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Coachella Valley Preserve
The 20,000 acre Coachella Valley Preserve is located very close to the major urban areas around Palm Springs and Interstate 10 that passes through the area. It can be found on the north end of Coachella Valley at the base of the Indio Hills.
A beautiful "1000-palm" oasis provides wonderful shade in an otherwise scorching desert. Temperatures in the area can reach 115 degrees in summer but is wonderfully pleasant in late winter and early spring. Lush wildflower blooms can be found early in the season here that are representative of what most of the Coachella Valley used to look like before its sprawling suburbs existed. Many unique species exist in the natural wetland and palm oases and surrounding areas, including federally protected Coachella Valley Milkvetch which used to be more widespread but was displaced by development. There are several different natural oases, including previously-mentioned Thousand Palm Oasis, which is actually fed by a seep from deep inside the water table created by the San Andreas Fault, upon which the Preserve lies.
The preserve staff are hard at work removing Tamarisk trees, which are some of the most invasive and destructive non-native species in the desert. They can drain an area almost completely of surrounding groundwater, depriving native flora and fauna in oases and other rare desert wetlands (even near some park headquarters). These trees been known to dry up entire wetland areas, but strong remediation measures have proven successful at restoring the habitats.