Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day unites culture, community and forest rehabilitation | SierraSun.com

Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day unites culture, community and forest rehabilitation

Carol Betz, APIA Community Counselor
Special to the Sun
Community submitted photo/via aedgett@sierrasun.com

TAHOE, Calif. and#8212; Sept. 11: A day most of us remember, with sorrow, as an event of cultural intolerance, people from more than 20 countries pulled together to benefit the forests and community of Lake Tahoe for the 13th annual Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day. The League to Save Lake Tahoe, a local environmental nonprofit, also known as Keep Tahoe Blue, sponsored the event with the North Tahoe Public Utilities District at the North Tahoe Regional Park in Tahoe Vista. In addition to Lake Tahoe Basin volunteers, Au Pair in America, a Stamford-based company offering cultural exchange in the form of affordable live-in child care, brought more than 40 volunteers into the area for forest restoration. The au pairs live with families in Northern California and Northern Nevada and donated their weekend to help support efforts to Keep Tahoe Blue.

Volunteers focused on forest restoration projects in the wildland urban interface between the park and the community of Tahoe Vista. It combined field education in forest ecology, defensible space, Best Management Practices (BMPs), soil conservation, wildlife biology and natural history with hands-on forest restoration projects. Restoration projects included hand-thinning of over-stocked forests, trail restoration, native plant re-vegetation, and erosion control BMPs.

and#8220;This is the largest volunteer turnout I have seen in my 31 years of service with the North Tahoe Public Utilities District,and#8221; said Kim Ingstad, park maintenance superintendent. and#8220;I am amazed by the work ethic of these au pairs who are visitors to the area and to the country. It is heart warming to see the investment they are making in Tahoeand#8217;s conservation.and#8221;

Flavia Sordelet, the Leagueand#8217;s event coordinator, was equally impressed: and#8220;The au pairs helped to make this yearand#8217;s Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day a huge success. Everyone from the group was enthusiastic and hard-working when it came to completing the forest restoration projects. And the League looks forward to future opportunities to partner with Au Pair in America on Keep Tahoe Blue volunteer events.and#8221;

Colombian, Brazilian, Thai, German, South African, Dutch and French young women worked happily side by side toward a common goal. and#8220;What a great initiative. It was wonderful working together in helping to restore and clean up the beautiful Tahoe environment. And we had loads of fun,and#8221; said Nosipho Khumalo from South Africa. Zarrineh-Lisa Valipour from Germany said: and#8220;The idea of helping the environment and knowing that you can make a change for our future makes me feel good. I would do it again. It was fun.and#8221;

To learn more about how you can help to Keep Tahoe Blue and find out about next yearand#8217;s Tahoe Forest Stewardship Day visit http://www.keeptahoeblue.org. To learn more about Au Pair in America visit http://www.aupairinamerica.com.

and#8212; Submitted to aedgett@sierrasun.com

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