It’s big, it’s beautiful, and this weekend it’s FREE.  Ranger Pam Tripp tells what “it” is…

How about a free visit to a national park site?  The National Park Service has designated the following fee free days for 2014:

February 15-17, for Presidents Day weekend

April 19-20, for National Park Week opening weekend

August 25, for the National Park Service 98th Birthday

September 27, for National Public Lands Day

November 11, for Veterans Day

On those dates, at Joshua Tree National Park, you will not have to pay the $15 per vehicle entrance price.  Camping & reservation fees will still be collected as normal.  Fee free days are an opportunity to take advantage of scenic hikes and views, and enjoy the desert, day or night. Prepare accordingly with a backpack, water, sunscreen, hat, and snacks.  Pack up your family, bring a camera, and enjoy a free visit to your beautiful desert park.  Call 760-367-5500 or visit any of our visitor centers to find out more information about fee free days.  For Z107.7, this is Park Ranger Pam Tripp, reminding you to enjoy the solace and wonder of your national park.


Installation of industrial-scale solar fields in rural living zones will be one of the topics discussed at the Homestead Valley Community Council meeting Monday, February 17. Residents are invited to comment on federal, state, or local issues of interest. The meeting starts at 3 p.m. at Belfield Hall, 58380 Reche Road in Landers.


Not too far away in the Inland Empire are cultural treats.  Reporter Taylor Thacker invites you on a magical mystery tour to Redlands and Cherry Valley…

Join the Town of Yucca Valley on Wednesday, February 19, for a day trip to the Lincoln Shrine, located at the A.K. Smiley Library in Redlands, for a guided tour. Departure time is at 8:45 a.m. at the Community Center and will return at 4:30 p.m. The cost is $70 per person; price includes lunch and two tours. This memorial to Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War also includes works by Norman Rockwell and murals by Dean Cornwell. Participants will enjoy lunch at Joe Greensleeve’s where there is a choice of a turkey sandwich with all the fixings or pan-baked lasagna. After lunch, participants will travel to Cherry Valley for a guided tour of the beautiful Edward Dean Museum and Gardens. This museum features late 16th to early 19th century European and Asian Decorative Arts. To register go online to www.yucca-valley.org or in person at the Yucca Valley Community Services office. For more information call 760-369-7211.


The Morongo Basin Coalition for Adult Literacy has announced the date of its 23rd Annual Spell-a-thon. The spelling bee for adults will be held from 9 to noon March 8 at the Helen Gray Education Center on the campus of the Hi-Desert Medical Center in Joshua Tree. Teams of three people will compete against each other for bragging rights of the best spellers in the Morongo Basin. The entry fee is $25 per team, and team members raise pledges that will benefit the MBCAL. Teams must register by March 9. For more information, or to sign up your team, call 760-275-4448, 760-221-4089, or 760-972-7205.


Active duty military women and the wives of active duty military from Twentynine Palms will be honored at a luncheon in Cathedral City in March. Heart to Heart organized the first luncheon in 2008 to let military women know they were loved, appreciated and not forgotten, and that they had a civilian support team that understands “freedom is not free.” The luncheon, set for March 8 at 11:30, will include a fashion show, music, and inspirational speaker Karon Kanadjian. The public is invited to attend. The cost is $25, but the luncheon is free for active duty and spouses of active duty. Reservations are required and must be paid by February 28. Free childcare is available. For military reservations, call Laura Sotto at 760-830-7481. Reservations for the public should be made on the website, hearttoheartps.org.


The Twentynine Palms Historical Society will be pouring concrete for the new Hastie Bus Exhibit building starting at 7:00 a.m. on Monday, February 17, and needs a few extra hands. If you can help please come to the Old Schoolhouse Museum, 6760 National Park Drive in Twentynine Palms, Monday morning at 6:45 a.m.