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Inland Empire/Desert Region
Doing What MATTERS for Jobs and the Economy
By Alyssa T. Girl Reporter
On November 11, 2015, Troop 111 went to Joshua Tree National Park to go on a nature hike and learn about the environment. The Girl Scouts and their Troop Leader, Ms. Beth, had fun on their trip to the wonderful preserve.
First the girls went to the Visitors’ Center near the Park, where there was a gift shop, a map of the park and nearby ones, and an educational movie center. Ranger Sarah Jane gave the Scouts a ranger talk, where she talked about the different types of plants around the park, including its namesake (Joshua Trees) and how it has adjusted to the environment it lives in. They are moister than regular trees and stringier on the inside because they need to adapt to the hotter desert by absorbing the little rain they get into their roots and bark. She also talked about how the park wants people to participate in an activity-the Joshua trees does not have aging rings like regular trees do inside their bark because of their adaptations. The Center encourages visitors to take a picture of a Joshua tree and come back a year or two later to look at the tree again, then see how it has grown. This helps the researchers know how fast Joshua Trees age.
After the ranger talk, the girls went onto the Hidden Valley Nature Trail and took a nature hike, and it was a sight to see! They walked around and marveled at the tall rocks, the different trees and plants, and the beautiful views. The trail is known for its interesting rock formations, which the Scouts found were interesting to climb around and observe.
The hike was a mile long loop, and was worth it for the sights! We didn’t get to see any of the animals in their habitat, but the troop did get to see some pretty adventurous hikers and some even more adventurous rock climbers atop the rock formations!
Visiting National Parks like our local Joshua Tree is a great thing to do in the area, especially when there are free admission days, like on Veterans’ Day, which is when Troop 111 visited.
Exploring a National Park and going on a hike is a great experience for everyone; whether you hike along a straight trail, maneuver around rocks, or even go the distance and full-on climb a boulder, you are guaranteed to have a great time!