Natural desert is a consistent theme throughout North Scottsdale, Carefree, and Cave Creek where it is enforced by city ordinances and homeowner association rules. Yet as roads, homes, businesses, and utilities are built in these areas, the desert is no longer pristine.
More significantly, water is scarce and cities require far more than acclimated native desert plants and animals do. Much of the water we “use” escapes into the ground, accelerating desert plant growth. To identify the extent to which this is true, take a walk through largely undisturbed areas, like the nearby McDowell-Sonoran Preserve, and compare the types, sizes, health, and density of plant life there to that around your homes. Desert winds gather into huge dust storms as they cross areas stripped of vegetation, something wind cannot do where the slow growing natural plants remain established despite sparse water diets.
Our communal goal is to learn from nature’s experience how to thrive in this sunny but dry climate. Long-term success is a matter of ecological balance. Respect the needs of the native plants and animals because the balance they have long adapted teaches us how to survive as part of a beautiful and complex desert system.
The PDF links in the box above and pages under this topic help us to find balance between our human needs and those of our native desert home, just as the lizards, rabbits, birds, and so many other desert critters that live here in harmony do.