Desert Defenders

Invasive species are one of the biggest threats to healthy ecosystems. They often crowd out native species, decrease biodiversity and increase wildfire risk. Join the new Desert Defenders program to help us find and remove these plants!

Desert Defenders is a citizen science program focused on finding, mapping and removing invasive species at local parks and preserves. The plant species that we focus on are known to have a moderate to severe impact on local ecosystems, and a few pose a risk for our community by raising the fire risk and even worsening seasonal allergies. The data collected through the tireless work of our Defenders is crucial for park staff and land managers to protect the desert parks we all love.


Acres Removed




Data Points Collected

Project Updates

Dawn at Courthouse Rock

Map on iNaturalist

Help us find and map the top noxious weeds (invasive plant species) of concern for Central Arizona region using iNaturalist. These invasive plants have spread aggressively both in urban and open spaces during the last few years. 

Dawn at Courthouse Rock

Wildfire and Invasive Plants

The Sonoran Desert is not fire adapted. As climate change and invasive species transform our landscape, our desert needs your help to thrive. Take a look at our Desert Defenders wildfire infographic to learn how you can help. 

Dawn at Courthouse Rock

Wildfire and Invasive Plants

Explore more information and resources from national and regional partners on wildfire and wildfire risk, invasive species, native plants, and ways to help.

Desert Defender Sign Up

Fill out our form to stay up to date on upcoming trainings, events and program updates!

Project Partners

We are grateful for the support and leadership of our partners in this effort.

maricopa trail
Desert Botanical Garden logo
McDowell Sonoran Conservancy logo
arizona parks and recreation association