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  • Sunset at Mojave Desert in Twentynine Palms, CA

The Mojave Desert Land Trust protects the unique living landscapes of the Mojave and Colorado Deserts and has conserved more than 100,000 acres of prime desert habitat, forever weaving together national parks, national monuments, wilderness areas, and wildlife linkage corridors. The organization works closely with a broad range of desert community members and visitors, as well as with local, state, and federal agencies. MDLT offers hands-on learning and volunteer opportunities to residents and visitors of the desert. It collaborates closely with, and is supported by, a diverse range of partner organizations, agencies, neighbors, and visitors who treasure the desert’s unique qualities. It’s mission is to protect the Mojave Desert ecosystem and its scenic and cultural resource values and it’s vision for the Mojave Desert includes dark night skies, clean air and water, broad views and vistas, and an abundance of native plants and animals.

The Black Rock Nature Center is located in Joshua Tree National Park next to the Black Rock Campground. Visitors can find many items in the park store and books to help visitors plan their day. Many trailheads are available at this location, including the California Riding and Hiking trail, a favorite amongst equestrians. The campground is nestled amongst one of the thicker Joshua Tree forests in the national park. Visitors of yesteryear might recognize the site as the location of Jellystone Park Campground, a Yogi Bear-themed camping experience. Stop by the nature center and check out the latest exhibits.

The Glass Outhouse Art Gallery is one of Twentynine Palms’ most unusual sites to see, located just east of downtown in Wonder Valley. Monthly art shows are celebrated with an art reception on the first Saturdays of the month, with food, beverages, live music, and camaraderie. The gallery features desert artists, photographers, and musicians. Yes, there is an actual glass outhouse, plus a hand-built Wayside Chapel and found-object art installations throughout the property. Admission free. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. (Closed July-August)

The Twentynine Palms Historical Society was founded in 1982 to preserve and display the historical heritage of the Twentynine Palms area. Housed in the oldest public building in the Morongo Basin, the Society owns and operates the Old Schoolhouse Museum at 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms. It allows visitors to experience a 1920s-era schoolroom and view artifacts and exhibits on the history of Twentynine Palms and the surrounding area. The Historical Society offers its members and the community special programs throughout the year. These programs seek to educate the public on the history of the area. Almost 1,000 students visit the museum annually as participants in class tours designed to help fulfill California history-social science standards. In October, the “Old Timers Gathering” is held at the museum during the City of Twentynine Palms’ annual “Pioneer Days” celebration. The first weekend in November is the yearly “Weed Show,” which started in 1940, featuring desert flora in unique artistic arrangements. Since 1999 the Society and the Desert Institute have co-sponsored the “Old Schoolhouse Lecture Series.” These lectures, presented on the second Friday of each month, September through June, offer information about the Morongo Basin area’s local history, culture, natural science, and arts.

Located on the corner of Utah Trail and Joe Davis Drive, Luckie Park is the City’s original community park. Luckie Park features acres of grass and shade trees, a walking path and exercise equipment, four baseball fields, three covered picnic shelters, two playground areas, three basketball courts, a skateboard park, two corn hole pits, a soccer field, and a public pool. The park evolved from its beginnings in the 1930s as the home of the American Legion Desert Outpost 334 to its official dedication on July 4, 1965, as “Luckie Park.” Named for land-donor, WWI veteran, and Pasadena physician Dr. James B. Luckie, credited with helping to populate the City by sending World War I veterans suffering respiratory ailments to live and homestead in the dry climate of Twentynine Palms. Veterans and community volunteers built a public swimming pool on the site in 1929. Picnic shelters and BBQs are free to use or can be reserved for gatherings and special events for a small fee. For more information about reservations, contact the Parks and Recreation Department.

Located at 6895 El Sol Avenue, Knott’s Sky Park offers grassy areas, shade trees, children’s playground equipment, covered picnic shelters, recreational activities, and baseball/softball fields. Picnic shelters are free to use or can be reserved for gatherings and special events for a small fee through the Parks and Recreation Department. Knott’s Sky Park is a historic local property that once belonged to the Knott family of Knott’s Berry Farm. It originally housed cottages for guests of the Knott family who came out to the desert for parties and special occasions, plus a small airstrip for landing private planes.

Formerly known as Project Phoenix, the Freedom Plaza site is a dynamic downtown revitalization project along Highway 62 in the heart of 29 Palms that will meet the community’s recreational, professional, and educational needs.

The multi-faceted complex features an 11,000 square foot Community Center with a gymnasium/multipurpose room and culinary arts kitchen, a 4,100 square foot Joshua Tree National Park Cultural and Visitor Center, 10,000 square foot entry plaza, and a three-block-long Paseo.

The Community Center will serve as a flexible athletics facility and recreational hub for the community’s youth and adults. It can also function as a venue for special events and conferences. Through the City’s new partnership with Copper Mountain College and the Morongo Unified School District, the culinary arts kitchen in this new Community Center will serve as a teaching space for the next generation of aspiring chefs.

A beautiful outdoor event stage graces the corner of Freedom Way and the Paseo parking lot between the Community Center and Joshua Tree Visitor and Cultural Center. Freedom Way’s newly designed protected walkway also transforms into an event space that businesses, organizations, and community members can reserve for special events such as festivals, farmer’s markets, art shows, car shows, and musical events.

A decade in the making, the City of Twentynine Palms proudly unveiled and officially opened Freedom Plaza on March 12! See the grand opening celebration here: Freedom Plaza Grand Opening.

Wonder Valley, in the Mojave desert, is a rural community of artists and others bounded by the Bullion, Sheep Hole and Pinto Mountains. The Wonder Valley Community Center (WVCC) is located at 80526-½ Amboy Road, Wonder Valley, CA 92277 and is managed by the San Bernardino Special Districts Department as part of CSA-70M (Country Service Area 70m, an unincorporated area that includes all of Wonder Valley). The center’s coordinator is James Dunham and can be reached at 760-367-9880.  The WVCC regular hours are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The monthly USDA food distribution for Wonder Valley residents is on the 3rd Tuesday of the month.

29 Palms Art Gallery is in a historic Twentynine Palms adobe building. Once home to western author Tom Hopkins, the 1936 adobe was established in 1964 as a gallery offering exhibitions of art for sale, youth and adult art classes and a gift shop full of southwestern gifts, jewelry and local artisans’ works.