Volunteer Opportunity: Help Build Straw Bale Homes at Pine Ridge

straw bale home_Pine Ridge

Join us October 11-15 at our Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota for a long weekend of fun, hard work, and new experiences! Although it is only a five hour drive from the Trees, Water & People office in Fort Collins, Colorado, a trip to Pine Ridge offers an experience in an entirely different culture.

What: Volunteer Weekend
Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
When: Thursday, October 11 – Monday, October 15
Who: Volunteers who like hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: Take this opportunity to visit the Pine Ridge Reservation, complete two straw bale buildings, and help us clean up our campus after a major wind storm and other destructive events.

Volunteers are invited to arrive anytime after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 11th. We will host full work days Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Projects will end by 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home Sunday evening or on Monday morning. Projects will include adding a roof to one straw bale home, making improvements to a second straw bale home, and removing litter from the campus. Additional needs may arise between now and our trip. Projects will take place almost entirely outdoors, and weather permitting, we will eat group meals outside as well.

This trip is for volunteers who enjoy a little adventure! Flexibility is a must on the reservation. You should also be prepared for a lot of fun!


  • TWP will pay for volunteer’s food during their time in Pine Ridge
  • Food purchased by TWP will be vegan (no animal products). Feel free to bring your own food if you desire.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use
  • Volunteers will be responsible for preparing all their own food, including group dinners.


  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • We are  happy to coordinate carpools where possible
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it.


  • Volunteers are encouraged to camp on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus and must bring their own camping equipment to do so. Weather will be unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • Also available will be bunks for up to 14 volunteers, who will share a room with up to 6 other individuals (co-ed).

To volunteer, please email Lacey Gaechter at lacey@treeswaterpeople.org, with the following information:

  1. Name of all people in volunteer party
  2. Your email address
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
  5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. most people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
  6. Any further questions you may have

Once Lacey has confirmed your spot, I will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you additional details.

We look forward to hearing from you soon! It should be a lot of hard work and a lot of fun.




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Trees, Water & People is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization committed to developing sustainable community-based conservation solutions.

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