The 2014 Year in Review

We are proud of all that we accomplished over the past 12 months with our local partners throughout Latin America and on tribal lands of the United States. Together, we are helping communities conserve their natural resources and create more sustainable livelihoods. Thank you for supporting our mission and programs. We look forward to a New Year with new possibilities!

year in review 2014

Volunteer Trip to Pine Ridge: Sept. 11-14

image

Take this opportunity to travel to our Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Although it is only a five hour drive from the Trees, Water & People office in Fort Collins, Colorado, a trip to Pine Ridge will offer volunteers an unforgettable cultural experience and an opportunity to help complete sustainable building projects at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC). Plus, we will be getting our hands dirty at Solar Warrior Farm! This is a wonderful way to give back, make new friends, and learn about the Lakota culture.

Volunteer Trip ‚Äď Strawbales and Harvest Time

Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
When: Thursday, Sept. 11 ‚Äď Sunday, Sept. 14
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To help complete two of our strawbale demonstration houses, put a finish coat on the LSE office building and help bring in the harvest from the Solar Warrior Farm
Volunteers are invited to arrive any time on Thursday, Sept. 11. We will host full work days on Friday and Saturday and a half day on Sunday. Projects will end by 1:00 pm on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home any time on Sunday, Sept. 14 or stay longer and help us put a final coat on our strawbale houses and compressed earth block offices!

Food:
‚ÄĘ TWP will provide volunteers with meals and snacks during the trip.
‚ÄĘ Food purchased by TWP will be simple and tasty, but feel free to bring any food you desire. We will send out a meal plan as the date comes near.
‚ÄĘ TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
‚ÄĘ Volunteers will help in preparing all meals and with cleaning up afterwards.

Transportation:
‚ÄĘ All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
‚ÄĘ We will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
‚ÄĘ Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

Lodging:
‚ÄĘ Beds will be available for volunteers at the Sacred Earth Lodge. Camping is also a great option during this time of year1¬†Campers on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus must bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag and pad, etc.). Weather is unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.

Sacred Earth Lodge
Sacred Earth Lodge

To volunteer, please email the following information to Assistant National Director, John Motley, at john@treeswaterpeople.org:
1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
3. Your cell phone number
4. Which days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. many people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
6. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
7. Do you need a ride?
8. Can you offer a ride – if so, to how many people?
9. Any other questions you may have?
Once I have confirmed your spot, I will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you with additional details.

For more information and to register as a volunteer, please contact John Motley via email at john@treeswaterpeople.org or by phone at 970-484-3678.

Notes from the Field: A New Growing Season at Solar Warrior Farm

Solar Warrior Farm volunteer
We love our volunteers!

Not even a Mother’s Day snow storm could hold back the early plantings at the Solar Warrior Farm (SWF) and Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center. Hardy cabbages survived and are ready to greet the next sets as they arrive. May is a funny month in Zone 4, but many of the gardeners on the Pine Ridge Reservation are happy to see the last frost behind them and they are ready to start more of those early crops of spinach, cabbage, carrots, radishes and raspberries.

Anna Dunlap and Caroline Cuny
Anna and Caroline share gardening stories in the sun.

We were lucky enough to have a visit from Lakota elder and seasoned garden expert Caroline Cuny. She helped us welcome our new Solar Warrior Farm Coordinator for the season ‚Äď Anna Dunlap, a student from Berea College in Kentucky. A lifetime organic gardener, Anna still had many questions about what works best in the particular microclimates on Pine Ridge. It really takes knowledge and experience to sense what the season might be like this year, and we are very thankful that Ms. Cuny could spend a day, have some lunch and share her time and talents with our crew.

And about those other tasks… The SWF needed some TLC. The beds are tilled, the plantings mapped out and visions of big, juicy tomatoes danced in our heads, as we mucked out the solar powered water tank, weeded the cabbages and cleaned out a space for work tables and starters in the greenhouse. Thanks to Uma Black Hawk-Wilkinson from the Cheyenne River community for helping with those efforts.

solar warrior farm volunteers

It just seems when help is needed, people show up. Trees, Water & People likes to be able to show up for others as well. In 2014, we plan on sharing more veggies and sharing knowledge through more workshops on gardening – focusing on traditional Lakota recipes and healthy eating. Gardening is a perfect time to bring young people and elders together, and helps keep Native communities strong.

