02 Jan

Joshua Tree National Park Cleanup Effort During Shutdown

Posted by Lori Rennie

By Visit 29 Palms 01/02/2019
A New Year’s Day cleanup effort in Joshua Tree National Park took place on January 1 during the government shutdown, with donated supplies and community volunteers. The cleanup day was the result of a joint effort by Visit 29 Palms, the 29 Palms Chamber of Commerce, and the City of 29 Palms.

Volunteers met at the 29 Palms Visitor Center where they were provided cleaning supplies and assigned to specific areas of the park. Within a four-hour effort the group hauled out more than 40 bags of trash, glass and recycling, and cleaned and restocked bathrooms throughout the national park.

Breanne Dusastre, Director of Marketing and Tourism Development for the City of 29 Palms lead the effort and said, “It was so great to see the turnout today in 29 Palms, and I am thrilled by how much ground we were able to cover in the park today. It has been inspiring to see the cleanup efforts and stewardship initiatives from the community, and we felt like today was our turn to roll up our sleeves and help out.”

Dusastre gives credit to the 29 Palms hospitality community for helping make today’s cleanup effort possible, saying “In addition to the $200 contribution of supplies from the 29 Palms Tourism Business Improvement District, toilet paper and cleaning supplies were donated by the Harmony Motel, 29 Palms Inn, and Broadview Hacienda vacation rental owners.” In addition to the donations from the hospitality community, Dusastre adds that a significant amount of supplies were provided by Friends of Joshua Tree, the non-profit organization dedicated to preserving the historical tradition of climbing in Joshua Tree National Park.

As the government shutdown continues, the 29 Palms Visitor Center and Chamber of Commerce will continue to serve as a drop off location for people who would like to donate supplies such as toilet paper, 50 gallon garbage bags, and antibacterial wipes.

With campground closures going into effect at noon on Wednesday, January 2, Dusastre says future cleanup events will focus on the more public areas of the park such as day use areas and popular trailheads.

“Visit 29 Palms is committed to helping out in any way possible, and while the shutdown continues and NPS-provided visitor services are not available in Joshua Tree National Park, we will do our best to help provide visitor resources in our city visitor center, and will continue to help with coordinating cleanup efforts.”

During this shutdown, Visit 29 Palms would like to remind visitors coming to Joshua Tree National Park to take extra caution, and encourages visitors to:

-Bring your own toilet paper.

-Pack out everything you pack in.

-Park only in designated parking areas.

-Keep your dog on a leash, and no more than 100 feet from any road, picnic area, or campground.

-Never feed the wildlife, and always view from a distance.

-Be prepared for unexpected closures – current closures include Lost Horse Mine Road, Keys View Road, and Rattlesnake Canyon.

-Before entering the park, make sure you have a park map, full tank of gas, water and snacks, and layers of clothing for the cooler temperatures.

For more information and updates, go to https://www.visit29.org/news.

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Media contact: Breanne Dusastre 415-827-0420

<- Just some of the many bottles left behind in Joshua Tree National Park after New Year’s Eve 2019 during the government shutdown.

Note to visitors: Please pack out your own trash. More than ever, our motto is: Leave No Trace!

 

 

 

*Top photo: Some of the 29 Palms Cleanup Crew volunteers who were assembled at the City Visitor Center on New Year’s Day to collect supplies for a cleanup effort in Joshua Tree National Park during the government shutdown. Left to right: 29 Palms residents Jill, Anastasia Wasko, Anthony Arias, Dylan, Eric and Jen Smith; Hemet visitor Jose Cortez; City Code Enforcement Officer Jim Thornburg; City Director of Marketing Breanne Dusastre; 29 Palms Inn owner Jane Smith.

 

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