Cathy Zarakov, Treasurer

CathyinTucson2.jpegI was born and raised a "city" girl in Illinois and came to live in Yucca Valley in 1970. Since green lawns and lush trees were the norm for me, it was quite a cultural shock the first time I saw the Mojave Desert. But it didn't take me long to come to appreciate and love the desert's unique and subtle beauty.

Over the years my family and I have been fortunate to explore, camp and hike many of the wonderful wilderness areas we have right here in our own backyard, with JTNP being the place we frequented most.

I first became aware and passionate about the conservation and preservation of the California Deserts after serving for several years on the Board of Directors of the Joshua Tree National Park Association.  It was a real learning experience.  I saw firsthand how fragile the desert is and resolved to do as much as I could individually, to protect it.  I became a volunteer for MBCA in 2012 during the second Desert-Wise Living Landscape Tour, where I served on the Landscape Committee and as a site host.  Since then, it’s been a pleasure to work on all the Tours, serving on the Committee and as Volunteer Coordinator.  I also process new and renewed MBCA memberships. 

In 2015, through an invitation from MBCA, I was privileged to take part in the Environmental Leadership Academy offered through California State University, San Marcos.  It was a comprehensive program covering many of the environmental studies and conservation efforts going on at that time in Southern CA and locally in the Coachella Valley.  It gave me a greater overview and understanding of some of the important environmental issues we face in CA and on a local level.

The word I most associate with MBCA is “education”.  Educating ourselves and the public! It’s a lifetime pursuit.  MBCA is the organization we’ve come to know and trust as the place to learn about what’s happening, environmentally in our community and throughout the Southern California Deserts.  Staying on top of the environmental issues, which are constantly changing, is necessary to preserve and protect the Deserts, now more than ever. 



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