Freeport-McMoRan Inc.

Cyprus Tohono Corporation

Casa Grande, Arizona, United States

Certified Gold through 2025

Project Name
Project Type
California Leaf-Nosed Bat management
Buffelgrass monitoring and management
Invasive Species
Pollinator education & outreach: Range Day & Earth Day events
Awareness & Community Engagement
Tohono O'oham Nation Health Care Services Rain Garden
Bat Education and Outreach
Awareness & Community Engagement
About the Program

Cyprus Tohono Corporation (CTC), a subsidiary of Freeport-McMoRan, operates a mine and copper extraction facility located approximately 32 miles south of Casa Grande, Arizona. Across 10,500 acres of Tohono O'odham Nation lands, the CTC site is comprised of Sonoran Desert vegetation, reclaimed mining areas and areas still actively used by the mines. The CTC team recognizes the importance of reclamation areas and mine features in ensuring the continued conservation and restoration of biodiversity in this area. Because of this, the team manages a pollinator garden, protects local bat species, addresses invasive species concerns and works with the local community to promote environmental literacy and build their local capacity. 

Practices and Impacts

  • Started in February 2015, the pollinator education and outreach project offers opportunities for community members and students to learn about pollinator conservation. However, due to COVID impacts, the project shifted to virtual learning and remote distribution of materials. Reaching about 170 participants every year, the project shares information related to pollinators and their environment, including the benefits of removing invasive species like Buffelgrass to promote native habitats. The issues faced during the pandemic, especially the ability to conduct outreach with Tohono O'odham Nation schools, have motivated the project to engage additional schools and strengthen relationships in the community.
  • Started in April 2022, the Tohono O'oham Nation Health Care Services Rain Garden provides educational and training opportunities for locals related to the connections between food systems, rain water harvesting and pollinator benefits. In its first year, the project engaged 15 participants from the Tohono O’odham Nation Health Care Services. Involving outside group engagement and support, the project aims to establish a pollinator and rain garden that the local community with eventually take over.  
  • The bat education and outreach project began in October 2019, covers content related to local desert habitats and bat species and provides ​much-needed STEM and hands-on education opportunities in the community. Active its first year, activities were paused due to COVID impacts until late 2022. However, it still reaches about 120 students and community members annually. Through presentations and booths at local events, information related to bats, agaves, and their natural habitats is tailored for a young student audience. While students are shown to develop better understanding of bats and their role in the environment, the approach to assessing students’ learning will be improved with written surveys in the future.