It is no secret that remote working and distance learning is giving many new home buyers and second homeowners the opportunity to live full-time at Lake Tahoe. We think this is a great opportunity for Tahoe.
Over the years, we at the Tahoe Fund have discussed the benefits of a less transient population to help increase engagement in issues and to help support a year-round economy. Rather than homes sitting empty most months of the year, we are hopeful we will now have a more vibrant and engaged community.
I know a little something about joining the Tahoe community. I first moved here in 2003 from New York City. I felt a bit like a fish out of water. I was madly in love with the blue lake and towering mountain peaks, so it felt like an easy decision to move here.
But going from city life to mountain life took some adjusting. And not just because of my new neighbors (a family of black bears). That’s why I want to take the time to say on behalf of the Tahoe Fund board, welcome to your new adventure in Tahoe.
Tahoe is an amazing place to live all year round. It is full of other people just like you who have made the big decision to call the mountains and this beautiful lake home. You will soon learn that you are in a very small community. Before long, you will know the names of the supermarket check-out staff, your barista, all the dogs at the dog park and your neighbors. You will also learn the value of good snow tires in the winter, fat skis to navigate epic powder days and that you can sneak in a few early morning ski runs before your first conference call of the day.
I will admit, I lived for many years here in a state of ignorance. I rode the trails and wondered, who built all of these? I swam in the lake and wondered, how is it so clear? I read all those interesting historical signs and thought, who took the time to write these? It wasn’t until years later that I started paying attention to the work that goes into managing Lake Tahoe.
I remember being shocked to learn that there are more than 50 organizations working together to improve Tahoe’s environment.
Now, as CEO of one of those organizations, I am acutely aware of the hard work that happens every day to maintain a balance between the human and natural environments.
At the Tahoe Fund, we work closely with these organizations to ensure more environmental improvement projects are completed. Our mission is to use the power of philanthropy to improve the Lake Tahoe environment for all to enjoy.
Thanks to the wonderful support of the private community, we recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary and the completion of more than 40 projects that helped secure more than $50 million in public funding. We also celebrated the first anniversary of the new Tahoe East Shore Trail that we helped make possible with more than $1 million in private donations. Working with our partners, we are continuing to help improve lake clarity, expand sustainable recreation, fix our forests, solve our transportation issues, and help create stewards of Tahoe.
I hope you will take the time to get engaged and learn more about the work that is being done in your neighborhood and around the basin to improve the Tahoe environment. I hope you will learn to ditch your plastic water bottles for the best tasting water in the country, Tahoe Tap. I hope you will lock up your trash from bears. I hope you will join a trail building day to help us create a sustainable trail network. I hope you will get engaged in the issues and speak up for Tahoe’s environment.
And, I hope you will check out TahoeFund.org to see how you can help support one of our many collaborative projects. While you are there, sign up for our weekly Tahoe Fun Facts to get some true “locals’” knowledge so you can impress your friends and family. With your passion, engagement and support, Tahoe will continue to be the place we all want to call home.
Amy Berry is the CEO of the Tahoe Fund.