Upcoming Training: Building with Compressed Earth Blocks

earth block building
Photo courtesy of EarthinBlock

Compressed Earth Blocks (CEB) are a sustainable construction option, using high pressure to create bricks from local soil and clay with only a tiny amount of cement. CEB eliminates the energy and pollution produced in the creation of bricks and cement blocks. In many areas CEB homes can replace wooden structures that are adding to the depletion of the world’s forests. Earth blocks are cheaper, greener and far more durable than concrete blocks or mud bricks. The stabilized blocks don’t melt in the rain so rebuilding isn’t necessary. 

Key components of this training include mixing ratios, the use of a compressed earth block machine to make bricks, and designing and constructing a naturally well-insulated and efficient earth block building.

earth block machine
The EarthinBlock machine is designed and manufactured in the U.S.A. by former NASA engineers. It weighs 2,000 pounds and can be towed. It can be easily moved around a building site or up the side of a mountain.

Hosted by Trees, Water & PeopleEarthinBlocks, and Lakota Solar Enterprises

Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, South Dakota

When: October 18-26, 2013

Registration and scholarship applications are due October 1st!

You must complete a registration form or scholarship application to be considered for this training.

We are honored to be able to offer three scholarships to female students for this training.

Trees, Water & People Renewable Energy Program

Photo of the Week: Native Students Bring Clean Energy to Pine Ridge

installing solar panels

About this photo

Our Tribal Renewable Energy Program brings Native American students together to learn about clean energy technologies such as solar electric and wind. At a training co-hosted by Trees, Water & People and the National Wildlife Federation’s Tribal Lands Program, students from the Northern Cheyenne Tribe learned how to install a grid-tied solar PV system at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

To learn more about our efforts to bring clean energy and green jobs to Native American tribes please visit our website.

(photo by Alexis Bonogofsky)

Save the Date! Grand Opening of the Sacred Earth Lodge: Oct. 11, 2013

Sacred Earth Lodge

You are invited to the Grand Opening celebration of the Sacred Earth Lodge on October 11, 2013 in Pine Ridge, South Dakota! After a year and a half of planning, construction, volunteer trips, and a lot of blood, sweat and tears, we are excited to open our new training building to the public.

October 11, 2013, 2:00pm – 8:00pm

Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center
Pine Ridge, South Dakota
Stick around for cultural activities!
October 12, 2013, 9:00am – 12:00pm
Sacred Earth Lodge
Click to enlarge

The Sacred Earth Lodge is the newest edition to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) campus, located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota and headquarters for our Tribal Renewable Energy Program. This new building will be used as a training center and dormitory for our ever-expanding Tribal Program. With such huge demand for our workshops, we are excited to add more and better classroom space, facilities and many more beds to RCREC.

For more information please contact Lacey Gaechter, National Director, at lacey@treeswaterpeople.org or by phone at (877)606-4TWP.

Name Selected for New Building at RCREC!

sacred earth lodge

Thank you to everyone who submitted name ideas for TWP’s new building at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC)! The new building will be called Sacred Earth Lodge. This name reflects the importance of culture, community, knowledge sharing, and Mother Earth. Stay tuned for updates as we finish the building and open it up to trainees. Was-te!

Trees, Water & People Renewable Energy Program

Henry Red Cloud Awarded Highest Honors from American Solar Energy Society

henry red cloud

Congrats to our dear friend and Tribal Renewable Energy Program partner, Henry Red Cloud, for receving the prestigious Charles Greeley Abbot Award from the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) yesterday in Baltimore. 

From ASES “Solar 2013” blog:

ASES awarded its highest honor, the Charles Greeley Abbot Award, to Henry Red Cloud for his work to improve the lives of Native Americans nationwide through the use of renewable energy. Red Cloud founded Lakota Solar Enterprises on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota to produce an affordable, replicable solar air-heating system that saves tribal families 20 to 30 percent on their annual heating costs. In honor of past and future generations of Lakota people and of all the “solar warriors and warriorettes” in attendance, Red Cloud sang a Lakota song passed down from his grandfather and through the generations. For the song, about honoring the sun and its part in the water and life cycles, he asked those present to stand and contemplate their own part in this cycle of life, in preserving the earth’s resources and honoring the sun.

Was-te to an inspiring Solar Warrior!

(Photo by Rachael Maddox & Brian Ward)


Photo of the Week: Solar Warriors in Training

solar energy trainees

About this photo

Solar Warriors in training graduate from the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) with certificates in grid-tied PV systems and a new set of green job skills. Congrats to the new graduates!

To learn more about the Tribal Renewable Energy Program please visit our website.


Apply Today: Cellulose Insulation Training

Trees, Water & People Renewable Energy Program

WHAT: Cellulose Insulation Training
Learn how to install cellulose insulation to keep buildings warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. During this five day training, students will get hands-on experience applying “wet cellulose” directly to walls (pictured below demonstrating its fire resistant properties) as well as a dry application, between building surfaces.

cellulose insulation

Henry Red Cloud, proprietor of Lakota Solar Enterprises, will provide the instruction for this training. Students will also see his cardboard recycling facility (the source of the raw material for cellulose insulation) learn about the process of turning the cardboard into insulation (done out of state), and use the application machine.

WHERE: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, SD

WHO: 10 trainees from Native American tribes throughout the country will join Henry Red Cloud and Trees, Water & People for this hands-on training.

*You must complete this application to be considered for the training.*

WHEN: April 30-May 6, 2012 (including arrival and departure days)

Applications Due Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Please call (970) 484-3678 for more information.

Photo of the Week: First Ground-Source Heat Training at RCREC

Ground-Source Heat Training at RCREC
A proud group of trainees at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center learned how to install a ground-source heating system, utilizing the power of the sun to heat the new Red Cloud Training Annex. Thank you to The Carolyn Foundation for funding this training!