MBCA 13th Annual Desert-Wise Landscape Tour

Spring in the Morongo Basin means it’s time for the Landscape Tour! For more than a dozen years the Morongo Basin Conservation Association has curated the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour in late April. This self-guided day-long experience is the equivalent of a backstage pass to some of the Hi Desert’s most unique, attractive, and water-conscious landscapes. Your next opportunity to join this tour is Sunday, April 21, 2024.

Locals and visitors from around the world are drawn to the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour for a variety of reasons. Many come to gather inspiration, looking for ideas and techniques that they can take home and apply to their own rocky, sandy, wind-swept, or flood-prone property. Other tour goers are drawn by the chance to learn how people have created attractive and comfortable surroundings while carefully conserving and managing
resources like water, power, soil, and natural beauty. It is a celebration of local homes and yards where people and nature live and grow and thrive together.

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The Morongo Basin Conservation Association’s Landscape Tour isn’t just for those who have a green thumb. Many sites include unusual and artful sculpture, hardscape elements both found and created, and other enhancements that inspire whimsy, spirituality, or simply awe.

One surprising element of the Desert-Wise Landscape Tour is that the very small price of admission allows tour goers to enter private locations otherwise impossible to see. These are the quiet spaces, secret gardens, and grownup follies of private owners. Some are new, others have been cultivated over multiple generations. There are places behind long walls, tucked over ridges, or set back just far enough from the everyday that they are seldom noticed.

April offers the greatest opportunity to experience the Hi Desert at its best. Longer days, moderate temperatures, and colorful displays of wildflowers, often in abundance, together make for a memorable tour. The single day of operation means it has a low impact on the desert environment and on the homeowner hosts who volunteer their time to share their successful use of beautiful native and drought-tolerant plants, and strategies for water conservation and sustainability.

The Desert-Wise Landscape Tours began in 2011. Their growth in popularity can be attributed not only to the unique and inspiring tour experience, but also to the careful planning and attention to detail given this event by volunteers at the Morongo Basin Conservation Association. Beginning in 2020, the in-person tours have been augmented with virtual, video tours. Free access to the video tours is available on our YouTube Channel http://tinyurl.com/3c4nxnaj. After you sample the virtual tours, register for this April’s Desert-Wise Landscape Tour and your backstage pass to these Hi Desert gems of memorable and sustainable landscaping.

MBCA Desert-Wise Landscape Tour
When: April 21, 9am to 4pm
Where: The Morongo Basin
How: Register in advance at the MBCA website mbconservation.org/dwl_tours or on Tour Day at the Mojave Desert Land Trust in Joshua Tree from 9 am to noon.

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