The Sacred Earth Lodge is a one-of-a kind facility located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. It is a beautiful and functional space available for rent to visitors, conferences, workshops, and as an affordable meeting location in the heart of Indian Country.
We offer hostel-style lodging with shared sleeping spaces, restrooms, and a community kitchen. We hope you will visit soon!
3 bedrooms (The Lodge sleeps 23 people total)
Men and Women’s Restrooms and Showers
Community Kitchen w/ dining space for 30-50 people
Washer and Dryer
Learning and Meeting Spaces (seats up to 30 people)
On-site renewable energy, sustainable building and energy efficiency demos
Benjamin Osorto, TWP’s Regional Coordinator in Central America, recently completed the Academia de Profesionales Solares de las Américas (APSA) program, where he was part of the first graduating class. Congrats Benjamin!
Matthew Harris, Director of Academia de Profesionales Solares de las Américas, wrote, “A new chapter has begun in the Americas and after graduating this first group of people in to the APSA program I am humbled to know that the world is blessed with 50 champions linked by a strong passion to do good for their countries and the world.”
It’s been a busy year at Trees, Water & People! On Earth Day, we celebrated our 15th anniversary of community-based sustainable development in Latin America and on tribal lands of the United States. Over these 15 years, we have been honored to help tens of thousands of families live better, more healthy lives. Utilizing appropriate technology, such as clean cookstoves, composting latrines, solar heaters, and solar lights, the communities we work with are learning how to protect their local environment and make a better life for their loved ones. With access to appropriate technology, plus training in sustainable agriculture, watershed protection, and renewable energy, current and future generations will be better equipped to face a changing climate.
In 2014, our staff and local partners will continue their commitment to helping local people protect, conserve, and manage their most precious natural resources. Our work is based on the belief that natural resource conservation is absolutely essential to the social, economic, and environmental well-being of communities everywhere. Conservation and economic development can, and should, go hand-in-hand!
We hope you will continue to follow our work in 2014 and beyond. Have a healthy and happy New Year!
Using the knowledge and experience gained from their classes at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, three of our Native American trainees are currently employed by Bella Energy to install a 1 megawatt photovoltaic “Solar Garden” in the city of Lafayette, Colorado.
Recently, I went down to support our friends at Bella, see the job site for the first time, and touch base with our students, Landon, Kale, and Jeff. Well, the job site was impressive. A 1 megawatt solar array is huge! The project is called the Lafayette Solar Garden. Funded by Xcel Energy’s Solar*Rewards Community Program, owned by the City of Lafayette, and available for use by residents and business in the town (“subscribers”), this is a tremendous community resource.
Bella Energy, an exceptional Colorado solar company (whose CEO, Jim Welch, helped found TWP’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program in 2002) is charged with the installation of the million watts of the Lafayette Solar Garden and subcontracted Lakota Solar Enterprises to help. So it came to be that Kale Means, Landon Means, and Jeff King were given this ideal opportunity to put their green jobs skills to use.
The City of Lafayette and local businesses will utilize the majority of the electricity generated by this solar garden resulting in annual cost savings and the offset of 1,034 metric tons of carbon dioxide, the equivalent of planting 27,883 trees and placing 213 zero-emission passenger vehicles on the road.
All from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in Montana, Jeff, Landon, and Kale have been chomping at the bit to start this gig and were excited to experience a new place – living in Erie, CO for the duration of the job. For my part, I was excited to see them after their fourth day on the job and see how things were going.
When I arrived, the guys were nowhere to be found. Jeff text me that they had to go to get haircuts. It was great to see the Bella folks and hear good things about the Lakota Solar Enterprises crew, but what the heck? I drove an hour to attend the dedication ceremony, and all Jeff, Kale, and Landon had to do was not leave. I called Jeff after the festivities were finished to find out what was so important about a haircut. Well, it turns out that it was Kale’s birthday and he wanted a haircut for his own celebration. Happy birthday Kale!
