You are invited to experience the fascinating underworld of desert soils.
You won’t believe what is happening under your feet.
If we could see the intricate systems that hum along invisibly underground, we would likely fight harder to protect our desert landscapes from unnecessary disturbance.
Research around the world is showing that the biggest contributors to soil stability in deserts are the smallest of microorganisms. Tiny microbes are actually holding our vast desert landscapes together.
The valuable role of these hidden microorganisms in keeping our air cleaner, preventing dust storms, controlling erosion, and helping us reduce carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere is enormous, but that role is mostly overlooked and unappreciated when we make land-use decisions about our desert.
Our “Desert Underground” program shares the story of our hidden soil magicians that work together to physically connect all the plants in the landscape in order to share food, moisture, and information while capturing and storing carbon underground.
This critical partnership between desert microbes, plants, and soils silently protects the desert’s potential for carbon sequestration and storage, our air quality, our health, our economy, our landscape, our ecotourism, our property values, and our quality of life – if the soil is left intact and alive.
The Desert Underground
Book by Robin Kobaly
Artwork by Dr. Juniper Harrower
We have several ways for you to tour this fascinating underworld, including an upcoming special art exhibit, an engaging book with original art to depict the surprising happenings in desert soils, our lecture series, and a documentary film that is currently under development.
The Desert Underground Exhibit
Our special exhibit this fall will showcase dozens of display panels of original art and graphics that lead you on a virtual tour of the desert’s amazingly alive soils, and will include some hands-on displays. This exhibit is featured at the 2019 Joshua Tree National Park Art Exposition on September 14 and 15, 2019, from 10 am to 4 pm in the pavilion tent at the 29 Palms Inn in Twentynine Palms, CA.
The Desert Underground exhibit is free to the public, as is the entire Art Expo over the two-day event. This special exhibit is also part of this fall’s celebration of the 25th Anniversary of the California Desert Protection Act.
For an overview of the hidden but magnificent realm that works silently underground every day, read the feature article, “The Desert Under Our Feet” written by Robin Kobaly in the March 2019 issue of The Desert Report.