Desert Enthusiasts Awarded for Excellence in Online Communication

Desert enthusiasts gathered for the 2nd Anniversary Party held at Cali Greens Cafe in Yucca Valley, CA on October 22, 2016.

The event kicked off with a networking session where attendees spoke about the latest desert news and renewable energy updates. Delicious snacks were ordered from Cali Greens Cafe.

Cali Greens Cafe Yucca Valley CA
Photo credit: Hilary Sloane

Soon attendees sat down for an awards ceremony. Award recipients were personally selected by Lauren Ell based on their skill in online communication including email outreach, social media usage and website updates.

“Effectively sharing information online allows community members to stay up to date about current events,” Ell said confidently. “People tend to not have time to call around for information. So online updates go a long way.”

Awards were awarded to local environment conservation groups Mojave Desert Land Trust and Morongo Basin Conservation Association. Ell noted Mojave Desert Land Trust to effectively use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram while also consistently sending email updates about local events. Morongo Basin Conservation Association was noted to send detailed email updates providing information about development news as well as meeting times and locations.

Mojave Desert Land Trust
Leslie Nuno Hughes receives award on behalf of Mojave Desert Land Trust. Photo credit: Hilary Sloane

Additionally three individuals were awarded – David Fick, Joshua Tree, CA, Tom O’Key, Joshua Tree, Death Valley Jim, Joshua Tree. David Fick and Tom O’Key have been avid contributors to Joshua Tree Facebook groups often providing detail about local events, names of county representatives and news updates.

David Fick Joshua Tree
David Fick awarded Excellence in Communication. Photo credit: Hilary Sloane

Death Valley Jim is an explorer and travel guide that takes beautiful scenic photos of the desert and writes articles about historical desert locations. Jim uses online social mediums such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to share information and also updates his website regularly.

A special award for Excellence in Journalism was awarded to Hilary Sloane, a journalist and photographer based in Joshua Tree. Sloane has contributed many articles to since April 2016 regarding topics such as land management, solar development and community collaboration.

Hilary Sloane
Hilary Sloane awarded for Excellence in Journalism. Photo credit: Sarah Kennington was initially launched in October 2014 by Lauren Ell, a resident of Joshua Tree at the time. Ell noticed there were many active environmental local groups hosting activities but there was little communication occurring between the organizations and community. Ell decided to fill the communication gap by providing information to the community through online mediums such as a website, social media and email.

Ell noted that is undergoing a transition to focus more on the solar energy industry.

Caption for above photo: Sarah Kennington receives Excellence in Communication Award on behalf of Morongo Basin Conservation Association. Photo credit: Hilary Sloane

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