Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to our park’s ecosystem health. They outcompete native plants, decrease biodiversity, and increase wildfire occurrences and magnitude. Join the new Desert Defenders program to help us find and remove these plants!
January-February Dominant Species removed Sahara Mustard and London Rocket
March-April Dominant Species removed Stinknet, Malta star thistle, Russian thistle, and cool-season grasses.
Desert Defenders is a citizen science program focused on finding, mapping, and removing invasive species at Maricopa County Parks. The Invasive plant species that we will be mapping and/or removing are the dominant invasive species that have severely impacted our parks' natural ecosystems, and contributed to our most recent wildfires. The data collected through the mapping work and the invasive species removal efforts will help reduce the invasive plants and reduce wildfire potential within the parks. The Desert Defenders is crucial for park staff and land managers to protect the desert parks we all love.
Please join us at White Tank Mountain Regional Park on Friday, January 15, 2021:
Desert Defenders Trainings: We will provide Instructions for at-home app download and set up several days before the event. Day of will include field training from 8:00 am until 11:00 am. Please bring water, snack, and dress in long sleeves, pants, and closed-toed shoes. The majority of time will be spent hiking the park mapping invasive species.
At the conclusion of the training, you are invited to stay and participate in our Invasive Species Weed Pulls. This activity includes physically removing invasive plants by pulling, bagging, and disposing. Please bring gloves, hand tools such as weed digger or screwdriver can be helpful (depends on species and recent precipitation) bring water, snack, and dress appropriately for working around desert plants (spiny plants) in long sleeve shirt, pants, and closed-toed shoes.
Please check-in at the park's Nature Center at 8:00 am. We will hold a brief Safety briefing prior to starting.
Covid 19-Adhere to state covid protocols including wearing a masks when within 6 ft of others, social distance and we will be grouping ten-person per leader to avoid overcrowding, so there may be some email communications the day before the event that direct you to a different meeting location within the park that is scheduled.
To register, please click on the link https://signup.com/go/sOmnCtO