It’s so great to see our friends thriving in this new environment and on the job. Thanks to Bella and the City of Lafayette for this opportunity, and thanks to Landon, Kale, and Jeff for being such hard working, talented, and now well-manicured guys.
(Photos courtesy of Jon Becker, TWP Board President)
Jeff King, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, has been to many of our workshops at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC), located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He captured this beautiful shot of the sun setting during his last visit to RCREC. This shot captures many of the renewable energy demonstrations at RCREC, including a strawbale home, wind power, and solar energy.
Henry Red Cloud, Tribal Renewable Energy Program partner and owner of Lakota Solar Enterprises, stands with Joe Yellow Hawk, an Oglala Lakota who lives near Kyle on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Yesterday, Henry and seven trainees from three different tribes (Crow Creek, Eastern Shoshone, and Navajo) installed a new solar air heater for Joe and his family as part of a 5-day training.
Joe’s family is currently dependent on wood and very expensive propane to heat their home. This new solar heater will harness the power of the sun to heat the families’ home, saving 30-40% on heating expenses every month for the next 20 years!
To learn more about the Tribal Renewable Energy Program and our solar heating systems please visit our website.
We need your help! Suggest a name for the newest building at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) and win great prizes. RCREC is located on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota, and is the headquarters of our Tribal Renewable Energy Program.
Some things to keep in mind:
The primary purpose of this building is environmental education for Native Americans.
The building will be used to host many renewable energy and energy efficiency trainings.
The other known type of training will be sustainable agriculture (perhaps nutrition, cooking, and/ or food preservation classes).
The building will also be available for rent to outside groups, so any number of other activities will take place there.
We will take name submissions from May 16-23.
Submissions will be reviewed by Tribal Program staff and partners and a winner will be picked on Friday, May 31st. The winner will receive a very cool gift basket!
The best names will be creative as well as respectful of the Lakota culture and people.
To submit your name suggestion please fill out the form below with “training annex name idea” in the subject line. Thanks for your help!
Studies Abroad for Global Education (SAGE) is one of those organizations that stands out among the pack! SAGE not only provides high-quality study abroad programs to youth and educators, they also take great care in running a sustainable travel business that respects Mother Earth.
SAGE and Trees, Water & People (TWP) have partnered in several capacities over the years, including leading a volunteer work trip to Honduras in 2011. Now, as part of SAGE’s commitment to sustainable and responsible travel, all of SAGE’s students have the ability to offset their travel carbon footprint. For every offset made, SAGE matches it dollar-for-dollar through TWP’s Carbon Offset Program!
To date, SAGE has matched 298.5 tons of carbon offsets, supporting the construction of solar air heating systems on Native American reservations of the U.S. that greatly reduce heating bills for families in need while reducing green house gas emissions that lead to climate change. Thanks to SAGE, we are able to help communities reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and make the transition towards clean, renewable alternatives like solar.
Thanks to extensive research and noticeable changes in weather and storm prevalence, it’s getting harder to turn a blind eye to the reality of climate change. Since the Industrial Age spurred the increasing usage of fossil fuels for energy production, the weather has been warming slowly. In fact, since 1880, the temperature of the earth has increased by 1 degree Celsius.
Although 72% of media outlets report on global warming with a skeptical air, the overwhelming majority of scientists believe that the extreme weather of the last decade is at least partially caused by global warming. Some examples of climate calamities caused partly by global warming include:
Drought in desert countries
Tornadoes in the Midwest
These storms, droughts, and floods are causing death and economic issues for people all over the world – many of whom cannot afford to rebuild their lives from the ground up after being wiped out by a tsunami or other disaster.
Steps anyone can take to reduce global warming include:
Driving a car with good gas mileage, or investing in a hybrid or electric car
Switching from incandescent light bulbs to CFL or LED
Insulating your home and stocking it with energy efficient appliances