We hope you will donate to this important project and consider visiting RCREC and Solar Warrior Farm in 2014. Stay tuned and watch us grow!

Join Us! Volunteer Trip to Pine Ridge: June 19-22

straw bale home

Please join us for a weekend of volunteering at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, headquarters of TWP’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program! On this trip, we will be finishing the construction of one of our straw bale homes, which will be used as a demonstration¬†site for sustainable building, and getting our hands dirt in Solar Warrior Farm. This will be a great opportunity for learning and making new friends. We hope you can join us!

RCREC May 2014 Uma muddingWhere: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
When:¬†Thursday, June 19 ‚Äď Sunday, June 22
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To finish mudding our straw bale demonstration home and to put a new roof on this structure.

Volunteers are invited to arrive any time on Thursday, June 19. We will host full work days on Friday and Saturday and a half day on Sunday. Projects will end by 1:00 pm on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home any time on Sunday, June 22.

Food:

  • TWP will provide volunteers with meals and snacks during the trip.
  • Food purchased by TWP will be simple and tasty, but feel free to bring any other food/snacks you desire. We will send out a meal plan as the date comes near.¬†
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will help in preparing all meals and with cleaning up afterwards.

Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • We will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

Lodging:

  • Camping: Volunteers who would like to camp on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy property must bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag and pad, etc.). Weather is unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • Sacred Earth Lodge (SEL): Volunteers are welcome to stay in our new dormitory and training facility for a suggested donation of $15. The Lodge includes dormitory-style sleeping arrangements, bathrooms, a full kitchen, and social area. No shoes allowed inside SEL. Please bring flip-flops to wear inside!

Sacred Earth Lodge

To volunteer, please email the following information to John Motley at john@treeswaterpeople.org:

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
  5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. many people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
  6. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride – if so, to how many people?
  9. Any other questions you may have.

Once we have confirmed your spot, we will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you with additional details.

Volunteer Opportunity: Building with Compressed Earth Block and Straw Bale

 

building straw bale home

Take this opportunity to travel to Trees, Water & People’s Tribal Renewable Energy Program headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. A trip to Pine Ridge, home of the Oglala Lakota Tribe, will offer volunteers an unforgettable cultural experience and an opportunity to help complete sustainable building projects. This is a wonderful way to give back, learn new skills, and make new friends!

Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
When: Thursday, May 1 ‚Äď Sunday, May 4
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To continue our work on our three straw bale homes. A great volunteer and learning experience!

Trip Details

Food:

  • TWP will provide volunteers with meals and snacks during the trip.
  • Food purchased by TWP will be simple and tasty, but feel free to bring any food you desire. We will send out a meal plan as the date comes near.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will help in preparing all meals and with cleaning up afterwards.

Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • We will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

Lodging:

  • Campers on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus must bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag and pad, etc.). Weather is unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • There will be beds available in our dorms, but please bring your own bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow, etc.).

To register, please email the following information to Jeff Hargis at Jeff@treeswaterpeople.org :

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
  5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. many people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
  6. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride ‚Äď if so, to how many people?
  9. Any other questions you may have.

Once we have confirmed your spot, he will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you with additional details. We hope to see you soon!

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunities at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center!

Volunteer power!
Volunteer power!

Take an opportunity to travel to our Tribal Renewable Energy Program’s headquarters on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota.¬† Although it is only a five hour drive from the Trees, Water & People office in Fort Collins, Colorado, a trip to Pine Ridge will offer¬†volunteers an unforgettable¬†cultural experience and an opportunity to help get the land and Solar Warrior Farm ready for another season and to make progress on completing our three straw bale houses! This is a wonderful way to give back, make new friends, and learn about the Lakota culture.

