March 24, 2015
by Celeste Tinajero
Comments Off on Spring availability for Sierra Nevada Journeys programs

Spring availability for Sierra Nevada Journeys programs

Redefine_Your_Classroom_Header_CroppedSpring Availability for SNJ programs!
SNJ still has limited availability for their spring programs! Classrooms Unleashed offers 3 in-class lessons, 1 half-day field expedition, and pre-and post-lesson extensions. Overnight Outdoor Learning is a 2-5 night learning experience focused on science education and team-building. All SNJ programs are NGSS and Common Core aligned. Visit for more information and to inquire about bringing SNJ to your classroom!


November 10, 2014
by Celeste Tinajero
Comments Off on Tahoe Big Year

Tahoe Big Year

Post by Ruby Lyon
Outreach Manager, AmeriCorps Volunteer
Tahoe Institute for Natural Science

TINScirclelogo_blacklettersIn a few months time, when the clock strikes midnight to begin 2015, the Tahoe Big Year will take flight, setting off the biggest birding event to hit Tahoe. Participants will try to find as many birds species as possible in the Tahoe region during 2015. Hosted by the Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS), the year long event is meant to inspire people to explore Tahoe’s natural areas, promote Tahoe as a birding destination, and cultivate a thriving community of nature and wildlife enthusiasts. Also, there will be prizes!

Participating bird enthusiasts, both local and visiting, will attempt to find as many bird species as they can within a set boundary (essentially the Lake Tahoe basin and north through incorporated Truckee) and will submit any records of new species on the Tahoe Big Year website. The competition is free and open to anyone, though those who become TINS members (starting at $35/year) will enjoy quite a few perks during the Tahoe Big Year. Members can join on monthly guided Tahoe Big Year tours and each month TINS will focus on new groups of birds. Additionally, TINS members will be eligible for prizes, monthly random prize drawings, and discounted lodging among other benefits and special events. With two categories to compete in, Youth (15 years of age or younger) or Adult, everyone in the family can participate. In January 2016, a special gala for TINS members will award first, second, and third place winners for each age group to celebrate a full year of enjoying Tahoe’s birds.

With over 300 bird species having been documented in the Lake Tahoe basin, new birding opportunities will continually arise, with migrant species arriving, departing, or simply passing through the Tahoe region. Finding Tahoe’s resident owls will require effort, and finding wayward rare species will require both luck and perseverance. Throughout the year, Tahoe’s dynamic and ever-shifting bird community will keep things exciting and inspire participants to get out, explore, and find that next new species to add to their list. This will also be an excellent opportunity for contribution to our understanding of the status and distribution of Tahoe’s birds.

kids_birdingSpecies missed in late winter or spring will likely return in the fall, so folks that miss out on the first half of the year may be able to catch up. It’s never too late to start, but early entrants will have the best odds at winning one of the random monthly prizes. We encourage those interested in participating to register starting on October 1st, 2014 (visit to register). Early registrants will be entered into a raffle for two pairs of Northstar tickets during the 2014-2015 ski season: one raffle for those registered by November 1st, 2014 and a second for all those registered by December 1st, 2014.

The Tahoe Institute for Natural Science (TINS) is a member-supported nonprofit organization seeking to advance the natural history, conservation, and ecosystem knowledge of the Tahoe region through science, education, and outreach. For more information on TINS, visit:

  1. The competition begins on January 1, 2015. The yearlong event is open to all members of the public, of all ages (two competitor groups, Adult 16+, Youth 15 -), and it is free! After registering online at, competitors will simply enter every bird they see and be able to track their progress as they go.
  2. Members of TINS (starting at $35) enjoy a variety of prizes throughout the competition, guided monthly bird walks, and an awards event at the end of the year
  3. Tahoe is a great place to explore for birds as we have a large variety migrating through the region throughout the year (over 300 species documented)

September 17, 2014
by Celeste Tinajero
Comments Off on NevadaRecycles has launched the Recycled Art Contest!

NevadaRecycles has launched the Recycled Art Contest!

