Deserts don’t always get the love they deserve. If it wasn’t for the California Desert, many people wouldn’t know an important piece of themselves. For me, I wouldn’t be a rock climber.

Growing up in Los Angeles, I used to think the California Desert was barren, dry, and uncomfortable. When I was finally able to visit in my 20s, I quickly realized that it’s full of so much beauty.

Joshua Tree National Park has a special place in my heart. Those magical trees remind me of my favorite Dr. Seuss books, and the diverse wildlife and gorgeous landscapes soothe my soul and ignite my imagination.

Once I started rock climbing, the California Desert National Conservation Lands on the outskirts of Joshua Tree—New Jack City and Volcanic Tablelands—became my favorite places to be. Rock climbing has changed me physically and mentally, and the California Desert played a significant role in my personal transformations.

For the month of July, Conservation Lands Foundation is collecting and sharing Love Notes for the California Desert to showcase the diverse and deep connections people have to these lands.

There’s nothing like sharing the love to strengthen our community. Here’s how you can participate in Love Notes for the California Desert:

  • Share your Love Note on Facebook or Instagram by July 31. Love notes include writing, poetry, artwork, videos, songs. Feel free to get creative!
  • Tag us @ConservationLands and include #ILoveCADesert. Posts tagged with #ILoveCADesert shared on Instagram & Twitter will appear in the collage below!
  • Win prizes each week! We're going to randomly select one Love Note author each week who will receive a California Desert-themed prize. Prizes include a Desert “Adventure Kit,” a t-shirt and hoodie commemorating the 25th anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act, a CLF/National Conservation Lands goodie bag, a copy of “Mojave Desert Peaks: Hiking the Crown of the California Desert” by Michel Digonnet, and more. Click here to see the official contest rules.

These Love Notes will also be helpful reminders to our elected representatives of the special connection so many people have to this area and their desire to keep it protected.

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Check out Love Notes for the California Desert on Instagram

Share your Love Note on social media today! Remember to tag us @ConservationLands and include #ILoveCADesert. Thank you for helping us generate Love Notes that this special place deserves.

    About
    Maricela is a native of Southern California, and CLF's California Associate Program Director