[Above: A house in Borrego Springs nestles against the backdrop
of the Anza-Borrego Desert. Photo: Jonathan Tourtellot]
Geotourism comes to the desert
The community of Borrego Springs, California gathered November 6 at the Steele/Burnand Anza-Borrego Desert Research Center to formally establish the Borrego Valley Stewardship Council. Last evening’s ceremony was the culmination of a six month long process that began in April 2014 with Jonathan Tourtellot’s presentation of the principles of geotourism at the de Anza Country Club. Following Mr. Tourtellot’s presentation an Interim Steering Committee composed of community leaders was formed to distill geotourism’s principles of sustainability into a Mission Statement and a Charter to guide future development of this desert community. The Charter was ratified by signature by the leading organizations of the community including the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park; the University of California, Irvine; the Chamber of Commerce; the Borrego Water District; the Borrego Unified School District; and numerous nonprofits.
Borrego Springs is an incorporated village at the heart of, and surrounded on all sides by, the 1000 square mile Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. It is home to approximately 3000 full-time residents and is the gateway community to the State Park. Borrego Springs is the only Dark Sky community in California and one of two in the United States.
By ratifying its Mission Statement the community of Borrego Springs affirms its aspiration to be “a model desert community in terms of sound economic planning, beneficial year-round truism, world-class life-long learning, and exemplary stewardship of our cultural, social, and environmental heritage.”