Trees Water & People

Trees, Water & People is committed to improving people's lives by helping communities to protect, conserve and manage the natural resources upon which their long-term well-being depends. We believe that natural resources are best protected when local people play an active role in their care and management.
Nov 27, 2013

More produce than ever!

Healthy veggies!
Healthy veggies!

At the end of October, we said farewell to our 2013 summer Intern, Teague, who was an indispensable part of our team as we completed our new training facility, the Sacred Earth Lodge, and produced our second year of crops at Solar Warrior Farm. Teague worked incredibly hard, tirelessly, and with few breaks!

I met Teague at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center this summer. He was in from Wisconsin and met me to begin his internship with Trees, Water & People, spending three months as our on-site intern for our Tribal Renewable Energy Program, assisting with renewable energy trainings, the construction of Sacred Earth Lodge, and management of Solar Warrior Farm.

Teague has successfully grown the impact of our Food Security Program through Solar Warrior Farm, this year distributing more healthy, sustainably grown, and locally available produce than ever. He also co-hosted our first canning workshop, and is teaching a composting workshop this Fall. Twice each week, Teague goes into the community and distributes produce to the Oglala Lakota residents of Pine Ridge. Here is a little bit about his experience in his own words:

Last week I set up a free give away in front of the Tribal Office in downtown Pine Ridge. I had a lot of conversations with a lot of different people about growing food. People were excited about fresh tomatoes, and of course I always get a few strange looks when people hear that I'm giving away the food for free. After a few hours of the give away…I was invited to eat lunch with the employees at the tribal office. They were grilling out back so I sliced up some cucumbers and joined the potluck!

Teague’s weekly distribution average this season was between 150-200 lbs of fresh produce. I love to hear his stories about the interactions he has while distributing food. He likes to offer lemon cucumber samples, and he told me that the kids eat them like candy. What a treat indeed to have truly fresh, juicy produce in the middle of the hot summer in one of the Nation's largest food deserts! One woman was very excited to receive tomatoes so that she could make salsa. She plans to bring Teague a jar next time he’s in front of the Tribal Offices.

We are already planning for the 2014 season at Solar Warrior Farm, and we appreciate all your support for the next growing season. Have a wonderful holiday season and thank you so much for your support of this important project!

organic produce straight from the garden
organic produce straight from the garden
A sunny day at Solar Warrior Farm
A sunny day at Solar Warrior Farm
Niko loves helping!
Niko loves helping!
Teague working hard
Teague working hard
Lots of life at Solar Warrior Farm
Lots of life at Solar Warrior Farm
Nov 27, 2013

7 Solar Heaters Funded!

Installing a new heater
Installing a new heater

Wow! So far, generous donors to this project have raised enough money to build 7 solar air heaters. Thank you! When this campaign is complete, we will distribute these heaters in an exciting new way. We have just initiated a new means for distributing our solar air heaters through our new website, www.solarwarriors.org. Any Native American can apply to receive a solar air heater as long as they live near one of our trained technicians. 

Through this application process, not only can we distribute solar air heaters across a broader geographic range to reach more people, but we can also provide work opportunities for graduates from the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC). We currently have former students, trained in the installation of solar air heaters, at 12 different reservations across the West and Great Plains. Now, each heater we install through this application process helps us keep these individuals employed in the renewable energy industry.

This part of our program is brand new, and we are currently working with Ariel Frazier, a graduate from RCREC and a certified Solar Air Heater Technician, to install a new heater for an online applicant. She is installing this heater for Stottin Newbrough on the Cheyenne River Reservation, where he supports a household of 4 people on a salary of $5,000-$15,000 per year, depending on the firefighting season.

From Stottin Newbrough:

Propane is expensive…so I have to cut fire wood. Our woodstove is located in the basement, so it hardly heats the whole house.

We can't thank you enough for your generosity! Native American families are in great need of heat during the cold months of the year. As we make plans for 2014, please consider continuing your support of this project. Happy holidays!

One solar panel makes a world of difference!
One solar panel makes a world of difference!
Heating homes, improving lives
Heating homes, improving lives
Happy owners of a new solar heater!
Happy owners of a new solar heater!

Links:

Oct 22, 2013

Sacred Earth Lodge Now Open!

Sacred Earth Lodge
Sacred Earth Lodge

Thank you for supporting the construction of the Sacred Earth Lodge. Despite an unprecedented and very destructive early snow at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center, the Grand Opening of the Sacred Earth Lodge on October 11 was a huge success! 

We had more than 50 guests brave the weather to celebrate this significant event for Indian Country, coming from as far away as Colorado, Minnesota, and North Dakota. Many of us had to wipe away tears as each presenter spoke about the importance of the day. It was Lakota elder Basil Braveheart who evoked the strongest emotion from some, as he performed a dedication prayer for the building. For me, it was Winona LaDuke's words that sruck a chord. Partly, mine were tears of laughter when Winona referred to the "red tape" slowing down projects and then corrected herself saying, "Red tape, ha. Let's be honest. That is white tape." Like Basil and Bob Gough - an unsurpassed leader in renewable energy in Indian Country - Winona referred to Henry as the type of leader that Native Americans need today.
The Sacred Earth Lodge is dedicated to the seventh generation - that prophesied demographic that is destined to combine the goodness of the white skinned people with the goodness of the red skinned people. Sacred Earth Lodge is exactly that synthesis, offering a new way to honor the old ways through sustainability education.

What a great way to open this new building with a wonderful community of friends, students, supporters, and exceptional leaders. Thank you to everyone who joined us.

Even with the Grand Opening behind us, we still need your help!
We are still fundraising for the following items:
1. A refrigerator
2. Solar hot water heaters for our radiant floor heating
3. Stove pipe
4. One more line of leech field
5. Bedding for all 23 of dormitory beds
6. Kitchen shelving units and work tables
This massive building project would not be possible without supporters like you! We are so grateful for your generosity and we look forward to sharing updates with you as Native American students make use of this exceptional learning space. Pilamaya Ye (Thank you)!
Welcome to Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center!
Welcome to Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center!
Winona LaDuke speaking at the Grand Opening
Winona LaDuke speaking at the Grand Opening
RCREC Tour with Guests
RCREC Tour with Guests
Sharing the Lakota Culture
Sharing the Lakota Culture
Dormitory
Dormitory
An anonymous donor will match all new monthly recurring donations, but only if 75% of donors upgrade to a recurring donation today.
Terms and conditions apply.
Make a monthly recurring donation on your credit card. You can cancel at any time.
Make a donation in honor or memory of:
What kind of card would you like to send?
How much would you like to donate?
gift Make this donation a gift, in honor of, or in memory of someone?

Reviews of Trees Water & People

Great Nonprofits
Read and write reviews about Trees Water & People on GreatNonProfits.org.