Natural Resource Programs

DesertInvadersOnlineGraphicDesert Defenders

The Desert Defenders program is a collaborative citizen science project between Maricopa County's regional parks and:

- Central Arizona  Conservation Alliance,
- White Tank Mountains Conservancy,
- McDowell Mountain Conservancy, and
- additional agencies.

The project allows citizen scientists to locate and map Invasive species, and then remove the desert invaders. The invasive species identified in the brochure are spreading throughout the desert landscape, including high-quality natural areas within the Maricopa County's regional parks.

The agencies are currently focusing on the most problematic desert invaders by using collector and/or field apps to can map invasive species in the parks.

The data collected is then used to help understand invasive species hot spots so the department's natural resource staff can strategically prioritize management efforts for removal.

To learn more about the Desert Defenders program, visit the Desert Defender website.

2023 Invasive Species Removal Events

February   March   April  


2023 Native Seed Harvesting Events

April   May      

Butterfly Monitoring Program

Are you interested in learning more about the butterflies you see fluttering around the valley or help monitor their activity? Then the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department has a program for you! 

Program Resources: 

BeginnerButterfly AdvancedButterfly

Event Flyers:


250Join the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department for their Eco-BLITZ program. Using the free web-based I-Naturalist app, you can:

- contribute by collecting important species biodiversity data, and
- help create plant and animal inventories at Maricopa County’s regional 

All you have to do is:

- visit your favorite Maricopa County regional park,
- locate a plant or animal,
- take a few pictures,
- attempt to identify the species so you are learning as you go, and
- upload the photos to the I-Naturalist app.

Your observations will be automatically recorded under the Maricopa County Parks and Recreation Department’s Eco-BLITZ program. It's that easy!

To learn more about the program, check out our Eco-BLITZ video and information sheet.

A special thank you to the Desert Botanical Garden/EcoFlora staff for assisting in the program development.

2023 Eco-BLITZ Flyers
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December


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