The town of Oro Valley came together Friday, April 21 to ‘beautify’ the Vistoso Trails Nature Preserve.

Employees spent the morning removing invasive species like buffelgrass.

Buffelgrass (Pennisetum ciliare, Cenchrus ciliaris), is the archenemy of the Sonoran Desert– the invasive grass most likely to cause significant damage to the native ecosystem.

Buffelgrass fills the land around it, crowding out native plants and competing for water. It threatens both native plants and animals. It can be extremely dangerous during wildfire season as well.

RELATED: Dangers of buffelgrass during wildfire season

The town of Oro Valley acquired the former golf course in the summer of 2022, and has since been working to improve the area.

This is the second year the town employees volunteered to participate in an Earth Day beautification event the team collected 62 large bags full of buffelgrass.

RELATED: What can you do to combat buffelgrass in Southern Arizona?