Friends of Saguaro National Park works day-in and day-out to support the National Park Service and to work to nurture tomorrow's park stewards.
Friends of Saguaro
Working To Nurture The Next Generation Of Park Stewards
This year has been a groundbreaking one for Saguaro National Park. Besides being an integral part of the NPS "Urban Agenda," Saguaro is celebrating the National Park Service Centennial with a dynamic career development program for local youth.
Friends of Saguaro joined with the Park Service to establish the Next Generation Ranger Corps program, and raised funding to support 17 "Next Gen Ranger" positions. Engaging youth in national parks is vital to cultivating tomorrow’s park advocates and stewards. Among the programs Friends of Saguaro uses are curriculum-focused park field trips that engage youth of all ages in activities that allow them to explore and discover the significance of the park's resources. Along the way, they’re introduced to the National Park System and its conservation mission.
We also utilize park ranger visits to classrooms to augment in-class teaching with a variety of age-specific programs; youth hiking clubs that involve students in regular after-school activities, and monthly hikes at the park -- empowering youth with outdoor recreation experiences that build skills and confidence, and; schoolyard BioBlitzes that enable middle school students to utilize GIS database platforms and apply skills and knowledge gained in the classroom to explore differences in biodiversity between their own schoolyard and the park.
For older students, our Cactus Rangers and Park Stewards programs engage them in "experiential learning" activities -- undertaking a variety of projects at the park to help restore habitat, survey saguaros, or monitor wildlife. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Friends of Saguaro enables the park to extend these multi-faceted environmental education programs to nearly 10,000 youth each year.
Next Gen Rangers At Saguaro National Park
Gaze across the flower-dotted landscape of Saguaro National Park and it's hard to immediately discern how many species are spread out in front of you. But the 2015 Bioblitz at the park in southern Arizona turned up near 100 species of plants, including two not previously known to grow in the park.
More than 100 volunteers followed seven botanists across the parkscape to count wildflower species. They identified 99 species of winter annual flowering plants. Eighty-three species of flowers were identified in the Tucson Mountain District (west) and 59 species were identified in the Rincon Mountain District (east).
Within the nearly 100 species were two plants not previously known to be in the park, including western tansy mustard (Descurainia pinnata ssp. ochroleuca) and western marsh cudweed (Gnaphalium palustre). The University of Arizona is assisting the park by confirming the identity of these two new plants.
Welcome To Friends of Saguaro
Friends of Saguaro National Park is the not-for-profit fundraising partner of the National Park Service at Tucson's Saguaro National Park, working to help the public . . .
Discover Saguaro - by reconnecting children and nature, and encouraging the exploration and discovery of the resources, heritage and recreational opportunities of the Park;
Protect Saguaro - by assisting the preservation and conservation of the natural and cultural resources of the Park, and sustaining its wilderness character; and
Support Saguaro - by strengthening community partnerships, and building environmental stewardship through philanthropy, public education, and volunteerism.
We invite you to join us in celebrating the National Park Service Centennial in 2016.
You can FIND YOUR PARK at Saguaro . . . and help us prepare for another century of conservation, preservation, recreation, and enjoyment.
Please consider supporting our work on behalf of Saguaro National Park.
Adopt A Saguaro
To fulfill its mission of protecting its namesake plant, Saguaro National Park conducts ongoing research to continuously evaluate the complex ecological interrelationships that govern the health and character of saguaro stands within the park.
Through the Friends of Saguaro Adopt a Saguaro program, you can support this critically-important scientific research, and help the park protect these impressive "sentinels of the desert."
With Adopt a Saguaro proceeds, Friends of Saguaroprovides the Park with funding to support saguaro inventories, monitoring and research.
Will you help protect the Park's saguaros?
You can Adopt a Saguaro for a minimum $35 per adoption.