The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild. The Living Desert Zoo and Gardens, Wonderfully Wild.

Gold Star Award

businesses that demonstrate sustainable practices

The Gold Star Award is given to businesses that demonstrate the sustainable practice of consistently closing their dumpsters to protect the local community and wildlife. These awards demonstrate an interest in resolving wider social and ecological issues, and The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is thrilled to honor the commitments made by restaurants owners and staff to keeping our desert home clean, healthy, and thriving.

Support thriving human and wildlife communities by dining at a Gold Star Restaurant. Recipients are listed below.

Maintaining closed dumpsters is critical to reduce the unnaturally large numbers of ravens now in Southern California. Ravens have proliferated around our human developments because we indiscriminately provide food, water, and nesting resources. When people forget to cover their trash, it invites predatory ravens to thrive as open dumpsters and trashcans provide an especially reliable food source. In the Mojave Desert, the raven population is now 800% larger than it was 40 years ago. These inflated raven populations decimate native wildlife – especially the threatened and iconic desert tortoise.

Restaurant managers or staff are encouraged to apply for their own Gold Star Award by contacting Katie Shaw at

Support one of the following Gold Star Award Recipients

Gold Star Recipients in Joshua Tree:

Gold Star Recipients in Twentynine Palms:

Gold Star Recipients in Yucca Valley:

Gold Star Recipients in Desert Hot Springs:

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