Volunteer Trip #1 – Lakota Journey of Fire and Service

Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge, South Dakota
When:¬†Thursday, April 24¬†‚Äď Sunday, April 27
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To help clean up the land and get the Solar Warrior Farm ready for another season

fire spinningThis trip will be very special as it is when we bring up a team of fire dancers who will work during the day and spin fire at night in an amazing cross-cultural experience!

Volunteers are invited to arrive any time on Thursday, April 24. We will host full work days on Friday and Saturday and a half day on Sunday. Projects will end by 1:00 pm on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home any time on Sunday, April 27 or stay longer and help us work on our Strawbale houses (see below). Projects will vary and will not take place in a climate-controlled environment, so be prepared for any weather!

Volunteer Trip #2¬†‚Äď Building Affordable and Energy Efficient Tribal Housing

Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
When:¬†Thursday, May 1¬†‚Äď Sunday, May 4
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To continue our work on our three Strawbale homes.  A great helping and learning experience!

Projects will vary and will not take place in a climate-controlled environment!

Food:

  • TWP will provide volunteers with meals and snacks during the trip.
  • Food purchased by TWP will be simple and tasty, but feel free to bring any food you desire. We will send out a meal plan as the date comes near.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will help in preparing all meals and with cleaning up afterwards.

 
Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • We will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

 
Lodging:

  • Campers on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus must bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag and pad, etc.). Weather is unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • There will be a variety of bunks available in Quonset #1, but please bring your own bedding (sheets, blanket, pillow, etc.). The room may be co-ed and may have up to 10 people per room.

Please email the following information:

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which days you have available to travel to and work in Pine Ridge
  5. Where you will be coming from and returning to (e.g. many people will be coming from Fort Collins, CO)
  6. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride – if so, to how many people?
  9. Any other questions you may have.

Once we have confirmed your spot, he will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you with additional details.

For more information and to register as a volunteer for trip #1, please email Mariah at nonsequitur47@yahoo.com.

For more information and to register as a volunteer for trip #2, please email Jeff Hargis at jeff@treeswaterpeople.org.

Photo of the Week: Volunteer Power!

 

volunteer

In 2013, our dedicated volunteer base donated 4,457 hours of their time to making our projects a success! Year after year, we continue to be in awe of the generosity of our volunteers. Thank you to each special person who gave their time to Trees, Water & People in 2013. We hope to see you again in 2014!

If you are interested in volunteering with us please visit our website for upcoming volunteer opportunities or email Kelsey at kelsey@treeswaterpeople.org.

Volunteer Opportunity: Help Complete the Sacred Earth Lodge Sept. 26-29

Dedicated volunteers have helped build the Sacred Earth Lodge from the ground up!
Dedicated volunteers have helped build the Sacred Earth Lodge from the ground up!

Take this opportunity to travel to 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 will offer¬†volunteers an unforgettable¬†cultural experience and an opportunity to help build the Sacred Earth Lodge, our new training center and dormitory.

What: Volunteer Weekend to finish building the Sacred Earth Lodge
Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, South Dakota
When:¬†Thursday, September 26¬†‚Äď Sunday, September¬†29
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: To help finish building the Sacred Earth Lodge and to make new friends!

All the Details:

Volunteers are invited to arrive any time after 5:00 pm on Thursday the 26th. We will host full work days Friday and Saturday and a half day on Sunday. Projects will end by 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, and volunteers are welcome to head home any time Sunday. The primary focus of this trip will be to put on the finishing touches on the Sacred Earth Lodge and basic beautification of the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center campus. This is the final push before the October 11 Grand Opening of our new training facility.  Anything could come up, so please be flexible. Projects may be outdoors and certainly will not take place in a climate-controlled environment. Check the weather prior to coming.

Food:

  • TWP will provide volunteers with meals and snacks during the trip.
  • Food purchased by TWP will be vegetarian but feel free to bring any food you desire. We will send out a meal plan as the date comes near.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will help in preparing all meals and snacks.

Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • I will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

Lodging: Camping or Hostel-Style Bunks

  • Campers on the Red Cloud Renewable Energy campus must bring their own camping equipment (tent, sleeping bag and pad, etc.). Weather is unpredictable, so only those comfortable in the outdoors should camp.
  • There will be ample bunks available due to the new lodge, but please bring your own bedding. (sheets, blanket, pillow, etc.) The room will be co-ed and may have up to 10 people per room.

