From handbooks and videos to guides and organizations, here is a list of resources that have been helpful to us. Take a look and we hope you leave educated, inspired, and ready to jump into action with all the work going on in the field of ecological restoration. Click on the bold words and fall into the wormhole that is the future of diversity & resiliency on this planet.


Articles of Interest

Food Chain Restoration: Reconnecting pollinators with their plants. An article by Gary Nabhan about naming Patagonia as the pollinator capital of the US and the importance of pollinators.

Conservation Pays Town: How a conservation group leased town property in Emmitsburg, Maryland for conservation purposes.

Loss of Species Large & Small Threatens Human Health, Study Finds: a report in Science Daily on a scientific study that shows “current evidence indicates that preserving intact ecosystems and their endemic biodiversity should generally reduce the prevalence of infectious diseases.”

How Species Change Our Lives: Richard Conniff nods to naturalists, our wild allies, and the importance of getting to know our neighbors.

Hydrologic Response of Streams Restored with Check Dams in the Chiricahua Mountains, Arizona.  The report sites benefits of erosion structures, some of which are 30 years old. Benefits include: slowing water, even during large storms, and increasing flows downstream of the structures.

Birds, Bugs, and Wildlife

Grasshoppers – Photographs of grasshoppers of Southeastern Arizona, by Robert Behrstock. Did you know we have a rainbow-colored species?

Integrating Bird Conservation Into Range Management – From the folks at the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory comes a guide with tips on encouraging rangeland bird habitat into your grazing plan.

Sharing Your Land with Prarie Wildlife – A guide to shortgrass prarie ecology, including creatures of note and simple tips on how to protect and encourage habitat of these creatures. From the folks at the Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory.

Reptiles and Amphibians of Arizona – ID that lizard or snake in your garden.

The Firefly Forest – Stories, photographs, and information about the various species of invertebrates (insects, butterflies, bugs, spiders, scorpions, etc.) found here in Arizona, mainly from the Sonoran Desert and the Tucson area.

U of A Integrated Pest Management Website – The goal of University of Arizona (UA) IPM programs is the development and use of safe, sustainable and effective control methods that also increase farm profitability, reduce environmental and human health risks and protect natural resources for future generations.


SEINET – Online database of over 30 Southwest Herbarium Collections. Use this tool to locate botanical diversity in your watershed, and so much more. To identify a mystery plant: try creating a dynamic checklist for your area (subheading in the data bar), place a marker on the map, click on the submit coordinates button (located at top left of screen), then click on the little yellow key icon near the page. Look at the left menu bar to start keying, and don’t forget to check out the “options” box on the right of the page to search by photo or common name.

Introduction to SEINet – A helpful sheet that illustrates how to work various features in SEINet.

Wildflower Plant Guide – A handy guide to Southeastern Arizona wildflowers, sorted by color.

Flora of North America – Want to key out a plant the old-fashioned way? Here is the online version of the Flora of North America.

USDA/NRCS Grass Key – Want to ID that grass? Check out this site.

Tropicos – For serious plant nerds – nomenclatural, bibliographic,  specimen data for 4 million records. I use this tool to double check constantly evolving botanical plant names – see the “synonyms” tab of the plant record.

Angiosperm Phylogeny Website – Another one for the plant geeks. Learn about a commonly accepted plant classification system & study up on the plant families.

Illustrated Guide to AZ Weeds – Know your invasive plants by using this list. We don’t like invasive weeds because they choke-out native plants, and effect the diversity and resiliency of the native ecosystem. As weather patterns shift, we need our landscapes to be as diverse and resilient as possible.

Plants-In-Motion – Watch videos of plants germinating, reacting to light, blooming, and much more. These videos capture the subtle dance of plants.

Photos of Plants of SE Arizona – Botanist Sue Carnahan is doing a flora in the Santa Ritas. Her photos are a useful resource for plant identification.



Propagation Protocol Database – Want to try growing some native plants? Check out this useful tool for info on everything from seed collection to establishment.

Tribal Nursery Manual – This detailed gem of a publication covers nearly everything a nursery operation needs to know about growing native desert plants.

Milkweed Seed Germination Procedures – follow these steps to grow your own milkweeds – the plant of the Monarch Butterfly!

NRCS/Plant Materials Center – Publications from Tucson’s Plant Materials Center.

NRCS/Plant Materials Center in New Mexico – Contains lots of information on propagation & restoration techniques for native desert plants.

Low Tech Devices for Collecting, Processing, and Planting Seeds – A great resource for native seed collection & propagation. Journal article from Native Plants, Spring 2004.

Tucson Master Gardener’s Arid Plant List – an illustrated guide to common landscape plants in & around the Tucson area.

