Blogpost written by PCMN Peggy O.
Members of Cohort 6 of Pima County Master Naturalists (PCMN) attended their first in-person field experience together at Pima Prickly Park on Saturday, March 5, 2022. Dick Wiedhopf, the President of the Tucson Cactus and Succulent Society (TCSS) shared the history and mission of the Park, a partnership between Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation and the society. The ever-evolving collaboration has resulted in a “work-in-progress landscape highlighting cacti and other succulents. Free and open to the public since 2011, the park has been maintained and improved by a dedicated group of volunteers from the TCSS who “rescue” cactus and succulents to add to the park and sell at community plant sales to subsidize their work…fulfilling the TCSS mission of “knowing, sharing, growing, and conserving.”
Amy Belk, the Program Coordinator for Pima County’s Native Plant Nursery (NPN), continued the tour of the facility that grows and cares for plants being raised for a variety of public projects. The NPN also rescues native plants from public and private property slated for development and maintains a seed library of 130 native species. The MN’s also had a chance to “get their hands dirty” sampling some typical volunteer duties including weeding, watering and transplanting.
Special thanks to the Pima County Native Plant Nursery and the Tucson Cactus Native Plant Society for providing an example of what is possible with vision, creativity, and dedication. They have created a partnership that benefits all residents of Pima County and provides leadership in the conservation of our Sonoran Desert Natural Resources. PCMN have worked as volunteers with both organizations and have logged more than 500 volunteer hours at the Prickly Park and Plant Nursery.