Laraine Turk, Director

Laraine_photo.jpgI’ve lived in Joshua Tree since 2002.

I love everything about living in Joshua Tree.  My little 5 acre piece of heaven provides me with the expansive views, clear air, dark night sky, and peace and quiet that I had always wanted and never before experienced for more than a few vacation days each year.  As a bonus, I have learned that I like the small town life, especially in a place where so many like-minded people show how much they care about the balance of nature with a human presence.

Shortly after I retired from Copper Mountain College, I became involved almost simultaneously in the California Desert Coalition and MBCA, and have served as an officer on both boards.  I am currently also serving on the Board of the Joshua Tree National Park Association.  Other groups I’ve been involved with locally were the Morongo Basin Dark Sky Alliance and the Joshua Tree National Conservation Historic Reserve group. (Both of these are sort of on hiatus but you may see more of us in the future!) 

My passion is, quite simply, for the desert in all its manifestations – the wonder of how plant and animal life can be so vibrant with such little moisture . . .  the feelings of calm and creativity that open desert vistas inspire . . .  the incredible interrelationships within ecosystems – all these things are almost magical and inspire my passion to spend time, energy, and resources on efforts to educate and inspire others to preserve this desert.

My motivation to “keep going” with MBCA and other groups comes not only from the successes (e.g. Green Path North, the Desert Wise Landscape Tour, and having a part in preventing several inappropriate developments in and around the Morongo Basin), but the camaraderie of “fellow travelers,” people who may or may not be part of organized efforts but come to events, contribute funds and time on particular projects, and share within their own world the need to be vigilant and active to keep our communities and the desert from irremediable harm.


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