Become Part of a Conservation Community
Friends of the Desert Mountains’ volunteer opportunities can take you to some wild places. Volunteering assists Friends in continuing our Mission, and offers unexpected rewards for those who participate. Apart from the sense of pride and accomplishment that comes with working on individual projects, many Friends volunteers (and all of the staff) feel a sense of family that comes naturally with the shared values, exchange of ideas, and respect for each other and the environment that brings us together.
Trail Stewardship: The Coachella Valley is home to over 500 miles of world-class hiking trails, from strolls through native fan palm oases to a 10,000 foot ascent of Mount San Jacinto along one of the steepest slopes in North America. These trails see use from thousands of hikers, equestrians, mountain bikers and others every year, and that number is ever increasing.
Friends’ “Trailheads”: work to protect these trails for the use and safety of residents and visitors to the Coachella Valley, as well as to minimize impacts on the fragile environment that surrounds them. Our efforts include trail construction and maintenance, trash removal, sign placement and repair, and trail safety
and etiquette outreach.
Invasive Weed Control: Our desert is home to habitats and species found nowhere else on earth. Even though they may be protected on paper, they need protection from threats on the ground, like invasive species. Invasive species are a leading cause of extinction worldwide, second only to habitat destruction.
Friends’ “Weed Warriors”: work to control and remove invasive weed species that threaten critical riparian and sand dune habitats, including Saharan mustard, fountain grass, and tamarisk. These species consume already scarce water and nutrients, create fire hazards and crowd out native plants and animals.