News and Recent Publications

It’s raining agave seeds! Wendy Hodgson showed 27 “Agave Heads” how to see differences among the agaves in our area. With the Cascabel Conservation Association, we hosted the Desert Botanical Garden botanist for a field training in February. Earlier residents of our valley cultivated agave for food and fiber; we hope to find descendants of the plants they nutured. Mar. 10, 2019

Wendy Hodgson, Research Botanist at the Desert Botanical Garden, shared with us on January 18th her discoveries of descendants of pre-Columbian cultivated agave. Forty-five people gathered at the Cascabel Community Center to share a potluck lunch and learn about the agaves that grow in our area. Feb. 1, 2019

Sweetwater Center co-founders Nancy Ferguson and Tom Orum appeared on ASU’s public TV news program November 30th. They have found alarmingly few young saguaro cacti for the past 25 years during their annual surveys in Saguaro National Park East. Climate change is thought to make survival more difficult for the next generation of these iconic giants. The news program also covers U of A researchers using tree rings to study Southwest drought; the saguaro segment starts at 14:30. The Arizona Daily Star picked up the story for print. Dec. 10, 2018
The sources, variations in quality, and estimated future supplies of water in Cascabel are described in a recent academic paper by resident hydrologist Dr. Chris Eastoe and long-time resident, potter, and citizen scientist Barbara Clark. The researchers found two main sources of water, one flowing from ancient hot springs and another containing enough iron and sulfur to make it undrinkable. Our area has had severe droughts in the past; the authors suggest a repeat could threaten our water supply.
Email us at the address in the footer and Chris will send a pdf for research or education. Nov. 30, 2108.