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The story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion

Wednesday, August 29th, 2018 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator

“Once upon a time, in a little mountain town on the edge of a big blue lake, a small group of people wanted to do something. They noticed that winter snows were less deep, and summer days were drier and hotter with forest fire smoke in the air. The group wanted to protect their beautiful lake, which depended on the snow to stay healthy.

“So the group decided to build a beautiful pavilion with a roof of solar panels, based on an idea from a town across the sea, to showcase how it is possible to have clean energy. It was a wonderful plan, but there was no money or knowledge to build something so grand.”

This is the beginning of the story of the Pioneer Solar Pavilion that was dedicated on Saturday, August 25, 2018 at Hess Park in Lee Vining.

Lee Vining’s Pioneer Solar Pavilion is a community-built gathering space that provides shade, electricity, wi-fi, shelter from wind, and information about local pioneer families. Photo by Elin Ljung.

The rest of the story is this: (more…)

Chautauqua event: The high country responds to a changing climate

Thursday, June 9th, 2016 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator

Wondering what has happened to our snow and what to expect in the future? An afternoon seminar on climate issues affecting the Sierra Nevada—and all of us—will be held on Thursday, June 16 from 1:00–5:00pm at the Mono Basin Scenic Area Visitor Center theater in Lee Vining.

350 MONO group Steps for Snow event, raising awareness

The Mono Basin climate awareness group at last fall’s Steps for Snow event. Photo courtesy of Janet Carle.

This afternoon series of talks with local experts will focus on how the high country of the Sierra Nevada is responding to a changing climate. High school student Caelen McQuilkin will discuss the American pika; Mono Lake Committee Executive Director Geoff McQuilkin will describe how Mono Lake is responding to warmer, drier winters; US Forest Service scientist Connie Millar will provide an ecosystem-wide overview; Yosemite geologist Greg Stock will speak on what glaciers tell us about climate change; and Yosemite wildlife biologist Sarah Stock will discuss how human intervention reversed the fate of two threatened animals in Yosemite National Park.

These excellent speakers will help us understand the future of the Sierra and what we all can do to encourage progress toward a sustainable climate on our planet.

This event, sponsored by 350 Mono, a local climate action group, is free and open to the public. We invite Mono Basin Bird Chautauqua attendees especially—stop by to hear about how a changing climate is affecting the Eastern Sierra and Mono Basin.

Successful Solar Walk in Lee Vining

Friday, October 2nd, 2015 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator
Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center. Photo by Janet Carle.

Local kids made the Solar Walk banner with Maureen McGlinchy. It is on display at the Lee Vining Community Center. Photo by Janet Carle.

The Mono Basin Solar Walk was held last Sunday, September 27 in Lee Vining. A good crowd enjoyed interesting discussion about all aspects of solar installation, and a great reaction from our “Solar Pioneers” as their steps taken toward renewable energy were honored. The beautiful banner that Maureen McGlinchy and local children made is now on display at the Lee Vining Community Center.

Mono County Supervisors Fred Stump and Tim Alpers attended and shared the Board’s goals of (more…)

Walking with “Walking Water”

Thursday, September 10th, 2015 by Janet, Volunteer Coordinator

Pinyon jays flocking over the Aeolian Buttes at dusk.
Warm pears in the morning on a perch of Bishop tuff.
Scent of shady Jeffrey pines on a hot afternoon.

On the morning of August 31, a group of walkers joined together in Lee Vining Canyon to begin a journey paralleling the route that water diverted from the Mono Basin takes en route to Los Angeles—around Williams Butte, through the aqueduct tunnel below the Mono Craters, on to Crowley Lake, and beyond to the Owens Valley.

The Walking Water group fords a creek on the first leg of their journey. Photo courtesy of G. Dalglish.

The Walking Water group fords a creek on the first leg of their journey. Photo courtesy of Geoff Dalglish.

We walked through a landscape my husband Dave and I have viewed thousands of times from the windows of our car on Highway 395. Walk on the east side of 395? Why? What could be there?

I am a retired park ranger, a practical “let’s get it done” type. A group pilgrimage on dusty dirt roads was a leap of faith. Working with the Walking Water organizers over several years on logistics and route questions, it became increasingly obvious they were really going to do it. To organize, to recruit, to inspire, and TO WALK TO LOS ANGELES over three years’ time. We had to join the walk, if only for the first week, to support the tremendous effort and heart it takes to make something this big happen. (more…)

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