To Our Amazing Volunteers: Happy National Volunteer Week!

April 10th-16th is National Volunteer Week!  Around the country, organizations are recognizing their wonderful volunteers and all the work they do to make the world a better place.

Trees, Water & People (TWP) is extremely lucky to have a dedicated and hard-working volunteer base that offers hundreds and hundreds of hours each year to our organization.  Without these volunteers, TWP would not be the organization we are today.  Our volunteers offer their free time to do everything from gardening to preparing mailings, all of which are important tasks that help our organization thrive and grow.

Volunteers at the annual "Rhythms for the Planet" fundraiser smile as they help check people into the event.

From the entire staff at Trees, Water & People, thank you to all of our volunteers! We love you all and hope to continue seeing your smiling faces each day.

For more information on how you can volunteer with Trees, Water & People please click here!

CSU Alternative Spring Breakers go to Pine Ridge

CSU alternative spring break to Pine Ridge, SD.

This March, we were lucky enough to take a group of 13 CSU students up to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) on the Pine Ridge Reservation for an alternative spring break.  The students were enthusiastic, smart, curious, and, best of all, very helpful, making for a wonderful trip!

A straw bale house on the property was damaged beyond repair in the flooding and will have to be taken apart.

After severe flooding severely damaged many of the buildings on our partner Henry Red Cloud’s property, where RCREC is located, there was much work to be done.  The alternative spring breakers jumped right in, helping to clean-up the horrible mess left from high and sustained flood waters.  We can not thank these students enough for their caring and compassion.  You guys are amazing and the future looks very bright with young people like you in it!

Here is an excerpt from Liz Harrison’s blog, a student who was on the trip:

Renewable energy honors traditional Lakota values and spreads hope. Trees, Water and People, the organization we partnered with for our trip, emphasizes that renewable energy is “a new way to honor the old ways” (check out their video on Vimeo). In addition, the job creation, financial independence and poverty alleviation that can be achieved with renewable energy bring great hope to the reservation. According to Richard Fox, National Director of Trees, Water, People, “Hope is our currency”.  And that is the most valuable asset of all.

To read more of Liz’s blog click here.  Also, enjoy the wonderful photos from the trip:

Lakota Adventure 2011: A Journey to the Home of the Oglala Lakota


Solar air heaters are helping families to reduce their monthly heating bills by 20-30%. Help us bring hope to Native America, and join us on the 2011 Laktoa Adventure!

Join Trees, Water & People on a journey to the home of the Oglala Lakota for the 2011 Lakota Adventure.  From September 11th-17th we will be taking guests to the Pine Ridge Reservation to experience the strength, pride, humor and enduring culture of the Oglala Lakota. Despite hardship, the Lakota have nourished and preserved their spirituality, culture and ties with their land.


Learn about TWP’s Tribal Lands Renewable Energy Program, help build solar air heaters, and plant trees for wind breaks and shade at a local families home.  In addition, we will travel to Wounded Knee and other cultural and historical sites to learn about the Lakota culture, past and present.

For more information and reservations, please contact Lacey Gaechter at 970.484.3678 or today!

Travel With Purpose: TWP Service Learning and Cultural Worktour

Join Trees, Water & People for our 2011 worktour to visit and help with our projects in Honduras!

The worktour will give participants the opportunity to build clean cookstoves and plant trees to offset their carbon footprint for 1 year, as well as connect with local communities and visit the Mayan Ruins of Copan.

The trip runs August 6-17th, 2011 and costs $1,999 including roundtrip airfare from Denver, all accommodations, meals and in-country transportation. A heck of a deal!

For more information and to sign-up for the worktour, please contact Claudia Menendez, International Program Coordinator for Trees, Water & People, at 970.484.3678 or by email at

Help Us Win $5,000 Toward Our Mission!

Trees, Water & People needs your help! We have an opportunity to win the $5,000 prize from GuideStar USA, Inc., the leading source of nonprofit information, and KIMBIA, a group that empowers nonprofits and other organizations to increase giving, through their Winter 2011 GuideStar-KIMBIA Nonprofit Giveaway.  GuideStar_logo

Anyone with firsthand knowledge about Trees, Water & People who is not a paid employee—donors, volunteers, board members, recipients of our services—can write a review about us on GuideStar. Your review will appear on our profile on both GuideStar and GreatNonprofits, GuideStar’s partner that makes it possible to write and post reviews. There is no charge for writing a review, but you are limited to posting only one review for our organization.

The nonprofit organization that receives the most reviews by February 28th will win the $5,000 prize!

To write a review, please visit: For more information, see the official rules at The contest begins on February 1, 2011, and ends at 11:59 p.m. EDT, February 28, 2011.

Thank you for your support!

TWP Helps Connect Sister Cities in Virginia and Nicaragua

In Bocay, 25 fuel-efficient cookstoves will be built between Jan. 2-14 as part of a service learning project.

From January 2-14, 2011, TWP board member Patrick Flynn will be leading a group of 17, including 11 Virginia Tech students and Blacksburg, Virginia residents, to San Jose de Bocay, Nicaragua on a service learning project.  The mission of the visit is to build fuel-efficient cookstoves for 25 low-income families.

Doña Enriqueta stands next to her open-fire stove in her home in Bocay. She will soon receive a fuel-efficient cookstove with the help of project participants.

In late October of 2010, Claudia Menendez, TWP’s International Program Coordinator, and Juan Jose, a Proleña stove technician, traveled to the mountain town of Bocay to assess the current cooking practices and fuelwood consumption trends of residents.  With the help of community leaders, Claudia and Juan were able to identify potential cookstove beneficiaries.  Based on their observations, Proleña, TWP’s partner organization in Nicaragua, has designed a stove suited to the cooking needs of the women in Bocay.  With the help of VT students and other tour participants, 25 women will have fuel-efficient cookstoves built in their homes, greatly reducing the indoor air pollution, fuel wood costs, and deforestation in Bocay.

During the 1980’s, the town of Bocay was in the middle of the Contra War zone, and was a refugee center for families fleeing the surrounding violence. Since 1989, the Sister City group has worked with town residents to build a school, buy computers, athletic uniforms and equipment.

San Jose de Bocay, Nicaragua

In total, the group has provided over $150,000 in funding to Bocay.

TWP is happy to help bring residents of Virginia together with residents of Bocay to complete sustainable development projects.  Safe travels!

Call to Designers: Create “Wearable Philanthropy” for Trees, Water & People

Love + Water Designs creates Wearable Philanthropy: clothing created for and inspired by organizations doing good in the world, and that gives back to those organizations on a regular basis.  This is a place where artists are supported and connected, charities thrive, and a greater social awareness is inspired and boldly created.

We are asking our friends and supporters, those who know us best, to submit t-shirt designs inspired by the work we do: helping people and the planet! If you are interested, please visit the Love + Water website to learn how you can easily submit a design.  Added bonus, winning designers receive $150!