The Metro Phoenix Saguaro Census 2024 | Desert Botanical Garden


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The Metro Phoenix Saguaro Census 2024

DATE: May 1-31
TIME: 7 a.m. - 8 p.m.
PRICE: Community-based project. Free app download.

Community Project Outside of the Garden: Do you love saguaros? Help us find them in your neighborhood.

The Garden is launching the 3rd Annual Saguaro Census in May to document more saguaros throughout the Phoenix metro area using the iNaturalist app. We have learned a lot about saguaros in the Valley and new challenges have emerged:

1. More observations!

Help us beat our 2022 and 2023 numbers, let’s get more observations and observers. 

2. Join the Volunteer Project

Download the iNaturalist app, and successfully log in with your new account. Now STOP! Don’t start making saguaro observations yet! Find the ‘projects’ icon and join any of our two projects: Metro Phoenix Saguaro Census (general volunteers) or Volunteer Urban Saguaro Census (for Garden volunteers). Need help getting started? Check out our step by step guide to start making observations.

3. Visit the plants already observed and report dead ones

Please document any changes in their general health. Did the saguaro die? Remember to fill in the Saguaro Dead Report. The SDR is the only way to assess saguaro mortality rates in the Phoenix Valley.

3. Fill in the gaps

According to the map, we need more observations in the areas of Gilbert, Queen Creek, Laveen, Tolleson and Surprise


In 2022, the Garden launched its first-ever urban Saguaro Census in response to the community’s concerns that several saguaros were dying or losing arms due to our increasing temperatures. Climate change might be the cause for hotter temperatures in urban spaces, which can overstress saguaros and other species of cactus. With the help of the community, Garden scientists are better understanding the population dynamics and stress effects on urban saguaros.

More about the project:

Learn more about the Garden’s Saguaro Initiatives and the mission to document, protect and preserve our desert icon. Watch the following training video to become more familiar with iNaturalist.


Most observations: A Garden Membership, dinner for two at Gertrude’s restaurant and a REI gift card
Top 10: Garden admission tickets
Top 20: Saguaro Census hat and t-shirt


Music in the Garden

May 24, 31

Enjoy a stunning Garden backdrop as you experience local bands during this Friday’s night series.

The Four Seasons by Ballet Arizona

May 15-June 1, 2024

The Four Seasons makes its triumphant return to Desert Botanical Garden.

Yoga at the Garden

Sundays, May 26

Unwind and connect with nature during this memorable Sunrise Yoga session, led by local studio Metta Yoga. Together, in a Sonoran desert oasis, we will breathe, stretch and embrace the beauty of the setting sun whilst enjoying the Garden view

Become a member and get unlimited access all year!