To volunteer, please email the following information to John Motley at john@treeswaterpeople.org:

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which 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. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride – if so, to how many people?
  9. Any other questions you may have?

Once we have confirmed your spot John will email you directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and provide you with additional details.

We hope you can make it!

Tribal Design

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity: Pine Ridge Reservation, July 25-28

Our amazing volunteers make anything possible!

Join us for a volunteer weekend at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center! This is a great opportunity for you to learn more about the Tribal Renewable Energy Program and experience the Lakota culture firsthand.

What: Volunteer Weekend
Where: Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, Pine Ridge Reservation, SD
When:¬†Thursday, July 25 ‚Äď Sunday, July 28
Who: Flexible volunteers who like adventure, hard work, lots of fun, and all kinds of weather. Volunteers 14-18 are welcome with adult companions.
Why: Meet new people and do great things!

Volunteers are invited to arrive anytime after 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, July 25. We will host full work days Friday and Saturday. Projects will end by 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, and volunteers are welcome to head home Saturday evening or on Sunday morning. The primary focus of this trip will be working in and around our new training annex, now officially named Sacred Earth Lodge. Projects will include painting, sheet rocking, taping, trim carpentry, minor electric, and landscaping. Additional needs may arise between now and our trip so flexibility is a must!

Food:

  • TWP will provide food to volunteers during their time at Pine Ridge.
  • Breakfast and lunch foods purchased by TWP will be vegan (no animal products). Feel free to bring your own food if you desire.
  • Dinners will be prepared for you by a local Lakota family member and will include meat products.
  • TWP cooking equipment and utensils will be available for use.
  • Volunteers will be responsible for preparing all their own breakfast and lunch (provided by TWP), and cleaning up after themselves.

 Transportation:

  • All volunteers are responsible for their own transportation and related costs getting to Pine Ridge.
  • We will be happy to coordinate carpools where possible.
  • Our facility is located down a short dirt road. Many sedans have traveled it without any problems.

 Lodging:

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

To volunteer, please email the following information to Claire Burnett, National Program Assistant, at claire@treeswaterpeople.org.

  1. Name of all people in your volunteer party
  2. Email addresses for all people in your volunteer party
  3. Your cell phone number
  4. Which 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. Whether you will be camping or require a bunk in our loft (first come, first served!)
  7. Do you need a ride?
  8. Can you offer a ride – if so, to how many people?
  9. Any other questions you may have

Once Claire has confirmed your spot, you will receive an email with directions to the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center and additional details about the trip.

We hope you can join us!

Featured Intern: Sherry Moldenhauer

sherryHere at the TWP office, we are continually asking each other, ‚ÄúWhat would we do without our talented interns!?‚ÄĚ These dedicated individuals donate their time, energy, and brain power to making our programs a success by helping with grant research and writing, translations, crowdfunding, and other tasks necessary for running a nonprofit organization. At any given time, we have an average of 5 interns working with staff to run our programs. Our interns come from diverse backgrounds and bring fresh ideas to our office.

One of these amazing interns is Sherry Moldenhauer, one of our National Development Interns who has worked with TWP’s Development Director, Heather Herrell, since Fall of 2012. Sherry has been an important part of our recent grant writing cycle and brings a unique natural resource management background to our Team. Sherry is most passionate about helping to raise funds for our Tribal Renewable Energy Program and enjoys working with an environmentally-friendly organization. She has been especially inspired by the Lakota culture and the work of our Tribal Program partner, Lakota Solar Enterprises.

‚ÄúEvery Tuesday and Thursday, Sherry arrives with a cheerful smile and dedicates five hours to researching and writing grants to support our Tribal Renewable Energy Program and Food Security Program. Thank you, Sherry, for all that you do for TWP!‚ÄĚ ‚Äď Heather Herrell, Development Director

On her free time, you can find Sherry exploring the alpine terrain of Colorado, reading, and doing yard work with her dog by her side.

Learn about current volunteer and internship opportunities at our website!