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.
Feb 21, 2014

Preparing for a new harvest at Solar Warrior Farm

Sunset at Solar Warrior Farm
Sunset at Solar Warrior Farm

As all the gardeners out there know, it is time to start thinking about this year’s harvest! At Trees, Water & People, we are gearing-up for another great season at Solar Warrior Farm. In 2014, with your support, our Food Security Program will distribute free veggies, offer educational workshops, and help Lakota families living on the Pine Ridge Reservation start their own backyard gardens. In 2014, we will plant a wide variety of organic produce including, potato, cucumber, squash, tomato, corn, melon, peppers, carrots, and a variety of berries.

Next month, ten Colorado State University students will join us for a week-long alternative spring break service trip, helping us to prepare Solar Warrior Farm for the new growing season. In addition, we are looking forward to hosting an intern at the Red Cloud Renewable Energy Center (RCREC) for the summer. Anna Dunlap from Berea College will oversee the Farm as well as providing help with general operations at RCREC.

The RCREC campus is growing too! Home to Solar Warrior Farm, RCREC recently added a new building: Sacred Earth Lodge.  This one-of-a-kind training center is an eco-friendly and affordable space available for rent to conferences, workshops, and by visitors to the area. This new building sleeps 23, greatly expanding our housing options for students and guests who visit RCREC. In October 2013, we hosted the grand opening if the Lodge, which included a tour of Solar Warrior Farm! 

Many thanks for the ongoing support from all you GlobalGivers to help us raise funds for tools, equipment, and seeds this year. We hope you will continue donating to this important project and consider visiting RCREC and Solar Warrior Farm in 2014. Stay tuned for updates as winter fades, spring blooms, and planting begins!

Farm Tour
Farm Tour
The chickens are ready for a new season!
The chickens are ready for a new season!
Bountiful harvests await
Bountiful harvests await
Feb 20, 2014

Solar Heater Project for Native American Families Nears 100% Funding

Changing lives with solar heating
Changing lives with solar heating

What an inspiring community you have created here at GlobalGiving. Hundreds of generous people from around the world coming together to improve the lives of Native American families by donating to our Solar Heaters for Native American Families project. We really can't thank you enough for your support and generosity!

We are only $250 away from our goal of raising $14,000 for solar air heaters for Native families, and that is a great thing, because we already have families selected to receive these heaters. In October of 2013, we helped Winona LaDuke’s White Earth Land Recovery Project submit a grant to the Clean Energy Resource Team (CERT).  Winona was successful in securing the CERT funding for a Solar Air Heater Training and related wages for members of the White Earth Tribe. Winona is also facilitating the Three Affiliated Tribes of Fort Berthold to attend the training. Thanks to donors like you, we are able to donate 10 heaters to the White Earth Land Recovery Project for installation on the White Earth Reservation. The newly trained installers will be paid to install these 10 systems to families in need to relieve the bitter cold of northern Minnesota. Not only are we keeping families warm, we are creating meaningful jobs for our nation's First Peoples!  

Our Tribal Program partner, Henry Red Cloud said to me, "My biggest dream is for First Nations communities to become energy independent before mainstream America." Together, we are helping this dream come true. 

We hope you will stay connected to our work through Facebook, Twitter, and on our blog so you can continue to see the positive impacts of your investment in this project. You can also join our email list to receive monthly updates. Thanks again for your support! 

Keeping families warm!
Keeping families warm!
Solar heating + green job training = bright future
Solar heating + green job training = bright future
Jan 22, 2014

Solar Heating for the Sacred Earth Lodge

Sacred Earth Lodge at night
Sacred Earth Lodge at night

The Sacred Earth Lodge (SEL) has been open to the public for three months now! We have already had several groups stay at the new faciltiy and we look forward to hosting many more visitors and Native American trainees in 2014.

At the end of this month, Native American students from across the country (including our first student from Alaska!) will join us at the new Lodge to learn how to install a solar hot water system. This will be our first Solar Hot Water Heater Training. Once the system is in place, it will join our growing selection of on-site renewable energy demonstration units. Along with our existing solar air heaters, wind turbines, and grid-tied and battery-tied photovoltaic systems, we will now have a solar hot water system that can be taken apart and reassembled class after class. This equipment gives us the ability to do hands-on training, which is so important to the learning process and what makes our training program unique.

With your donations, you are supporting this important new clean energy system and contributing to SEL’s low impact, sustainable building design. The hot water generated in this solar water system will be mixed with anti-freezing agents and circulated through a radiant heat floor to keep the building warm, using only the sun’s rays! 

We can not do this important work without people like you! Thank you for your support and we look forward to sharing more updates with you throughout the year. 

 

Solar Hot Water System
Solar Hot Water System
Solar PV demo site
Solar PV demo site
Sustainable building designs, old and new
Sustainable building designs, old and new
 
   

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