JOSHUA TREE — Stamp lovers and nature lovers got together for the unveiling of a new $7.35 priority mail stamp honoring the Joshua tree Saturday, April 27.
The celebration was hosted by the Joshua Tree National Park Association at the visitor center on Park Boulevard.
The stamp was designed by local artist Don Cosgrove.
“This stamp is by far one of the most beautiful stamps I have ever unveiled,” San Diego District Manager James Olson said.
People at the celebration could have their stamps canceled with a specialty stamp designed by Gail Austin of Ink and Steel Tattoos in downtown Joshua Tree.
“I did a couple of different designs for them to choose from,” Austin said, noting that the view of rolling hills and Joshua tree is based on a photo taken in the park.
She agreed that the design, with the lettering and numbering removed, would make a good tattoo.
Longtime Joshua Tree resident Jean Holland was one of the first in line for the ceremony. She said her father, Jessie Weedman, was a postman who served the Joshua Tree area for many years.
“He started us collecting stamps when they were three cents each,” she said.
Twentynine Palms residents Jon and Irene Beard bought copies of the stamp because of the connection to Joshua Tree National Park. Jon Beard noted that they enjoy collecting anything tied to the park or Twentynine Palms.
After giving guests the chance to mingle and buy some of the stamps, association Executive Director Jacqueline Guevara welcomed everyone to the ceremony.
“You know, what I love the most is the community of Joshua Tree and the surrounding communities,” Guevara said.
That sense of community, she said, was evident during the recent government shutdown when community groups helped keep the park safe, clean and well-maintained.
Marker Marshall, a ranger for 30 years, recently transferred from the Grand Canyon to Joshua Tree National Park in part because she admires Joshua trees.
While the trees are unique and independent plants, she said, they also know how to form partnerships with other species, from the moths that pollinate their seeds to the fungus that helps their roots take in nutrients.
“They are all about partnerships,” she said. “Joshua Tree National Park is also all about partnerships. We depend on our partnerships with the public. We depend on the public to protect Joshua trees.”