Desert Awareness Committee

DAC Events / Education

Desert Awareness Committee has been the community resource advocate for the Sonoran Desert since 1974. Our mission is to educate residents and visitors so that they may join us in understanding, conserving and preserving our diverse and fragile desert; its plants, animals, water, and wildlife.

Big Event – Prickly Pear Fest

October 24th, 2020 8am – 12pm Holland Community Center, Scottsdale
Prickly Pear Fest

Have you ever wondered how prickly pears are harvested and made into delicious cookies, juice, margaritas and much more? Well, please join us (Desert Awareness Committee) for a total immersion into all things Prickly Pear!  Educational and fun for all!

Festival Details
Prickly Recipes

Educating the Public

We accomplish our education mission through:
  • Our desert edibles and medicinal workshops for the public at large explaining how to harvest, prepare and use desert plants.

  • Our “Fragile Desert” publication, a practical and informative guide to living sustainably in the Sonoran Desert plus “Chloe and the Desert Heroes”, a book that will inspire people of all ages to respect the natural world and honor the dignity of every human being.

  • Our 100 natural history articles written by members over 25 years.

Conservation – Desert Awareness Park

We accomplish our conservation mission through:

Our stewardship of Desert Awareness Park, located in Cave Creek, is dedicated to those who yearn to understand our desert home. You will find short nature trails, an interpretive center, picnic areas, children’s playground and an abundance of meaningful information about our surrounding desert.

Desert Awareness Park
Schedule a Workshop


Come join the fun! DAC leads interpretive themed hikes the 3rd Monday of each month October through April. Keep up to date on the hikes and times on our Facebook page.

See Hiking Schedule


Join us the first Monday of each month from 6:30-8pm October through April to learn about fascinating aspects of the Sonoran Desert… its plants, animals, geology, archaeology, and more! Speakers bring their knowledge, experience, and enthusiasm to you in these exciting and informative seminars. No need to register, $5 donation is appreciated.

See Seminar Dates


If you love the desert, want to know more, or want to work with us to help us accomplish our mission, come join us! Complete our online interest form, or call the Holland Center office Monday – Friday, 10 – 4, at 480-488-1090 for more information.

Make a Difference

Educating our Youth

Our fourth grade school classroom program, Desert Reach, provides hands-on desert ecology experiences.

Desert Reach Program

At Home In The Desert

“At Home in the Desert” written by Phyllis Strupp, is a one-act play, seeking to help elementary school students sort out their difficulties by connecting with the natural world around them, the desert. The play promotes diversity and communication and is perceived as a tool for reducing bullying.  In the play, eleven year-old Chloe learns valuable life lessons from the Sonoran Desert with the help of some mysterious friends (historical figures, desert plants and animals).

Order Form

DAC Resources

Our Tastes of the Desert

  • A new recipe book from DAC with 77 recipes including prickly pear, mesquite & more.
  • PLUS “how to” harvest & prepare desert fruits, berries, beans, nuts, flowers.

Award Winning Children’s Book

If you love the wildlife of the Sonoran Desert, you’ll want others to relish the characters in this tale from their perspective.


Other DAC Publications

Great online articles and DAC’s book, the Fragile Desert

Amazing Articles

Desert Awareness Park

Native habitat learning center

This wonderful little park, located in Cave Creek is a community gem.

Desert Awareness Park

At Home in the Desert

A play for classroom use

About a young girl who, through her connection with her natural desert surroundings finds a way to deal with bullying.

Teacher’s Guide
Watch the Play

Contact Information

Desert Awareness Committee