Sarah McKenzie

The Sonoran Desert intrigued and captivated me from the first day of my Tucson visit. On the second day I persuaded my husband that we should build a house near Catalina State Park. We never looked back and now make Catalina our home. As a Minnesotan transplant, I quickly learned how different the desert is from the lush Mississippi Valley (and I’m not even talking about politics). The desert is full of contradictions — tough, thorny, poisonous and at the same time, fragile, delicate and sweet. I wanted to help preserve this most amazing place.

I soon learned of the critical role the Coalition for Sonoran Desert Protection played in conservation in Pima County including:

  • Development of the Sonoran Desert Conservation Plan (Pima County’s innovative and comprehensive plan for balancing conservation with development),
  • Passage of the 2004 Open Space bonds, and recently,
  • Building of the wildlife crossings on Oracle Road.

I wanted to get involved with an effective group and I found one. I volunteer with interesting like-minded people, monitoring a wildlife camera, helping with mailings, and lobbying in Phoenix.
Financial support is the life blood of a non-profit and is how it carries out its mission. I’ve found giving to be easy and satisfying by setting up an automatic monthly contribution through the

“La esperenza muera ultima. Hope dies last.
You can’t lose hope. If you lose hope, you lose everything.”
—Jessie de la Cruz, retired farm worker.

Supporting the Coalition though volunteering time and money is for me a strong antidote for the powerlessness I can feel watching the disappearing wilderness.

Thank you Sarah for all your hard work as a volunteer and your ongoing support as a monthly donor!

Originally published in the Friends of the Desert newsletter – issue 50 – in Spring 2016.

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