Power of philanthropy generates big wins for Tahoe’s environment (Opinion)

Cory Ritchie / Guest column
Cory Ritchie

When an organization has been around for over a decade, it’s rare to continue to encounter firsts. And yet, that’s what the Tahoe Fund experienced with many of the projects we supported in our last fiscal year, which closed at the end of March.

We celebrated the completion of the first-ever cleanup of Lake Tahoe’s entire shoreline, with scuba divers from Clean Up The Lake removing 25,000 pounds of litter. We joined Nevada State Parks in opening a brand new visitors center and amphitheater at Spooner Lake State Park, which will serve nearly 150,000 visitors annually. And we gave scholarships to every student in the inaugural year of Lake Tahoe Community College’s new Forestry Program, helping more young people pursue careers in the understaffed forestry workforce.

These are just a few of the impactful projects made possible thanks to our dedicated donors and partners throughout the Tahoe Basin. Together, we are working to make our forests healthier, improve lake clarity, ensure recreation is sustainable, make transportation more efficient, and encourage stewardship of Tahoe so that current and future generations can enjoy it.

We are proud to report that since its inception in 2010, the Tahoe Fund has supported over 130 environmental improvement projects. In the last 12 months alone, we funded more than 50 projects, awarding over $1.4 million in grants. These philanthropic dollars helped leverage over $7 million in public funds.

We’ve also taken extra care to fund programs that expand access and inclusivity for communities in the Tahoe Basin. Programs like Achieve Tahoe, which provides adaptive outdoor recreation opportunities for people with disabilities, and Generation Green, which offers summer internships through the Forest Service, are helping to get underserved communities outdoors and enjoying Tahoe. 

None of this would be possible without our donors, community and partners. Our commitment to improving the Tahoe environment for all to enjoy continues to be made possible thanks to our community’s support, generosity, and collaboration. This is the transformative power of philanthropy. 

To learn more about the Tahoe Fund and how to get involved, visit

Cory Ritchie is board chairman for the Tahoe Fund.

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