Oswit Land Trust to turn Mesquite Golf Club into a nature reserve

The Mesquite Golf Club in Palm Springs was purchased by Oswit Land Trust for use as a nature preserve.

When the property was put up for sale, Oswit Land Trust founder and executive director Jane Garrison saw an opportunity to make history.

“A ground isn’t safe until it’s safe,” Garrison said.

The announcement was made at a press conference on Tuesday morning. Palm Springs philanthropist Brad Prescott made the generous purchase in full. The property will be renamed Prescott Preserve in his honor.

“I see the desert slowly disappearing,” Prescott said. “I feel bad for the animals, they are being evicted from their habitat.”

The exact dollar amount to buy the 180-acre property remains confidential, but Garrison said it was a big bill for Prescott to pay.

“It was a huge prize,” she said. Prescott’s only condition, she added, was that the park be named after her.

“I’m a big believer: you can’t take it with you,” Prescott said. “Spread it while you’re alive and see it goes to good causes.”

The 18-hole course is conveniently located in the center of town, stretching from El Cielo Road to Sunrise Way.

A leaflet from those trying to sell the course to developers estimated that up to 350 residential units could be built there – calling the land the largest property in central Palm Springs on which it had not yet been built. .

Jim Karpiak of the Coachella Valley Mountains Conservancy called the acquisition a victory for wildlife.

“It’s a wildlife corridor,” he said. “There’s water in the streams, it’s important for the species to sustain them. The species don’t care about city limits. They move from the mountains through the city.”

Oswit Land Trust now has big dreams for the future of the reserve. “It’s going to be very lush, it’s going to be very beautiful,” Garrison said. “You will be able to observe various species of wild animals.”

In May, Oswit Land Trust reached a $7 million deal with developers to retain nearly 4,000 acres off Highway 111 in Palm Springs, the largest land acquisition in the Valley’s history. Coachella.

In 2020, the conservation group managed to save more than 100 acres in southern Palm Springs, called Oswit Canyon, from residential development.

“We don’t stop there,” Garrison said. “There is a need, there is a need to save the earth. And as long as there is a need, we will try to fill that need.”

Oswit Land Trust must now obtain grants to build the reserve. The goal is to use it next year for planning and then start restoration in 2023.

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