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People Who Made The Nat: George Marston

In 1928, a group of nature lovers proposed a protected park in the Borrego desert. 

Voters rejected a bond to fund the project, and the idea stalled. But one nature lover—a member of the San Diego Society of Natural History—wouldn’t give up.  

George Marston purchased 2,320 acres near Palm Canyon, gave them to the state and encouraged other landowners to follow his lead. In 1933, with the backing of Marston, the Society, and others, the government transferred 200,000 acres of federal land to create Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, giving us the desert oasis we love today.  

We all have a 200,000-acre state park to enjoy because one man stood his ground. 

As we lead up to our 150th anniversary in 2024, we’re telling these stories to inspire more nature lovers about our mission and invite them to join our efforts. We’re excited to share updates about our plans and share ways that nature lovers like you can participate. 

The story of The Nat is the story of regular people doing special things. People who love nature and want to enjoy it and protect it for others. They made us who we are today. And today, big things are happening as we celebrate our 150th anniversary. We’re here for nature. And we’re here because of people like you, who love it as much as we do. Learn how to be part of the biggest year in our history. 

Posted by The Nat.

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