Earth Orange
Earth Day, April 21
Become involved in our Earth Day Celebration and Conservation Fair! Do you have information or products related to living green and protecting the environment, or hand-made arts and crafts you'd like to share with the community? The museum is currently accepting applications for Earth Day vendors.  Please stop by the museum Tuesday - Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and talk to Stefanie. Bring an example of your product and pick up your application.
Abstract by Michelle Pence
"Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" Exhibition
As part of our Earth Day celebration, the local community is invited to contribute artwork made from recycled or reused materials for display in our "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" exhibition. Paintings, sculpture, mixed media creations, photographs of recycled products, or any other art-related objects can be loaned to the museum for display in the exhibition. Individual and group projects are welcome and children are particularly encouraged to participate.
 (Shown above, abstract by Michelle Pence)

An information sheet regarding participation in the "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" exhibit is available at the museum during operating hours or you can click here to view it on our website. Please call the museum at (760) 369-7212 for additional information.

In conjunction with "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle," the Morongo Basin Cultural Arts Council will be displaying "Desert Wildlife," an exhibit inspired by the desert's fascinating animals. Visit their website at for information on submitting artwork.

Both Exhibits on Display March 10 through April 27
Opening Reception Friday, March 9th, 5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Berber Woman
Eye of the Beholder: Beauty and Culture
For thousands of years humans have gone to great lengths to change their natural appearance in an attempt to make themselves feel more attractive, conform to the prevailing customs of their cultural group, participate in religious rituals, attract a mate, show off wealth or social status, and make a statement about themselves.  This exhibition presents a sweeping and sometimes startling look at our methods of adornment and the lengths of which people will go to achieve what they perceive as attractiveness.

On display through March 1
Brick Plaque

Membership and


The museum has two active fundraising campaigns to enable us to continue providing quality educational programs and exhibitions for residents and visitors. Help preserve our local history, art, culture, and natural science by becoming a museum member, or purchase a copper plaque to mount at the entry way of the museum with your personalized engraved inscription. Information on these programs is available at the museum's reception desk or on our website  
Tortoise Tales: Newsletter of the Hi-Desert Nature Museum
Mojave Mound Cactus

Family Fun Day: Wizards & Magic!

Mickey SorcererEnjoy a magical day of family fun at the Hi-Desert Nature Museum!  Enter the wizardly world of a sorcerer's workshop for a day of activities and hands-on crafts for kids of all ages.  Costumes welcome and souvenir photographs will be taken.

Joel Ward, MAGICIAN EXTRAORDINAIRE, will perform in the Yucca Room at 11:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

This event will include a QUIDDITCH TOURNAMENT starting at 12:30 p.m.!  Call the museum at (760) 369-7212 to register to play.

Saturday, February 11th, 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
This event is FREE and will keep the whole family enchanted for hours!
Science Saturdays
LanguageJoin us for days of discovery during Science Saturdays.  These programs will ignite your children's curiosity by presenting information and performing experiments relating to biological and physical sciences.  All programs will be facilitated by our Museum Educator.  It is recommended that children be of school age for this program.  

11:00 - 11:30 a.m.
FREE!  No pre-registration required
February 18: Language
March 10: Senses (Eyes & Ears)
March 24: Senses (Nose & Tongue)

Winter Lecture Series

Kevin WongKevin Wong, photographer and Desert Institute Director, will present "From the Equator to the Desert...Photography Through the Eyes of a Traveler."  Kevin Wong has explored the Southwest, South of the Border, and South America as both a photographer, amateur cultural anthropologist and treasure hunter.  For 11 years, he lived in Ecuador aboard a salvage boat searching for a sunken Spanish galleon.  When he decided to leave treasure hunting and return to the U.S., he took a series of buses from Quito to California, stopping along the way to photograph small villages and anthropological sites.  Finally, settling in Joshua Tree, Kevin dedicated himself to Southwest Desert landscapes and portraitures.  He educated himself at UC Riverside with a certificate in Desert Field Ecology.

Thursday, March 22, starting at Noon
FREE and beverages will be served
The February Winter Lecture Series program will be Mark Wheeler presenting "The Desert Bloom: A Spectrum of Delights" on Thursday, February 16th, starting at Noon
Spring Kids Crafts 
Girl Doing CraftsCelebrate spring with an hour of fun filled crafts for kids! This event is FREE but pre-registration is required.  Space is limited so make sure you reserve your spot by signing up at the museum's reception desk, call the museum at (760) 369-7212 or click here to register online.

Saturday, March 31,
11:00 a.m. to Noon
Bat with Saguaro
Cacti are in the plant family Cactaceae. Their distinctive appearance is a result of adaptations to conserve water in dry and/or hot environments.

Did You Know?
* All cacti are succulents, but not all succulents are cacti.
* Cacti are native to the Americas where their range extends from Patagonia to Canada. 
* There are more than 2,000 species of cacti, coming in a wide range of shapes and sizes.
* Their spines are modified leaves growing from specialized structures called areoles, which are unique to cacti.
* Even small-size cactus plants have large root systems which enable them to absorb water from the soil. The roots are not deep, but they extend far beyond the cactus.
* Bats are heroes of the Sonoran Desert. They are the primary night pollinators of the saguaro and organ pipe cactus. (Shown above is a lesser long-nosed bat pollinating a saguaro.  Photo from
* The lifespan of a cactus plant can vary from 25 to 300 years.
* Pachycereus pringlei is the tallest cactus with a height of more than 60 feet.
* Cactus plants serve as natural water reservoirs. The liquid stored in it is not clear like water but a thick viscous substance.
* Some cactus have been given colorful common names such as Devil's Tongue, Mule Crippler, Mother-in-Law's Tongue, and Pregnant Onion.
Visit the Museum
The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is located in the Yucca Valley Community Center Complex at 57116 Twentynine Palms Highway.  The museum is open Tuesday - Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.  Admission is free; donations support the educational mission of the museum.  The Hi-Desert Nature Museum is operated by the Town of Yucca Valley.  

For more information on our programs and events contact the museum at (760) 369-7212 or visit our website at 


To view a full schedule of Yucca Valley events, sports programs and recreation classes visit the Town's website at


Visit us on FACEBOOK and Follow us on TWITTER!