Minerva Hamilton Hoyt was a Pasadena, California gardener and civic leader who loved desert landscapes.
She saw beauty in the desert where others saw an empty wasteland or an opportunity for profit.
Mrs. Hoyt believed that outstanding desert lands should be protected and cherished.
She set out to teach others to see the beauty and uniqueness of desert plants and arid lands.
As a leader in the Garden Club of America, Mrs. Hoyt created a series of successful exhibits about the desert landscapes that she brought to New York, Boston. and London, England.
Moving from education to activism, she founded the International Desert Conservation League in 1930 and set a goal of establishing a national park to protect the rich desert vegetation in the mountains north and east of Palm Springs.
After many setbacks, Mrs. Hoyt, persuaded President Franklin Roosevelt to establish Joshua Tree National Monument through Presidential proclamation on August 10, 1936.
On October 31, 1994 the California Desert Protection Act added 234,000 acres to Joshua Tree and renamed it Joshua Tree National Park.