R0012242 If you’ve been meaning to take a trip out to Joshua Tree but also wanted to use this time to maybe give a little something back, you might want to schedule a trip over the next few weekends.

The LAist dug up some info on a series of volunteer weed-pulls occurring on Saturdays through March 7th. Apparently, the desert-coating Sahara mustard plant is creeping up on the park, and needs to be eradicated. This thing is a nasty little invasive species — and will choke out almost all of the native wildflowers, grasses and brush, creating a huge swath of flammable monoculture. And we don’t want that.

So if you’re interested in volunteering, the National Park is staging weed-pulls at 8AM on February 21, 28 and March 7. Bring water, gloves, pruners or clippers, and the usual desert stuff — snacks, sunscreen (yes, even in February), a hat, etc.

The pulling will be done at Pinto Basin, in the southeastern corner of the Park. If you’re looking to make a weekend of the excursion (and you should, because Joshua Tree is great), aim for one of the campgrounds on the east side of the park — Cottonwood camp, near the southern entrance, is the closest to where the work will be done. Otherwise, you’ll be trekking in from Jumbo Rocks, White Tank, or Belle.

Also note that the vast majority of camp sites in Joshua Tree are first-come-first-served. And it’s Climbing Season, which means they’ll fill up fast, although usually the climbers stick to the western parts of the Park, so you might be alright. Before you head out, call Victoria Chang at 760-367-5579 or email at [email protected]. The weed pulls last three hours, which will give you plenty of time to explore the park. I can suggest a few trails, if you’re interested.

When you’re done, I also recommend refilling your belly at the Crossroads Cafe, just outside the park’s western entrance. They’ve never disappointed!

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