A popular recreation area in South Palm Springs will forever remain available to the public if a plan to purchase the private property comes to fruition.
Jane Garrison, founder of what is now known as Oswit Land Trust, announced Thursday the non-profit organization has entered into an agreement with the owner of 4,000 acres in the hills above Rimrock Plaza that could see the land sold to the group. The property, called Palm Hills, had been slated for a major development in the mid-2000s before city voters approved a referendum blocking the project. Since that time it has been labeled a “special policy” area, which still allows for development. No current projects are proposed for the land.
“We approached the owner about a year ago and thankfully have come to an agreement to move to the next step,” Garrison said. “Hopefully, we will be able to purchase that land and protect it forever.
“It’s a long marathon of grants, funding, negotiations and raising money, but at least we have left the starting gate.”
While the land is technically private, it is still one of the more popular hiking and mountain biking spots in the city. Known as Goat Trails, it features up to 14 miles of trails to explore.
Garrison’s group is currently actively working to preserve multiple properties in Palm Springs and surrounding areas. It was originally formed to purchase Oswit Canyon from developers who proposed building hundreds of homes on the land near Indian Canyons off South Palm Canyon Drive.