MBCA is pleased to announce the winners of the 2017 Desert-Wise Landscape Tour Essay Contest. The winners were selected in a very close vote. All of the submissions caught both the detail and the spirit of the "Desert-Wise" focus of the Tour. We thank the writers for submitting their thoughts and hope you will enjoy their creative essays. We also thank Unique Nursery and Cactus Mart for their support of the Landscape Tour by sponsoring the Essay Contest Prizes.
The First Place essay is by Rosalie Mendoza, who will receive a $200 Gift Certificate to Unique Nursery.
The Second Place winner is Ken Brock, who wins a $150 Gift Certificate to Cactus Mart.
And Susan Jordan is the Third Place winner. She will receive a $100 Gift Certificate to Cactus Mart.
We encourage you to read today's Los Angeles Times op-ed about the Cadiz water project, "The ludicrous plan to pump Mojave Water to L.A.". The author, Peter Brooks, has been a featured speaker at two of MBCA's Desert-Wise Lectures. His focus in September 2015 was "The Future of Water: Understanding the Worlds's Most Precious Resource," and in September 2016 he presented "The future of energy and the grid for Morongo Basin" for MBCA. His LA Times opinion piece will give you an overview and update about why MBCA and many conservation groups and desert residents oppose the Cadiz project.
Nicole Serrano, graduating senior and valedictorian at Yucca Valley High School, has been awarded the first Ruth Denison Environmental Conservation Scholarship by MBCA. Nicole has been admitted to the University of California, Davis, to study animal science and environmental science. She is pictured here with Sarah Kennington, President of MBCA. Read more about Ruth Denison's inspirational life on our website's scholarship page.
The Los Angeles Times published a comprehensive article on the status of tortoises in Joshua Tree National Park. The reduction in numbers over past decades, and especially the deaths of a number of female tortoises in the southern area of the Park in recent years is of concern. The scientists interviewed share data and hypotheses about the current and future status of the Park icon.
A guest commentary by MBCA Director Pat Flanagan on the importance of National Monuments to the County of San Bernardino and its desert communities was published on Wednesday, May 10, 2017. We have made available a printable version of Pat's commentary or you can view the story on the Sun's website.
MBCA Director (and prior President and Treasurer) Ruth Rieman served as a panel member at the April 21, 2017 Black Rock Symposium (a series sponsored by the Joshua Tree National Park Association through its Desert Institute), on the topic "Grassroots Activism in the Morongo Basin." Ruth's presentation explored the stories of several historic women desert activists who inspired her and also provided an overview of the organizations and causes she has been involved with for decades here in the Morongo Basin, especially with MBCA and the California Desert Coalition. Take a look at her PowerPoint Presentation titled "Grassroots" to understand more about the heart and soul of a true desert activist.
You can also view a YouTube video of the entire hour and a half Symposium (that also includes fellow Board Member Laraine Turk's presentation on the Morongo Basin Dark Skies Alliance).
A grant is now in place with the County to begin planning bicycle trails across the Morongo Basin. MBCA Board of Advisors member Greg Gilbert has worked toward this goal for a number of years. As reported on KCDZ radio, "The bike trails project would stretch approximately 100 miles altogether, uniting the Morongo Basin communities." Here is the full story.
Thanks for your support.
Your 2017 MBCA Board
Sarah Kennington, President David Fick, Vice President
Steve Bardwell, Treasurer Marina West, Recording Secretary
Pat Flanagan, Director Meg Foley, Director
Ruth Rieman, Director Claudia Sall, Events
Laraine Turk, Director
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The Hi Desert Star published Hilary Sloane's article "Landscaping tour shows off water-wise sanctuaries" on April 29.
See more photos of the Tour on the 2017 Landscape Tour Photos page.
If you participated in the Tour, consider submitting a short essay to describe your experience and win a gift certificate. Here are the details of the Essay Contest. The deadline for entry is May 15.