Taking place in North Scottsdale this morning is the 11th “Tour de Scottsdale” bike race. Revenue collected from the Tour de Scottsdale benefits the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy the non-profit organization that helps protect and advocate for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
Yet, when you really think about it, the true benefactors of the Conservancy’s work are the hikers, cyclists and equestrians who use the trails and the homeowners whose properties are located near the preserve. As your Arizona golf homes specialists we know one of the many reasons people chose our area is the easy access to the Preserve and the unobstructed majesty and tranquility of the McDowell Mountains. It’s an amenity that has a positive impact on our quality of life, as well as on our property values in Scottsdale.
The McDowell Sonoran Conservancy was established as a 501 (c )3 non-profit organization in 1991 and joined a worldwide land conservation movement. In 1994, the first 5 square miles (3,200 acres) were dedicated. The preserve was so popular that in 1995 voters approved a sales tax appropriation for the McDowell Sonoran Preserve.
In 2013, Tour de Scottsdale raised $50,000 for the Conservancy and the money helped to add 6,393 acres and the new Brown’s Ranch Trailhead. The additional land brings the total acreage of the preserve to 30,200, or a little over 47 square miles.
Believe it or not, that land mass is almost 25% of Scottsdale’s total land area, and is bigger than Tempe and Paradise Valley combined! Also of note is that the McDowell Sonoran Preserve is the largest urban preserve in the United States.
It takes an army to preserve a mountain, and with over 500 volunteers, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is able to provide a variety of services for visitors to the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. These volunteers maintain and patrol trails, conduct educational hikes and welcome visitors. In 2013, a record 133 stewards joined the volunteer ranks of the Conservancy.
All these services are a direct result of the revenue generated by Tour de Scottsdale and other donors in the community.
Looking into the future, the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has a full docket of projects to help the McDowell Sonoran Preserve. Of the most important works underway: how to protect the natural resources within the preserve for the long term.
During the past 3 years, McDowell Sonoran Conservancy has been conducting the first-ever biological inventory of plants and animals in the preserve. It is funded in part by the Conservancy with a grant from the Pulliam Trust. Once completed, the McDowell Sonoran Field Institute and the Conservancy will create a long term ecological management plan for the preserve.
Scottsdale residents can individually help the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and the Preserve by volunteering. Specific experience is not needed, interest and advocacy for nature and the McDowell Sonoran Preserve are the key attributes.
Volunteer roles include Citizen Scientists doing research and fieldwork; Construction and maintenance of trails; Hike Leaders and assistants; Path Finders who welcome and guide visitors to trailheads; Patrollers who have the option of hiking, biking or horseback; Nature Guides; Stewards who educate incoming volunteers; Community Relations people who speak about the preserve at a variety of events; and Fund Raising.
If you’re interested in helping to keep Scottsdale special and you’re an advocate for the outdoors, volunteering with the McDowell Sonoran Conservancy is a great place to give some of your time, effort and passion.
The McDowell Sonoran Preserve is one of the key factors that makes the Scottsdale area extraordinary. If you’re searching for Scottsdale homes for sale, give me a call at 602-694-3200 or fill out the contact form below.
Thank you to all of you who support the Preserve through your support of Tour de Scottsdale, volunteering with McDowell Sonoran Conservancy and your donations. Good luck today, riders!
Realtor | Founder
The Matheson Team – RE/MAX Fine Properties
21000 N. Pima Rd., #100, Scottsdale, AZ 85255
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