Momentum building for Keep Tahoe Blue’s environment, education center project |

Momentum building for Keep Tahoe Blue’s environment, education center project

Submitted to the Sun
Keep Tahoe Blue Environment and Education Center in progress.
Provided/Keep Tahoe Blue

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — The League to Save Lake Tahoe’s plan to redevelop an aging office building into a new environment and education center, as well as the organization’s headquarters, is building momentum.

Since the League publicly launched its capital campaign in February of this year, donors have contributed more than $200,000 through gifts large and small. That expression of generosity and commitment to Keep Tahoe Blue puts the League on track to reach its $1 million fundraising checkpoint by November 2023. Including recent donations, cornerstone private gifts, and sales of its current building, the League has secured $4.2 million toward the $5 million project. 

“Our environmental behavior will shape the future of the lake, and the future relies on the young generation and their education. That is why this project is vital,” said Val Castejon, one of the League’s core volunteers and a project donor. “It will be a place of learning, of engagement, of sharing and growing as a community.”

The environment and education center project is a community effort. The design – complete with an outdoor amphitheater, native plant educational garden, citizen science laboratory and environmental center – was created as an open door for the public to take part in the movement to protect and preserve Lake Tahoe. The League is thrilled to have such strong support from the community, including its local design and construction team: Ward-Young Architects and Sierra Sustainable Builders.

“Ward-Young Architects is appreciative of the opportunity to be part of the team bringing the League’s vision for the project to realization,” noted Larry Young, principal at Ward-Young Architects based in Truckee. “With repurposing of a nearly 40-year-old building, the League’s project will minimize resource extraction and result in reduced energy consumption. The League’s vision represents a wonderful opportunity for the firm to demonstrate its expertise in the design of environmentally sensitive building solutions.”

Keep Tahoe Blue Environment and Education Center rendering.
Provided/Keep Tahoe Blue

“The opportunity to repurpose an existing building for the League’s new headquarters with Ward-Young Architects’ aesthetic vision is an ideal fit for us,” said Brandon Caskey, partner at Sierra Sustainable Builders based in South Lake Tahoe. “We share in the League’s mission of protecting and restoring Lake Tahoe’s natural beauty where we all live, work, and recreate. Bringing this project up to LEED standards, focusing on a healthy indoor environment, and boosting energy performance above industry standards strongly aligns with our company values.”

Other businesses have also stepped up to provide building materials at discounted or no cost, including Meek’s Lumber and Fireclay Tile.

Keep Tahoe Blue Environment and Education Center rendering.

“Meek’s is a proud partner and supplier for one of Lake Tahoe’s most recognizable nonprofits, League to Save Lake Tahoe, and their new permanent building,” said Jesse Hughes, outside sales with Meek’s Lumber. “With the generous donations and discounts from various vendors and the Meek’s organization, we are able to join forces in offering products that fit in the ‘Lake-friendly’ construction model. Building sustainability is at the core of Meek’s’ values, and we have appreciated the opportunity to work on such a special project.” 

“Giving back to our communities is so important to Fireclay, so when the chance to partner with Keep Tahoe Blue came up, we jumped at the opportunity,” said Kali Gibson, Partnerships Manager with Fireclay Tile. “We’re honored to be part of such an incredible project and hope our tile will help create a beautiful, inspiring and inviting new space where the fight to keep Lake Tahoe clean and blue can continue for generations to come.”

The public is invited to learn more about the plans for the only facility dedicated to protecting the Lake Tahoe Basin, and to donate at All are encouraged to contribute, add to the momentum, and help Build a Bluer Tahoe.

Source: Keep Tahoe Blue

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