Plant’s for a Future – Database of the edible, medicinal and other uses of over 7000 plants.

Javelina Resistant Plants – Did you know there are plants that resist javelina? Plant some of these on the outside of you hedgerow to keeps these little creatures from disrupting your garden.

Josephine Porter Institute – Kate Tirion, Borderland’s horticulturist, uses this online resource for biodynamic & organic products like EM & Neem.

Seeds of Success – SOS’s mission is to collect wildland native seed for research, development, germplasm conservation, and ecosystem restoration. BR collaborates with this program for our wild seed collection.



Surf Your Watershed: Use this tool to better understand the water that comes into and flows out of your watershed.

Erosion Control Field Guide: handy tool that illustrates techniques used in waterway restoration. From Bill Zeedyk of Dryland Solutions and the Quivira Coalition.

Friends of the San Pedro River video series. These captivating educational videos cover a variety of topics from ecology to hydrology.

Harvest Rain – A video featuring the work of BR collaborator, Cuenca Los Ojos.

Introduction to Erosion Control – Handbook from Quivira Coalition, Bill Zeedyk of Dryland Solutions and Jan-Willem Jansens.

Introduction to Induced Meandering: a handbook describing a method for restoring stability in stream channels by Bill Zeedyk of Dryland Solutions and Quivira Coalition.

Rainlog – Find out how much rain has been falling in our watershed with this interactive tool.

Water Harvesting Guidance Manual for Santa Cruz County – A booklet that describes various options for slowing & collecting water within our living & working spaces.



Encyclopedia of Earth – Learn about all things Earth science.

Madrean Archipelago Biodiversity Assessment – search the diversity of species found in the sky islands.

Southern Arizona Conservation Habitat Priorities – A map developed by The Nature Conservancy and  Arizona Land & Water Trust that illustrates the importance of  wildlife corridors between Sky Islands.

Wildlife Corridor Design – Check out this useful page to learn how to design an effective wildlife corridor.



1000 Native Bees – Artist Heather Green is painting portraits of over 1000 bees native to the Sonoran Desert. See some of the portraits here & bee amazed at the diversity of these creatures.

Bee Basics – Learn about native bees and their individual roles within the ecosystem

Bee Table – Fall into the flowers by connecting specific bee and plant species. Find out who visits what. Did you know some 600 species of bees travel through the Patagonia, AZ area?

Bug Guide – Bug identification database.  Search by appearance, name, description, and more. An online community of naturalists who enjoy learning about and sharing our observations of insects, spiders, and other related creatures.

Butterflies & Moths of North America – Follow links to useful identification tools.

Monarch Conservation Plan – The CEC’s 2003 Strategic Plan for North American Cooperation in the Conservation of Biodiversity strengthens this commitment with an integrated perspective for conservation and sustainable use of biological resources. This North American Monarch Conservation Plan (NAMCP) is part of the effort to support and complement existing initiatives to maintain healthy monarch populations and habitats throughout the migration flyway.

Monarch Joint Venture – is a partnership of federal and state agencies, non-governmental organizations, and academic programs that are working together to support and coordinate efforts to protect the monarch migration across the lower 48 United States. An excellent collection of the latest information & resources about monarch science.

Monarch Larvae Monitoring Project –  is a citizen science project involving volunteers from across the United States and Canada in monarch research.  The overarching goal of the project is to better understand how and why monarch populations vary in time and space, with a focus on monarch distribution and abundance during the breeding season in North America.

Monarch Watch – Useful resources and information on education, conservation, and research of monarch butterflies and other pollinators.

National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) – documents for plant & pollinator conservation and enhancement.

Native Pollinators – Leaflet from NRCS presenting the habitat requirements of a variety of native pollinators and offering practical ideas for their conservation and management.

NRCS – How Gardeners can help pollinators web resource.

Pollinator Guide to the Sonoran Desert – Useful book to help you slow the loss of pollinators, produced by the Sonoran Desert Museum, the International Sonoran Desert Alliance, and Bee Works.

Selecting Plants for Pollinators: Semiarid and Desert Southwest – For people living in Tucson, Phoenix, Las Vegas or other areas receiving 2-10 inches of rain per year, this is the guide for you. Learn how to choose plants and design a native pollinator garden.

Selecting Plants for Pollinators: Arizona/New Mexico High Lands –  For people living above 4,500 feet in the semiarid Southwest, this is the guide for you. Learn to choose plants and design a native pollinator garden.

