Environmental kids

Donations can be sent to Great Basin Outdoor School, WCSD P.O. Box 30425, Reno, NV 89520.

Great Basin Outdoor School teaches children to make Earth Day every day. Founded in 1998 as a non-profit agency, Great Basin Outdoor School provides children from northern Nevada with education about our unique environment and ecology.

This spring, we will host fifth and sixth grade classes at Camp Galilee on the east shore of Lake Tahoe every Tuesday through Friday in May and the first half of June. The four-day stay gives children time to make deeper connections to our Nevada landscape. In our quest to get back to “the basics” of education, we must not forget what is most basic of all—knowing the place where you live.

Children will learn about Lake Tahoe, measure its clarity and learn what effects human behavior has on the lake and the surrounding environment. They will learn about species indigenous to the area and will be invited to take part in lessons to learn about the special abilities animals have developed to exist in their environment. These activities build a sense of community and promote respect, responsibility and cooperation.

Support from our community has been tremendous. Our list of benefactors includes the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection, the Nevada Department of Education, Nevada Division of Forestry, Wells Fargo, REI, Wild Oats Market, Microsoft Licensing, Skagen Designs, Sierra Pacific Power Company and others.

One immediate financial need is support for renewal of our general liability insurance due May 8. The renewal fee is $4,667. We strive to keep the program fee manageable for families and seek support for administrative costs like this. Program fees help cover student meals and lodging and teaching staff. Additional expenses include school bus transportation for field studies at Spooner Lake, snacks, supplies and outings to learn about threats to Tahoe’s clarity.

Great Basin Outdoor School relies heavily on the charity of our community. Our general liability insurance expense has been a struggle to pay each year and without it, we can’t operate. With the downturn in our national and local economies, funding has been particularly difficult to obtain in the past year. We are at a critical impasse and need your help for our insurance and other program costs. If you or the company for which you work can contribute $50, $100 or $1,000 to keep the program affordable and operating for the children, we would sincerely appreciate it.

We invite you to learn more about Great Basin Outdoor School from our Web site at greatbasin-os.org and to consider getting involved.