Leading off: ‘Biggest prize’ finally landed by conservation groups
A popular recreation area in the city’s south end will forever remain available to the public, thanks to the efforts of a trio of conservation groups.
Driving the news: Palm Springs-based Oswit Land Trust (OLT), along with the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy (CVMC) and the Coachella Valley Conservation Commission (CVCC), closed the deal on Friday, acquiring nearly 4,000 acres known as The Goat Trails for roughly $7 million.
- The acquisition is the largest single land conservation purchase in the history of the Coachella Valley.
- “It would have been a tragedy to lose this critical habitat, popular hiking area and the important wildlife corridor to development. With the help of our supporters, we will be good stewards of this land,” said Jane Garrison, executive director and founder of OLT.
Why it matters: The property had been slated for a major development in the mid-2000s before city voters approved a referendum blocking the project.
- Since then, it has been labeled a “special policy” area, which still allows for development.
- Even though it was private property, it remained one of the city’s more popular hiking and mountain biking spots, with 14 miles of trails to explore.
Credit the Oswit effort: OLT has been involved in several efforts to acquire and protect lands in and around Palm Springs.
- It was initially formed to purchase Oswit Canyon from developers who proposed building hundreds of homes on the land near Indian Canyons off South Palm Canyon Drive.
- It currently has plans to turn a trio of golf courses into a nature preserve called Mesquite Desert Preserve.
- “Oswit was the launchpad for all of this. Little did they know it would lead to this other work,” Garrison said of the nonprofit’s supporters and volunteers.
In brief: Encampment cleared
The homeless encampment near Von’s Rimrock has been growing rapidly, as has another one near Walmart off Ramon. At Rimrock, authorities decided to step in last week.
- Working together: The Palm Springs Police Department’s homeless outreach team, code compliance, and Riverside County’s mobile crisis unit cleared the encampment last Thursday. Unhoused individuals living in the ditch there were offered assistance.
Driving the news: As city officials work on long-term solutions, police are stepping up to do more in the short term to assist individuals on our streets experiencing mental health crises.
- Among the short-term efforts is upcoming signage downtown reminding individuals that it’s illegal to have masses of materials heaped on sidewalks, at bus stops, or towed in shopping carts.
Urgency at Rimrock: After years of planning, the county recently began construction of a much-needed flood control project in the neighborhood. Heavy equipment used to help lay pipes has been operating on land where encampments have been growing. In the area cleared last week, a housing development is planned.
? AM Roundup: Grab a cup & catch up
? Arson is suspected in a fire that charred four acres near Shiprock on Saturday. Police made an arrest.(The Palm Springs Post)
? Former PSHS football players signed contracts with NFL teams, Andrew John reports. (The Desert Sun)
?♀️ Remember the shooting outside Smart & Final in January? A suspect is in custody. (KESQ)
? On tap
? The Purple Room is doing its part tonight to help those suffering during the war in Ukraine.
The event: “Sing Out For Ukraine” is a benefit concert featuring more than a dozen performers, as well as a silent auction.
- Proceeds go to UNICEF to benefit the children and families of Ukraine. Purple Room will also be donating proceeds from food and beverage sales.
Details, details: Dinner is at 6 p.m. The show starts at 7 p.m. Online ticket sales stopped last week, so if you’re interested in attending, it’s best to contact the venue here.
?️ Also today:
- The Mizell Center is in full swing with classes, activities, and more.
- Coachella Acappella Women’s Chorus practices tonight, and The Palm Springs Sunshine Sisters will be in attendance. Both groups welcome new members.
? Looking ahead:
- The State of the City takes place Tuesday night at The Plaza Theatre downtown.
- The next free concert in the new Downtown Park is Wednesday evening.
- The Sunrise Student Film Festival celebrates local middle and high school students, on Friday evening.
And finally …
It’s lit: The neon sign at the city’s historic Plaza Theatre is glowing in all its glory once again.
Driving the news: The sign had been dark for two years, leaving a hole in the hearts of many admirers. It was repaired just in time for the State of the City event tomorrow.
- The venue will also host this month’s Oasis Music Festival, including the Palm Springs International Jazz Festival.
Restoration underway: The theater was opened in 1936 and is a city icon. It fell into disrepair and is being brought back to life by the Palm Springs Plaza Theatre Foundation.
- Find out more about the efforts, and donate by going here.
What they’re saying: The dark sign has been a source of sourness on social media, particularly in the “I love downtown Palm Springs” Facebook group, where admin Matt Robinson runs the show.
- “I was so happy to see it glow over South Palm Canyon Drive once again,” Robinson said in a post.
? Kendall has her voice back after Coachella.
? Mark was once again passed up in the NFL Draft.
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