Truckee-Tahoe celebrates Earth Day | SierraSun.com

Truckee-Tahoe celebrates Earth Day

The Truckee-Tahoe area got into the spirit of Earth Day last weekend with events and festivals held around the region.

Roughly 2,000 people turned out to Squaw Valley for the annual Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival, featuring a day filled with live music and entertainment, and educational booths on the topics of watershed, health, forest health, pollution, alternative energy, and more.

"It was a great time to show up and get a little bit of sunshine while also learning a little bit of the environment and recycling," Sam Kieckhefer, Public Relations Specialist for Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said.

Squaw Valley had a booth set up where guests could turn in plastic bottles for reusable water sacks. Kieckhefer said the exchange soon turned into a challenge for youngsters at the event, with groups of children scouring the resort grounds for plastic bottles to trade in. Roughly 100 bottles were collected during the afternoon.

"That's one of the great things about Earth Day," said Kieckhefer. "It's a celebration, but it's also a great educational platform."

The day's events included booths for children, solar power demonstrations, bicycle-powered generators, miniature Tesla electric cars for children to drive, a fashion show featuring trash ensembles, along with performances by Truth Cartel, the Asha Dancers, and The Sextones.

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The Village at Squaw Valley has hosted the Tahoe Truckee Earth Day Festival since 2000.

"Mother Nature really delivered for us and it was fantastic to see Rob Leri, our (Tahoe Truckee Unified School District) Superintendent out here introducing the Envirolution Trashion Show!" Caroline Ross, executive director of the Squaw Village Neighborhood Company, said in an email.

Beach Cleanup

Just southeast of Squaw Valley, the crew at Waterman's Landing cafe and paddleboard outfitting held a beach cleanup in Carnelian Bay from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, April 22.

A couple dozen members of the community showed up to clean the nearly three-acre parcel of beach at Waterman's Landing, according to Director of Paddling Jay Wild, and by the end of the day had cleaned roughly 100 pounds of trash from the beach.

"The predominant wind here is a southwest wind," said Wild. "So it actually brings in a lot debris from a lot of spots and just plops it onto our beach."

Wild said the southwest wind also brings trash into the Kings Beach and Incline Village areas. There's also a creek that flows into Lake Tahoe at Waterman's Landing, which brings in additional debris. Waterman's Landing is one of Tahoe's few dog-friendly beaches, which also adds to the amount of litter.

"Employees walk the beach every day," said Wild. "Unfortunately there are a lot of dog messes that we clean up."

The beachfront café and paddleboard rental store is slated for a soft opening on Saturday, April 28, featuring a limited dining menu and a full lineup of paddleboards and canoes to rent.

Waterman's Landing's nonprofit Lake Tahoe Waterman Association will take over the annual Tahoe Paddle Racing Series. The four-part series is scheduled to begin on May 26, with the Waterman's Memorial Race.

The series will serve as the main fundraising mechanism for the Lake Tahoe Waterman Association. The association released is fundraising goals for 2018, which include providing instruction and scholarships to youngsters pursuing paddle sports, raise $6,000 for the upkeeping of the Carnelian Bay's shoreline, and to raise $8,000 for Epic Kayak surfskis for the organization's paddle education project. For information on registering visit TahoeCup.org.

Waterman's will also be providing youth camps throughout the summer. For more information visit WatermansLanding.com.

Justin Scacco is a reporter for the Truckee Sun. Contact him at jscacco@truckeesun.com.