Borrego Sun - Since 1949

New Downtown Walking Tour Brochure Published by ABDNHA


Last updated 1/22/2021 at 2:45pm

In celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the founding of modern-day Borrego Springs, 1946 – 2021, the Anza-Borrego Desert Natural History Association (ABDNHA) has recently published the first in a series of self-guiding tour brochures of Borrego Springs: the Downtown History Loop.

The three-fold, color brochure details an easy, one-mile self-guided walk beginning at Christmas Circle that loops back to the Circle.

Following the map in the brochure, visitors and residents are guided on foot along the north side of Palm Canyon Drive, west to The Center, across to The Mall, and back to Christmas Circle along the south side of Palm Canyon Drive. Thirteen points of interest are included with light-hearted history text that captures the charm and character of Borrego’s mid-century history.

Learn about the history of Christmas Circle, find when the first lots in Borrego Springs were offered for sale, discover the original Anza Land Company office and the Village Trading Post, and read of familiar names in Borrego history: Burnand, DiGiorgio, Kuhrts, and Kesling.

Betsy Knaak, ABDNHA Executive Director, wanted to write and publish the brochure for a number of reasons. Primarily was the desire to make available some of the local history and flavor of the early days before it is lost.

“Our town has come of the age, 75 years, where it seemed time to honor, share, and promote our history.”

Knaak said that another reason for the brochure series is the recognition from her many years of visitor services at ABDNHA that, “Many day and overnight visitors would appreciate more options for things to do, including close-in, easy walks, and activities that are little more delineated for them. Especially now during the pandemic, people are looking for things they can do safely on their own.”

In addition, she wanted to encourage visitors to the downtown core business area of Borrego Springs to help promote a more vibrant economy for local businesses.

“The history loop walk gives people another reason to come into the downtown, to walk around and stay awhile, which is good for business; and it supports one of the stated goals in our community plan to create a pedestrian friendly downtown,” Knaak said.

The ABDNHA team collaborating on the brochure series includes board member Sanjiv Nanda and members Dorothy and Tom Hogan, contributing to the text, graphics, and photography, respectively. The second walking tour brochure in the series will be announced and ready in about one month.

Be sure to pick up the Downtown History Loop brochure and take this leisurely walk back in time to the late-1940s, 50s, 60s, and 70s. Allow about one hour, and additional time to linger in our friendly small town for lunch, shopping, and photography.

The brochure is available at ABDNHA’s Borrego Desert Nature Center and Birds & Blooms Garden Shop, both located at 652 Palm Canyon Drive.