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SWEP Celebrates 30 Years of Commitment to Promote Environmental Stewardship

Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP) celebrates a 30-year milestone, promoting stewardship by connecting students to sustainability, and environmental conservation.

Tahoe City, California, May 21, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) --

Forest Health Field Day. The students were planting blister rust-resistant Sugar Pine saplings.

Sierra Watershed Education Partnerships (SWEP) celebrates a remarkable 30-year milestone this year, marking three decades of commitment to promoting stewardship by connecting students to sustainability, and environmental conservation.

SWEP's journey began in 1994 when a group of parents and teachers founded the organization. Although they officially gained nonprofit status in 1997, the organization's roots were firmly planted in connecting local students to their natural surroundings. Over the years, SWEP has evolved, receiving grants, collaborating with partners, and expanding its reach to promote stewardship and service learning.

Missy Mohler, SWEP Executive Director


Executive Director Missy Mohler reflects on SWEP's early struggles, highlighting the challenges of obtaining nonprofit status. “Despite these hurdles, SWEP has emerged resilient, and we are dedicated to fostering hope and empowering students to take action for the environment.” Missy Mohler's words resonate as a testament to SWEP's perseverance.

A significant focus for SWEP lies in addressing pressing environmental issues, from wildfires to waste management. The organization empowers students by engaging them in hands-on projects, like defensible space initiatives. Through these experiences, students learn the importance of their contributions and gain practical knowledge about environmental challenges.

Waste management and sustainability are at the core of SWEP's initiatives. By running sustainability clubs and conducting food waste audits, SWEP actively involves students in solutions to combat issues like plastic pollution and methane emissions. The organization's commitment to waste diversion is evident in its success, having diverted 13,000 pounds of food waste last school year.

Environmental conservation takes center stage as SWEP's High School clubs travel to various schools and communities, emphasizing the significance of reusable items and advocating against single-use plastics. Their impact extends beyond education, influencing local policies such as the ban on single-use plastics, and showcasing the tangible outcomes of their efforts.

The organization's partnerships with schools in the Tahoe Truckee region underscore its commitment to diversity, recognizing it as a key asset for success. Despite past challenges, SWEP has navigated budget closures and grant freezes, securing support through grants, sponsorships, community partners, and generous donations.

SWEP calls for funding to support its mission of connecting students to the environment and contributing to the natural world. Over 10,000 student connections in the past five years speak to the organization's reach. The strategic plan outlines ambitious goals, emphasizing equitable programming, outdoor education, and cultural connections with the Washoe indigenous tribe.

SWEP remains steadfast in its belief that exposing students to nature will shape a positive future. By intertwining cultural history and respecting the natural world, SWEP aims to create a meaningful learning environment that fosters environmental consciousness.

Media Contact:

Name: Simone Tenorio