) side of Greenock just off of Oracle. We will meet at the parking area and go through a safety briefing.

Please wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy shoes. Bring plenty of water, gloves, hats, sunscreen and extra tools if you have them. We provide bags, tools and extra water.

Please keep in mind that students 13 years and under must have their parent or legal guardian present with them during the pull and they must sign a “Hold harmless waiver form”. Students 14-17 years of age must have the Town’s “Hold harmless waiver form” signed by their parent or guardian prior to the pull and bring it with them. Oro Valley Buffel Busters 

If you plan to attend or need more information please contact Carmen Ryan at 229-5070 or Karn Boyce at 229-5024.


Saturday, October 23, 8 a.m. to noon

Tucson Audubon Society Sabino Creek Cleanup and Invasive Plant Removal

Please help us protect valuable wildlife habitat by volunteering for this event. We will be removing non-native, invasive plants and picking up any trash that could harm wildlife. Invasive plants like giant reed and fountain grass degrade wildlife habitat by competing with native vegetation for space and water. The location is on land along Sabino Creek, north of Snyder Road, that is protected through a conservation easement. Tucson Audubon and a coalition of other groups are trying rid Sabino Creek of invasive plants both in the Sabino Creek Recreation Area and along private land downstream. Work will consist of cutting and digging out roots giant reed, and also pulling fountain grass. We will also pick up any trash we encounter. Please wear work clothes, sturdy shoes (no sandals), and a hat. Bring water. We will have plenty of snacks and extra water to refill your canteen. Information will be available about Tucson Audubon programs, including our youth birding club and conservation projects. To sign up and get directions to the work site, contact Kendall Kroesen at 971-2385 or Support for this project comes from National Audubon’s TogetherGreen program, which is funded by Toyota.

Oro Valley  

Date:          Saturday, October 9th
Time:          7:00 am (2-3 hours)
Location:   Southwest corner of Lambert Ln. and N. 1st Ave.  (see map or link below). 

From N. 1st Ave. travel west on Lambert Ln. to Avenida Vallejo.  Travel south to River Walk.  There is parking at the end of River Walk where we will meet and go through a safety briefing.

Please wear long pants, long sleeves and sturdy shoes.  Bring plenty of water, gloves, hats, and sunscreen.  We provide bags, tools and extra water.

Please keep in mind that students 13 years and under must have their parent or legal guardian present with them during the pull and they must sign a “Hold harmless waiver form”.  Students 14-17 years of age must have the Town’s “Hold harmless waiver form” signed by their parent or guardian prior to the pull and bring it with them.   Hold Harmless Agreement  

If you plan to attend or need more information please contact Carmen Ryan at 229-5070 or Karn Boyce at 229-5024.

Google Maps Link for site: <>

September 25th is National Public Lands Day.  Several of our Public Land Stewards are having special events on that day involving Buffelgrass.