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The Living Desert Charity Profile
This website tour through The Living Desert and the deserts of the world you are about to embark on will show you how language has misled everyone into thinking of the desert as a surly, outlaw landscape instead of a fragile, interesting ecosystem. You’ll see remarkable plants, animals, places and natural phenomena associated with deserts and learn how The Living Desert is helping to interpret and protect them.
You will also find out about one of the most unusual institutions in the United States. There isn’t a single word to describe all that The Living Desert is and does. We must string words together, like beads: zoo and endangered species conservation center – botanical gardens – natural history museum – wilderness park – nature preserve – education center. The thread that holds all the beads together is the word “desert.”
Desert conservation through preservation, education and appreciation.
To preserve a portion of the Colorado Desert in its natural state. The Living Desert has set aside 1,000 acres of natural desert habitat.
To foster, through interpretive exhibits, programs and publication, an awareness of and an appreciation for, the variety of plants and animals in worldwide desert ecosystems.
To build up, under controlled conditions, populations of various species of desert animals and plants threatened with extinction in the wild state.
To foster, through cooperative research and educational programs, biological studies, contributing to the protection of desert species in the wild state.
The Living Desert Volunteer Information
Adult volunteers may choose to become General Volunteers or Docents. General volunteers fulfill a variety of roles throughout the park, working in the Petting Kraal, as Veterinary Hospital tour guides, in the Retail Nursery, in one of our Gift Shops, just to mention a few. Docents are volunteers who interact in many ways with our guests--young and old--helping to interpret our Living Desert exhibits and teach the public about the desert in general. Docent training is held once a year, beginning in November, and continuing through early March. (Classes are held two mornings a week, except during holiday breaks.) Docents are required to volunteer a minimum of 126 hours a season (our season runs from July 1 to June 30) in an interpretive youth tour–related capacity for a minimum of two years after completing training.