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JOSHUA TREE, CAMorongo Basin residents and guests are invited to attend the first ever “Water Education Day” slated for this Sunday, March 30th, from 1-4PM at the Joshua Tree Water Wise Demonstration Garden located at 61750 Chollita Road. This “family friendly event” is packed with experts on “everything water”—and will surely leave all participants inspired by the desert’s ability to do so much with so little water, along with the resilient people who live there.

Learn up close and personal from nature’s true consummate water conservers: the desert tortoise, who will be on hand and live at one of the exhibits, or how desert pioneers harvested rain water at another exhibit.

Do you love to garden? Attendees will be delighted to find a booth dedicated to swapping free seeds and other over abundant water wise seedling plants. “If you have native or water wise plants or seeds bring them to this booth and take some alternate ones of interest for your gardening pleasure,” encourages Kathleen Radnich, Public Information and Outreach coordinator for this event.

Wind, heat, cold, critters and poor soil are formidable foes to having esthetic landscaping in the desert if you don’t know the right plants to use. Attendees will be treated to a tour of the Joshua Tree Water Wise Demonstration Garden during this Sunday afternoon, which is in full bloom and simply spectacular! To further encourage effective water wise landscaping, exhibits will be offered on how to collect and propagate native plant seeds, the desert’s hydrologic cycle that brings moisture naturally to the local flora, free seed packets from Minerva Hoyt, and mascot “Tank the Tortoise,” who will also be on hand.

Other exhibits will educate on groundwater pollution and residential septic care, waste water, the perils of electronic waste, the value of tap water verses bottled water, kids water conservation coloring contest with prizes, free children’s water cycle bracelets and raffle, along with an underground aquifer exhibit that will be on display,

A free (no questions asked) old prescription drug and sharps drive-through drop-off collection site, sponsored by the Hi-Desert Medical Center, will be provided in an effort to discourage contamination of our desert ground water.

Additional activities of special interest include an inaugural native plant sale of Desert Marigolds (rabbits hate this plant!) Participants can purchase these one-gallon resilient marvels for $10.00, or three for $20.00 at this event. Proceeds from the sale of these annual water wise flowers will go to building a program, “The Minerva Hoyt Native Plant Sale,” to expand the selection of local native plants for sale each year that will are compatible with the natural flora in our Joshua Tree National Park. The Joshua Tree Fire Department will also be on hand with an exhibit on fire suppression and water, concluding the afternoons’ activities with a demonstration.

Sponsored by more than 15 agencies and organizations, this packed three-hours of activity is FREE and open to all, and surely not one to be missed! With California currently declaring a state of drought for all, the timing for this informative event couldn’t be better. Come learn how you can make a difference in helping to protect our most valuable natural resource: WATER. For more information, email kjradnich@jbwd.com, or contact your local water district. * END*

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