Friends of the Tonto National Forest is a 501(c)3 Non-profit Organization

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The Friends of the Tonto National Forest, Mesa Ranger District and Southwest Monarch Study need your help to restore habitat for Monarch Butterflies by planting milkweed plants in Tonto National Forest.  This is part of an International effort to support Monarch Butterflies during their migration along a corridor from Canada to Mexico.


2018 Monarch/Milkweed Planting Project

November 16 & 17, 2018 7:30 AM

Tonto National Forest

Cave Creek Ranger District

40202 N. Cave Creek Rd.


Join Friends of the Tonto and other volunteers as we create

Monarch Butterfly Waystations

We will be preparing the sites and planting approximately 200 milkweed plants and equal number of seed hills.  The Indian Springs Wash, Mesquite Campground and Cave Creek Ranger District headquarters are the sites for this years plantings.

Sign-in will start at 7:30 AM at the Ranger District Office on both the 16th(Friday) and 17th(Saturday).  There, we will have sign-in forms, a required safety review, and make work assignments.


Click here for map showing planting locations


All of the sites are accessible with ordinary passenger vehicles and there will be signs identifying the areas.

We will have drinking water available.  If you have a favorite garden trowel, please bring with you, all other necessary tools will be provided.



We will be watering on the days of planting and on the 20th and 23rd.  Schedule through December will be approximately every 3 - 5 days depending on weather and hopefully rain.  Please sign-up on the registration form to be included in the notification list for watering schedule.


Parental permission is required for all participants 18 years of age or younger.

Forms are available below under "Volunteer Requirements".


Click here for Registration Form



Milkweed plants are funded by a grant to the Southwest Monarch Study by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation

To learn more about Monarch Butterflies and this project, check out these resources


2018 Monarch/Milkweed Planting Project

November 14, 2018 6:30 PM

Tonto National Forest

Cave Creek Ranger District

40202 N. Cave Creek Rd.

Click here for Registration Form


Preparing for the 2018 Planting Sessions

Tonto National Forest, Friends of the Tonto NF and Southwest Monarch Study

will hold an orientation Nov 14, 6:30 PM


Learn about the Monarch Butterfly’s life cycle, migration habits and the need for the Milkweed Waystations.

Gail Morris, with the Southwest Monarch Study, will present the latest findings on the migratory routes of the Monarchs in the Southwest. Learn about the thousands of Monarchs that have been already been tagged throughout the Southwest.  Gail will also cover the threats to the Monarchs and the critical need for these waystations.  Get a preview at

We will also review the logistics for the milkweed planting on Nov 16th and 17th, including site prep, planting instructions, and watering plans.



Volunteer requirements:

Wear long pants

Closed footwear


Sun protection

Bring sufficient water


There will be a brief review of the safety requirements at the staging area along with a sign-in sheet acknowledging understanding of the safety rules.


Anyone under 18 years old must have parental permission.


Click here to download a copy of parental permission form.

2017 Milkweed Planting

Friends of the Tonto National Forest  4022 E. Greenway Road  Suite 11 Box 348  Phoenix, AZ  85032