Recycled Art Contest 2014


Help us encourage Nevadans to recycle! Your participation in the Recycled Art Contest will show off not only the many recyclable materials around us, but will also highlight how creativity can reduce the amount of waste sent to the landfill. Recycling is great; reducing and reusing are even better. We look forward to seeing the results of your craftiness!


-Must be a Nevada resident
-Project must be constructed from used, recyclable materials. Research the web (including the NevadaRecycles website) for examples of the many materials that can be recycled. Exceptions: tape, glue, string, or other similar materials needed for fastening.


-Fill out the entry form and attach up to 3 photos of your artwork in an email to
-Due October 31, 2014 by 11:59 pm
-All entries will be posted on a public Flickr webpage.
-Projects may be displayed in your local community. More details on this will be available after you submit.

Judging and Prizes

Entry Categories:

  • K-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12
  • Class project
  • Adult

-Winners will be selected by a jury and announced by America Recycles Day, November 15th.
-Cash prizes of up to $250 will be awarded to the top projects in each category! Thanks to the Las Vegas Sands Corp. for their generous sponsorship!


September 3, 2014
by Celeste Tinajero
Comments Off on High Desert Montessori Charter School celebrates 210-kW solar carport array

High Desert Montessori Charter School celebrates 210-kW solar carport array


HDMS students cheer the NVEnergy SolarGenerations Incentive program that helped their school embrace clean energy.

Kids don’t always cheer the end of summer vacation, but High Desert Montessori Charter School students had a lot to celebrate when school started in mid August. While they were spending those sweltering July days relaxing, the Black Rock Solar crew was busy turning this hot, barren school parking lot:


Before: Super-hot parking lot – not hospitable to children.

into THIS awesome solar carport lot!


After: Super-cool, energy-producing carports that now function as the school pick-up area so the students can wait in the shade for their rides. Clean, renewable energy, plus shade. Brilliant!

The array will produce an estimated 375,000 kilowatt-hours of clean energy annually, which will save the school about $750,000 in electricity costs over the next 25 years.

“High Desert Montessori Charter School is excited to be part of this solar project in partnership with NV Energy and Black Rock Solar,” said Principal Tammie Stockton. “With the $30,000 in yearly savings we will see from this project, our middle school program is planning to build an on-site garden which will provide organic vegetables for our culinary program.”

High Desert Montessori School serves about 400 students from infant/toddler through 9th grade.

The 780-panel array sits atop carports covering parking spots adjacent to the school’s middle school building, turning what was simply a parking lot into an attractive, efficient, alternative energy power plant with shaded parking for school employees and parents.

“As a nonprofit with a mission to help schools and other nonprofits save money through building clean energy, Black Rock Solar is delighted to have completed its largest carport array to date with High Desert Montessori,” said Black Rock Solar Executive Director Paddy McCully. “We’re pleased the array was completed before the start of the school year, so High Desert Montessori can start channeling more of its funds directly into educating students.”

More from the Aug. 22 dedication ceremony:


HDMS Principal Tammie Stockton shares the school’s commitment to the Earth at the dedication event.


NVEnergy’s Tara Lynch helps celebrate HDMS’s renewable energy achievement at the dedication ceremony.


BRS Education Program Manager Catherine Leon was on hand at the HDMS dedication event to help students better understand how the sun makes energy.


Director of Business Development Rich Hamilton lets the crowd know how happy BRS is to have been part of this community-supporting project.



July 30, 2014
by Celeste Tinajero
Comments Off on KTMB supports Reed High School in receiving 50 new recycling bins

KTMB supports Reed High School in receiving 50 new recycling bins



Reed High Eco Warriors jump for joy!

Reed High Eco Warriors receive recycling bins through national grant

Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful helps school achieve goal of recycling campus

RENO, NV (May 17, 2014) —Reed High School will be more beautiful now with the addition of 50 recycling bins awarded through a national recycling bin grant program applied for by Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful and made possible by Keep America Beautiful (KAB) and The Coca-Cola Foundation.

In its ninth year, the Coca-Cola/KAB Recycling Bin Grant Program is providing nearly 4,500 recycling bins to colleges, universities, nonprofits and local governments across the country, with more than 65 percent of the total designed specifically for permanent, ongoing use in heavily-trafficked public spaces and events.

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