San Bernardino County Special Districts
Desert View Conservation Area
Joshua Tree San Bernardino County, California
The Joshua Tree Desert View Conservation Area (DVCA) is ±640 acres of undeveloped land purchased from the Bureau of Land Management for use as a County Regional Park. Winner of an ASLA Merit Award, it is home to a fragile and important desert ecosystem. The park encourages sustainability and environmental stewardship while underscoring native and historical cultural elements in addition to present unique and sensitive habitats.
Many who visit the DVCA are not aware of the impact their visit has on the environment and its in-habitants. The interpretive goal of the project is to foster an understanding of how human impact affects the local flora and fauna ecology, educate locals and visitors about the diversity of the area and mitigate human effects by providing a guided trail to keep foot and other traffic away from sensitive areas.
The installation of appropriate interpretive panels and plaques at key locations allows visitors to participate in self-guided tours highlighting many of the observable features and aspects on site. Panels include information on desert ancients – slow-growing plants which have been recognized as being able to live to be hundreds and even thousands of years old. Featured interpretive elements include educational panels on the Joshua Tree (Yucca brevifolia), the namesake of the area, as well as Nolina (Nolina pary-ii), Creosote (Larrea tridenta), and Catclaw Acacia (Acacia greggii) and others. Similar panels describe the various animal life and their habitats with a particular focus on the endangered desert tortoise, as well as the desert bighorn sheep, mountain lions, and coyotes and common area birds.