Our Mission

Friends of the Tonto National Forest is a group of volunteers who assist the Forest in its critical mission of natural and cultural resource and visitor use management. We promote public understanding of the Tonto National Forest’s policies, programs and projects.

Milkweed for Monarchs

This project is part of a multi-year program to create monarch butterfly habitat on the Tonto National Forest. It supports nationwide efforts. Milkweed is the required diet for monarch larvae – read about the monarch’s incredible life cycle at here.

Seedlings were grown by Friends volunteers using FOTNF-collected desert milkweed (Asclepias subulata) seeds from naturally occurring populations along Bush Highway. In mid-November, the milkweed seedlings were planted at Wildcat Staging Area on the Cave Creek Ranger District and Phon D. Sutton recreation site on the Mesa Ranger District. 50 milkweed seedlings at each site.
The Home Depot at Tatum and Bell Road in Phoenix generously donated hardware cloth to protect the seedlings from herbivore depredation, garden soil and other materials for planting the seedling milkweeds. Thank you, April!!

We will be watering through next summer and welcome everyone’s help. Watering is a critical part of success of this project!

Sign up to water!

Buffelgrass and Fountain Grass Free Zone

We made great progress on the Grass Free Zone during the Fall of 2020 and will continue during the Spring of 2021. This is a great way to get outside, enjoy the open space and make a difference.  Everyone brings their own gloves and a face mask.  Wearing a face mask will be requested any time we are unable to maintain ‘social distancing’.

All the planned dates are included on the registration form, but just select the dates you are planning to attend now.  The form will be available for later submissions.  We meet at the Jacobs Crosscut/Massacre Grounds Trailhead parking lot on First Water Road at 8:00 AM. We will finish in time to be back at the parking area by noon. Google map directions to Trailhead.   Learn more.

Sign up to help!

Meet Pete Allard – Friends’ Board Member

Pete has been a FOTNF board member since its start in 2015. He moved to Arizona in 1964 and spent most of his career as a chemical and environmental engineer. He worked on projects throughout Arizona for business, government, legal, tribal, and individual clients.

Pete and his family love to explore the forest and Sonoran desert lands in our state. They have a special attachment to the Tonto National Forest. Three generations of his family visit the TNF for camping, fishing, hiking, running, birding, volunteering, cultural sites, photography, and wildlife watching. He and his family have also been volunteers and supporters of Valley/Arizona Forward, Arizona Audubon, Desert Rivers Audubon, Phoenix Zoo, Boyce Thompson Arboretum, and Desert Botanical Garden.

Get to know others who serve on the Friends’ Board

Upcoming Events

Volunteer on the Tonto National Forest

Become a Member

The best way to support Friends of the Tonto National Forest is to become a member.


Learn more about all the ways you can donate to Friends of the Tonto National Forest!