If you head to the Camelot Theatre parking lot on Saturday mornings you’ll find The Palm Springs Certified Farmers Market hosting the best local farmers and vendors in the valley! What some might not know is that it’s also a gathering spot to learn about organizations helping to preserve Coachella Valley’s land and local communities.
Stopping to talk with organizers Rob McCann and Jim Walker at the Mesquite Desert Preserve booth, we got the scoop on the developments happening to protect open spaces in the Coachella Valley. This all began in 2016 with Save Oswit Canyon – a successful initiative to preserve Oswit Canyon and the Peninsula Bighorn Sheep near South Lykken Trail. Since acquiring the title to the land, they’ve set their sights on preserving more of our local ecosystems. Their next mission is to preserve 3 golf courses located in the heart of Palm Springs: Bel Aire Greens, Mesquite Country Club, and Tahquitz Creek Resort.
Both the Mesquite Golf Course and Bel Aire Greens are closed and currently for sale. Tahquitz Creek is owned by the City of Palm Springs but is classified as surplus land due to its one million dollar loss each year. The Mesquite Desert Preserve is determined to restore over 4.32 miles of Tahquitz Creek, 500 acres of golf course land, and 9 ponds to their natural state. This is only if the golf courses do not sell to developers.
The city’s population has grown to over 55,000 people in the year 2020 with an additional 35,000 to 40,000 winter residents. With 3 million tourists visiting the Coachella Valley annually (pre COVID), developments could bring new housing opportunities to the expanding city. So, what exactly would this land restoration provide?
The Mesquite Desert Preserve proposes the restoration will provide a large segment for the CV link giving off street access to pedestrians, bicyclists and low-speed electric vehicles. The reestablishment of the creek will provide yearly flow of water through the preserve helping to protect the endangered Casey’s June Beetle, migratory birds, and turtles. A several acre monarch butterfly habitat/garden could be introduced, along with the potential for the reintroduction of the native desert pupfish species. The land would be within walking distance of the Mizell Senior Center and local elementary school, allowing for easy access to these newly repurposed lands.
With such a massive undertaking to consider, we are curious to see where this project leads. If you’re interested in seeing the natural integration of both water and desert terrain in the local area, take an afternoon and explore Tahquitz Canyon Waterfall or Whitewater Preserve. Or head on over to www.mesquitedesertpreserve.org to learn how you can get involved with the Mesquite Desert Preserve restoration project.
If this makes you want to come live near these Palm Springs natural wonders – head to our Palm Springs Listings page for more information!