Tahoe Conservancy Grants $1.2 Million to Expand “Outdoors for All” at Tahoe
Grants Support Programs to Improve Outdoor Equity, Extend Tahoe’s Shared-Use Trail Network
South Lake Tahoe, Calif.—December 14, 2023—The California Tahoe Conservancy (Conservancy) Board has awarded four grants, totaling $409,000, to nonprofit organizations to improve equitable access to Lake Tahoe’s beaches, trails, and mountains.
“Expanding opportunities for people to enjoy the extraordinary recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin is a core part of our mission,” said Conservancy Board Chair Adam Acosta. “Work funded by these grants will help underserved and underrepresented people overcome physical barriers to accessing outdoor experiences.”
At its meeting today, the Conservancy Board authorized the grants to improve equitable access by investing in programs and projects that serve people of all races, ethnicities, physical abilities, and backgrounds. The grants include:
- $150,000 to Environmental Traveling Companions for two programs: an outdoor adventure and education course for under-resourced youth that will include backpacking at Lake Tahoe, and a program to teach safe paddling skills to people with disabilities while kayaking at Emerald Bay.
- $84,000 to the Lake Tahoe Waterman Foundation to provide transformative paddling experiences—based at a lakefront Conservancy property in Carnelian Bay—for under-resourced youth, people confronting physical disabilities, and those facing mental health challenges.
- $60,000 to the Tahoe Cross Country Ski Education Association for a year-round program to provide Latina girls with instruction and equipment for cross-country skiing, mountain biking, and other outdoor activities.
- $115,000 to the Tahoe Rim Trail Association to upgrade trailhead kiosks along the California side of the Tahoe Rim Trail. The new kiosks will include improved trail and accessibility information and maps, and an acknowledgment of Tahoe as the homeland of the Washoe Tribe of Nevada and California, all in both English and Spanish.
Although Lake Tahoe is a world-class outdoor recreation destination, many people face barriers to accessing and enjoying its opportunities. As in the rest of California and across the country, outdoor access and its benefits are not equitably distributed to all communities. Race and income often determine access. Barriers to accessing outdoor spaces and recreational activities include limited facilities for people with disabilities and high costs for transportation, outdoor gear, and instruction for outdoor activities. The State of California’s “Outdoors for All Strategy” is prioritizing policies and funding for efforts towards a future where everyone can experience and benefit from California’s incredible outdoor spaces.
At the same meeting, the Board authorized an $800,000 planning grant to the City of South Lake Tahoe for feasibility analysis, planning, and environmental review of the next section of the Dennis T. Machida Memorial Greenway. The City will study how to extend the Greenway, a Class 1 paved shared-use trail, from its current end at Herbert Avenue east towards Ski Run Boulevard and Van Sickle Bi-State Park. Named for the Conservancy’s first executive officer, the Dennis T. Machida Memorial Greenway provides the backbone of the south shore’s shared-use trail network. By filling key missing links in the local trail network, the Greenway provides access for all to the area’s outstanding natural resources while making it easier to get around South Lake Tahoe without a car.
The Board also continued discussions to develop the Conservancy’s 2024-2029 Strategic Plan. The Conservancy will incorporate the Board’s input and feedback as it develops a full draft plan for the Board’s consideration at a future Board meeting. The Board also heard updates on efforts to address climate change impacts in the Basin, including a joint study by the Conservancy and the University of Nevada, Reno on how wetlands capture and store greenhouse gases, and Conservancy-funded work by the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency to develop an online tool to track metrics relating to climate resilience.
Media contact: Chris Carney, Communications Director, email@example.com, 530-543-6057
Media resource: Photo of people enjoying the Dennis T. Machida Memorial Greenway.
The California Tahoe Conservancy is a state agency, established in 1985, with a mission to lead California’s efforts to restore and enhance the extraordinary natural and recreational resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Learn more at tahoe.ca.gov.