- Light Trespass Workshop by Planning Commission
- Stop the Threat to Community Solar in California
- Short Term Rentals
- MBCA Takes a Stand on Glamping Projects
- Virtual Landscape Tour
- New MBCA Website Features
What is "desert-wise living"?
If you are a long-time desert resident, you probably understand that it's about how to live in harmony with the desert environment, providing an enviable quality of life. You may already be following all of our Top Ten Tips for Desert-Wise Living, but take a look in case there is something more you can do.
If you are a new to desert living, you may find some significant differences in day-to-day life than what you’re used to. By following our Top Ten Tips for Desert-Wise Living, you will not only add to your enjoyment of desert life, but will help conserve its beauty and balance. Examples of harmonious living range from using low-water native plants in the landscape to save water, to preserving our starry night skies with low-voltage lighting.
MBCA has been hosting programs under the banner of Desert-Wise Living since 2011.
The 2020 Desert-Wise Landscape Tour has been totally reimagined as a free, virtual experience. The virtual landscape tour, presented in 6 separate short videos, has now been edited into a film: Living in Harmony with Desert Landscapes. This video illustrates the diversity of approaches to landscape and acknowledges the support of the different water agencies for MBCA’s desert wise living programs. For 2021, MBCA has again committed to a virtual event that will showcase water and energy-wise landscapes throughout the Morongo Basin. Please stay tuned for forthcoming announcements.
Each video segment showcases an exceptional local property where drought-tolerant, native landscaping flourishes and offers a creative execution seen both at ground level and from high above in spectacular drone footage.
From the comfort of your own home, you will have a free, all-access ticket as you are guided through private sites in Twentynine Palms, Flamingo Heights, Pioneertown, Yucca Valley and Morongo Valley. A primary aim of the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is to offer practical examples of inspiring, rich native landscapes.
Any size donation in support of MBCA’s mission “to advocate for the healthy desert environment that nurtures the region's rural character, cultural wealth and economic well-being” is most welcome. Or join us as a member!
The Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is sponsored in part by the Bighorn-Desert View Water Agency, Golden State Water Company, Hi-Desert Water District, Joshua Basin Water District, Mojave Water Agency, and Twentynine Palms Water District.
- Desert Wise Living Landscape Desert Tour 2020 goes virtual!
- Petition to list yucca brevifolia as a threatened species
- Opposition to Eagle Crest pumped storage project
- Reject nomination of William Pendley to head BLM
- Daggett Solar Energy project update
- Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease in the Morongo Basin
- Complete the 2020 Census
- Support MBCA through Amazon Smile
Introduction to the video series. Traditionally set for April, tour sponsor, the Morongo Basin Conservation Association (MBCA), canceled this year’s planned, self-guided landscape tour in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Unwilling to give up the popular event, MBCA decided that if the public could not go to the properties, the properties should be brought to the public via video.
"Casa de Culebra" was born out of the labor and vision of avid gardener and career artist Snake Jagger. The undisturbed landscape in the area is characterized by creosote, various native yucca and cholla cacti. The natives were retained where possible as the property was developed. Along the rock-lined nature trail one see the homeowner's singular viewpoint, with numerous, somewhat hidden, artistic vignettes. There are decorative cactus plots, solar-powered water fountains, a dry river bed, wind chimes and art installations. This popular artist's whimsically-surreal, signature painted doors have been incorporated throughout. Have a seat and enjoy the installations or the views of Morongo Valley.
“Agave Acres” is an energy efficient, off-the-grid, solar-powered home on a 37-acre Pioneertown parcel. It is integrated into the natural landscape and sited to capture views of the surrounding Joshua tree forest and Black Lava Butte. Boulders have been placed to create low walls that accommodate the sloping terrain. Care was taken to preserve and feature native plants that include Joshua tree, catclaw acacia, ephedra and blackbrush. The indigenous landscape has been supplemented with the addition of mesquite trees, cactus, agave and container plantings. Greywater is also available for use on plantings.
Near the western edge of Joshua Tree National Park native juniper and pinyon pine distinguish this Yucca Valley area. Construction of the adobe-style dwelling sought to reduce impact to the landscape, making use of the natural wash and contours, thereby minimizing grading of the one acre lot. Along the side and around the back patio, the natural landscape was enhanced with new, drought-tolerant vegetation. A self-contained interior courtyard features both drought-tolerant and non-traditional desert specimens. A seasonally adjusted drip irrigation system further supports the conservation goals.
This 2.5 acre Flamingo Heights, CA property is surrounded by creosote scrub and features garden hardscape decor from locally harvested rock. In early spring, silver spurge with chartreuse flowers delights, having been transplanted throughout the landscape. Committed to low water use, the owners irrigate the front yard only. Joshua tree and cholla skeletons have been used to provide structure and as decorated accents. Inviting flagstone-paved walking paths lead to a pond and large, south-facing outdoor living space and cooking patio.
The Mattos-Ince Compound of 2.5 acres is a Desert Spanish Colonial built in 1953, with white stucco structures and red tile roofs. One landscape goal was to protect the creosote and take advantage of this native plant via a bit of water and careful pruning. The creosotes therefore serve as hedges, unique trees and low level mounds of evergreen accents. An automated, low-maintenance irrigation system with bubblers, drips and a couple of sprinkler heads is well-suited for both owner and landscape. Trees drink from a greywater system. Drainage swales help to slow and move rainwater.