Spring is coming, Earth Day is around the corner, and people are getting outside. Daffodils are blooming in our area, trees are blossoming, and nature’s beauty is starting to reveal itself all around us.
It takes a lot of work to renew this beauty from season to season. People have begun working hard on their gardens, preparing them for planting. Plant nurseries are stocking up and getting ready to help people make their homes and gardens more beautiful. Everyone wants their own properties, yards and gardens to flourish, but who is going to look after the beautiful areas that nobody owns?
We all desire to live in a visually appealing community. We want our rivers to be clean, our forests to be healthy, and our neighborhoods to be tidy. How many of us really go out of our way though to make the places around us beautiful? I know that I fall short here. I could volunteer or just go out and look out for the local ecosystem better to ensure that my environment is cleaner.
One of the problems is that people feel that what they contribute negatively to the environment isn’t making that much of a negative impact. That’s correct, there are a lot of people who do “think green” or volunteer a couple of times throughout the year. But when enough people who don’t care have a little bit of a negative impact, it adds up and it hurts our environments and ecosystems. This results in originally beautiful places that no one wants to visit. Can you think of a place like this?
So what can we do in our area? I have researched different groups and opportunities to volunteer in the Tahoe area.
Keep Tahoe Blue is constantly working on projects and events to help keep the lake clean and pure. They always need volunteers, so if you have some time I’d suggest contacting them to see what up coming project they may need help with. They can be reached at: 530-541-5388. They also participate in Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day, Coastal Cleanup Day, Storm Drain Marking, and tabling events throughout the year.
The United States Forest Service also has several opportunities to volunteer. A Forest Service Volunteer can teach glasses, give guides and tours, do trail work, and garden. For more information contact: Joy Barney (530) 543-2685.
Desolation Wilderness Volunteers help manage our desolation wilderness. These activities include resource monitoring, ranger patrols, wilderness information, and a variety of other activities. For information about future volunteer opportunities, visit www.desowv.org.
OHV consists of the Rubicon Trail Foundation and the Friends of the Rubicon, who work to maintain the trail and preserve resources. The North Tahoe Trail Dusters work in the North Lake Tahoe area and specifically volunteer on Bucks Lake Road and the Middle Fork of Blackwood Canyon Road. The Lake Tahoe Hi-Lo’s work in the South Lake Tahoe area and specifically in the Twin Peaks area.
If you like Tahoe history and meeting new people, then the Tallac Historic Site is for you! The group needs docents, gardeners, and historic site volunteers. They also do maintenance and restoration projects. Call Jacqueline Dumin at (530) 541-5227 for more information.
Trail Crew Volunteers work hard, and enjoy seeing their physical efforts protect resources. The Tahoe Rim Trail Association and the Pacific Crest Trail Association, along with other hiking and equestrian groups, assists the U.S. Forest Service, State Parks, and other agencies with the care of the many hiking trails in the Lake Tahoe Basin. From removing blow-downs, moving rocks, repairing wash-outs to cutting back chaparral, trail crews do it all. Visit the Tahoe Rim Trail Association or the Pacific Crest Trail Association for more information.
Now you have some different groups to get you started, there is no excuse. If you love playing in the Tahoe area, get out there and spend some time giving back what it needs in order to stay beautiful.
Come back here and tell me about your experience. Or please share a group or chance to volunteer that I didn’t talk about!