The life of a TWP Intern

by Teague Walsh-Felz

red cloud renewable energy center

My name is Teague and I’ve been acting as Trees, Water & People’s Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) Intern since July. I’m originally from Madison, WI and met up with TWP in 2011 during the Sustainable Living Fair in Fort Collins, CO. For the last month I’ve been living at the RCREC, which TWP co-manages with Henry Red Cloud, tending the garden and helping with the construction of the new Sacred Earth Lodge. I’m much less interesting than what’s going on here at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center so that will be all the introduction you will get today. Now I would like to fill you in on what’s been going on in Pine Ridge for the last month or so…

solar warrior farmI arrived just over a month after the Garden Coordinator at the Solar Warrior Farm had moved away. He had given the garden a great start, but there was a lot of work yet to be done. I worked long days of weeding to supply the young saplings with sun. I pulled hundreds of sunflowers and cleared beds of bind weed. I continue to work on weed control and have been using cardboard around the base of each plant as a weed mat.

The Garden, which is watered using a completely off grid solar pump, is currently producing cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, onion and corn. We use the produce here at Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and I am currently setting up a system for giving away produce once the harvest hits full stride.

Outside of the garden I’ve been busy helping construct the Sacred Earth Lodge alongside Henry, Charlie, Jeff, Paul and Kale. In the last month the Quonset hut has transformed into a fully dry walled and half painted dormitory. We had a great Volunteer weekend at the end of July and are well on our way to finishing the Sacred Earth Lodge by its Grand Opening on October 11.

red cloud renewable energy center
A beautiful day at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center!

After work I often play cards with Jeff and Kale, workers from the Northern Cheyenne reservation who are also past students of the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. Charlie, a Colorado cowboy and more, taught me how to properly dress a chicken last week and I’ve been learning more everyday.

Life continues to be an adventure for me and I’ll be keeping whoever is interested up to date.

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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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