Get involved with the Tonto by joining us as a member or a volunteer, or both! You don’t have to become a member to volunteer and you don’t have to volunteer to be a member.
Think of membership as a way to support management of your National Forest, the one that’s closest to you, where you probably like to spend time. Board members and officers of Friends are all volunteers so funds raised go to projects on the Tonto. National Forests are notoriously underfunded, and they need your love and attention. If all of this is important to you, we invite you to become a member.
Membership entitles each member to vote for board members each fall. In addition, membership allows you to run for board and officer positions. Dues and donations are tax-deductible, and we will send you a receipt for your tax reporting.
To join, simply fill out the Membership & Volunteer form below. If you would like to volunteer as well, this form gives you options to opt in to volunteer opportunities you are interested in. Dues can be paid via the PayPal link or checks can be mailed to us at:
Friends of Tonto National Forest
4022 E Greenway Rd, Ste 11 #348
Phoenix, AZ 85032
The Tonto National Forest covers 2.9 million acres, so managing it takes a lot of people! We have a variety of projects and needs for volunteers, with opportunities for larger groups. Some of our needs are as follows:
- Riparian Photopoint: held April – June each year, volunteers take a photograph at selected sites that show changes in streambanks and vegetation. The Forest, and ecologists who do research on the Tonto have come to depend upon information these photos provide – impacts by livestock, or improvement in conditions through livestock management, wildlife impacts, results of flooding, fire and drought.
- Invasive Plant Removal: Non-native plants pose threats to the desert ecosystem, adding fuel to wildfires and competing with native plants for resources. Volunteers work on designated sites in the Superstition Mountains to remove invasive grasses.
- Milkweed for Monarchs: Milkweed is a vital plant for monarch butterflies, as monarch caterpillars rely on it as a food source. Volunteers help with planting, watering and monitoring milkweed.
- Cave Creek Trail System Maintenance: We need volunteers to help us return this trail system to its full potential by helping with light trail brushing and fiberglass trail marker installation.
- Water Source Inventory: Help Friends inventory developed water sources on the Tonto National Forest including windmills, springs and stock tanks.
- Adopt-a-Site: Assist the Forest Service in maintaining a Developed Recreation Site by removing weeds, debris and trash, painting, cleaning picnic tables and removing graffiti.
- Archaeology: We work on several significant archaeological sites in the Tonto, and help is needed to remove overgrown vegetation and maintain the sites.
- General help with organizational operations: From social media to website design, grant writing, membership, data management – we need help everywhere!
Spend time giving back to the Tonto National Forest. We have fun working together with people who enjoy being outdoors as much as we do! To volunteer, simply fill out the Membership & Volunteer form below & choose Volunteer Only.
Please note that Junior memberships only require filling out the above form and do not need to pay below.
Michael and Ellie, a father/daughter team, have been volunteering with Friends of the Tonto since 2016. “We were looking for something to fulfill a school service project commitment which involved outdoor activity that we could do together” says Michael.
He continues, “the service project commitment has long been fulfilled but we continue to participate with Friends of the Tonto as we get satisfaction from seeing progress and knowing we are making a difference.”
They have been regular participants with two important projects – attending many of the scheduled Superstition Mountain Invasive Removal events and signing up for multiple Riparian Photopoint sites each season.
Ellie explains why volunteering is important to her. “With Friends of the Tonto I have witnessed changes in the forest ecosystem and some of the impacts. I’m seeing the progress a group of dedicated volunteers can make. I am now in the process of making choices for my career path and future studies and find that the experiences I’ve had and knowledge of the desert ecosystems I’ve gained are helping me with these decisions”.
Their enthusiasm and experience is invaluable to FOTNF as they pass this on to new volunteers and others within the community.
Join us at our next volunteer event! See our calendar of events here.
Other ways to support us
- Sign up for our newsletter. Fill out the Membership & Volunteer form below & choose Newsletter signup only, then select “yes” when asked if you would like to be added to the Friends email list.
- Donate: http://www.friendsofthetonto.org/support-us/
- Follow us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/friendsofthetonto/