Xerces Society – The Xerces Society is a nonprofit organization and collaborator of Borderlands Restoration that protects wildlife through the conservation of invertebrates and their habitat. For forty years, the Society has been at the forefront of invertebrate protection worldwide, harnessing the knowledge of scientists and the enthusiasm of citizens to implement conservation programs. This website is full of useful information.


Rangeland Health & Planned Grazing: a field guide designed to increase vegetative cover, control erosion, help curb the spread of invasive species and improve animal production. Created by folks at Quivira Coalition, Earthworks Institute and the New Ranch Network.

The New Ranch Handbook: A guide to restoring western rangelands from the Quivira Coalition.

Pollinator Conservation on your farm or ranch: NRCS’s publication on “Using Farm Bill Programs for Pollinator Conservation” explains various projects and funding sources that can help support pollinators. Inviting pollinators to your property can help increase productivity and resilience.

Groups & Projects

Appleton-Whittell Research Ranch – For more than 30 years, the Research Ranch has protected grassland ecosystems through conservation, research, and education. Site of Borderlands’ research project on grassland sparrows.

Arizona Land & Water Trust – Conserving Working Landscapes in Southern Arizona.

Arizona-Sonoran Desert Museum – Working to inspire people to live in harmony with the natural world by fostering love, appreciation, and understanding of the Sonoran Desert.

Ask Nature – Find out more about Biomimicry & integrating nature’s solutions to common problems. Fun educational resources.

Avalon Organic Gardens and Ecovillage – This group of people have so much to offer and they have collaborated with Borderlands in planting a hedgerow to support pollinators near their agricultural fields.

AZ Native Plant Society – Join a chapter in your area & get involved in all things native plant!

Cienega Watershed Partnership – The CWP facilitates cooperative actions that steward the natural and cultural resources of the Cienega Watershed while enabling sustainable human use, located in Vail, AZ.

Circle Z Ranch – Dude ranch in Patagonia. These folks support our propagation efforts by generously allowing us to sustainably harvest native plants on their property.

Climas Climate Assessment for the Southwest – U of A group whose mission is to improve the region’s ability to respond sufficiently and appropriately to climatic events and climate changes. Sign up for the newsletter & listen to the podcast to demystify weather patterns.

Cuenca los Ojos Foundation – Works to preserve and restore the biodiversity of the Borderlands region. BR collaborator, inspiration, & site of our restoration efforts.

Cross-Watershed Network – An up & coming database for restoration practitioners in the Southwest.

Edible Baja – A magazine celebrating the foodways of Tucson and the borderlands.

Friends of Sonoita Creek – a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting Sonoita Creek and its watershed and educating others about its importance to all the living things living here.  We try to extend knowledge of the Sonoita Creek watershed through hands-on activities, presentations, hikes, and financial support to kindred organizations.

Hummingbird Monitoring Network – Dedicated to the conservation of hummingbird diversity. HMN is one of Borderland’s collaborators, and their headquarters is a site of Borderlands’ collaborative restoration efforts.

Kate Tirion – BR’s head horticulturist, permaculture designer, and educator. Kate’s Deep Dirt Farm Institute is one of BR’s native plant nurseries.

National Phenology Network – Join up & learn how to observe your neighborhood a little deeper.

Native Seed/SEARCH – A non-profit organization dedicated to seed conservation and one of Borderland’s collaborators. Obtain desert-adapted vegetable seeds and learn how to save seeds or start a seed library.

Patagonia Lake State Park – Offering bird tours & tours by boat. These are wonderful opportunities to learn about local biota.

Pollinator Partnership – This group works to protect pollinators and has many educational resources.

Quivira Coalition – building resilience by fostering ecological, economic and social health on western landscapes through education, innovation, collaboration and progressive public and private land stewardship.

Rancho Santa Fe – Ranch along the Santa Cruz River that is dedicated to advancing agricultural and environmental research and to providing active, hands-on, educational, out-of-doors opportunities to community members.

Sonoran Permaculture Guild – Permaculture Design and workshops in Tucson.

Sky Island Alliance – A Tucson-based non-profit dedicating to protecting our mountain islands and desert seas.

The Nature Conservancy – Sonoita Creek Preserve, dedicated to preserving wetlands along Sonoita Creek and famous for bird-watching. Also the site of Borderland’s restoration efforts.

Watershed Management Group – Enabling Tucson to harvest rainwater.

Xerces Society – Invertebrate conservation & educational resources.

  • Our Mission

    The mission of Borderlands Restoration is to reconnect wildlife, land, and people in the Arizona/Sonora Borderland region by involving people in restoring the ecosystem on which we depend.

  • Contact

    PO Box 1191
    299 McKeown Ave, Suite #3
    Patagonia, AZ 85624

    (520) 216-4148