Rider Hopes Tour de Palm Springs Helps Sanctuary Take Flight

Event raises awareness, funds for local causes like The Landing Zone Parrot Sanctuary



Catherine and Kelly Gilbert with Jonah and Maraca, two of more than 20 parrots living at their residence as part of The Landing Zone Parrot Sanctuary in Palm Springs.

Chelsea Lee Gilbert

Chelsea Lee Gilbert hopes her inaugural ride in Saturday’s (Feb. 9) Tour de Palm Springs will take flight.

Literally.

She has been pedaling around town, handing out flyers seeking support of The Landing Zone Parrot Sanctuary, founded by her parents, Catherine and Kelly Gilbert. Seeking to assist at least 150 local charities per year, the 2013 Tour looks to generate funds for close to 200 local causes.

"I made 1,000 flyers and handed those out all around downtown Palm Springs," Chelsea said of her pre-race efforts. "I went out on my bike and stopped at each place I could and talked to the store owners. It's been a fun experience."

A regular leisure rider about the streets of Palm Springs, Chelsea is opting for the event's new 15-mile route from the Palm Springs Civic Center to the Palm Springs Airport, past Demuth Park and back to downtown Palm Springs.

The 15th annual Tour de Palm Springs has long established a potent mix of fitness, fun and philanthropy to make the event one of the desert's most popular charitable affairs. The event has raised more than $1 million since its inception in 1999 and attracts more than 10,000 cyclists annually. The non-competitive event offers participants options of rides ranging from 1 to 100 miles across a variety of regional terrain.

Chelsea wants to use proceeds from the race to help move The Landing Zone Parrot Sanctuary from the family residence in Palm Springs into a more permanent home.

"We hope to accomplish getting our name out there a little bit – to locals especially," said Chelsea, who added that donations raised from the ride will concurrently help to cover extensive veterinary costs.

The sanctuary has been providing a safe haven for neglected and abused parrots since early 2010. Chelsea said they began with three birds before taking on six more in their first year of operation. Today, after teaming with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Gilbert's house 29 birds that have found their way from all over the country.

"They're like children.,” Chelsea said of the houseguests. “They're very, very smart. And they all get along really well. We have them separated with the Cockatoos in one area and the Macaws in the other.  I love it, and it's kinda cool that the Amazons actually teach each other words. It started with one bird, Cricket, that knew how to talk and it's turned into three or four with the birds that came from U.S. Fish and Wildlife."

For more information, visit The Landing Zone website.

Add your comment:
Desert Guide

Related Articles

Discover the Top Sightseeing Spots in Greater Palm Springs

Whether you’re looking to commune with nature, fly high in a balloon, or see where the Hollywood stars of old once lived, the Coachella Valley offers the perfect tour.

Carpool Mom Finds Her Inner 'Drive' at La Quinta Resort & Club

Michelle Roe is a carpool Mom. But thanks to the Waldorf Astoria Driving Experience at the La Quinta Resort & Spa, she was behind the wheel of a 2014 Ferrari 458 Italia Spider.

Explore Palm Springs: Jilly Rizzo

Jilly Rizzo, known as Frank Sinatra’s right hand man, opened his nightclub called Jilly’s in Palm Springs on Oct. 15, 1965.

Creative Mexican Cuisine Marks Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club's Reopening

New entertainment, special events, and a new executive chef in Ruben Galvez mark the reopening of Hacienda Cantina & Beach Club in South Palm Springs.

Triada Palm Springs Has Hollywood Star-Studded Past

Formerly known as The Spanish Inn and host to the likes of Elizabeth Taylor and Howard Hughes, the Triada Palm Springs opens with a modern look of its ancestor.

Promotions + Contests

Cartoon Caption Contest

Cartoon Caption Contest

Each month, we provide a vintage 1950’s cartoon illustrated by Alice Rovinsky. You are invited to submit a caption or vote for your favorite caption.
2014/15 Best of the Best

2014/15 Best of the Best

Palm Springs Life’s annual Best of the Best. Readers tell us who their choice is for the “Best of the Best” of the Coachella Valley in over 40 categories.
Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter to Win A Celebrate Dance Experience!

Enter just once for a chance to win tickets to one of the second annual Palm Desert International Dance Festival performances.