As part of Caesars Entertainment’s corporate citizenship efforts, employees from Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe celebrated Earth Day by taking part in a local conservation project. Dozens of team members spent April 22nd volunteering at the River Fork Ranch Preserve in the Carson Valley, shoring up the watershed along the Truckee River. Working in shifts, HERO and CodeGreen volunteers, and even employees on their day off, came out to support the effort.
The Nevada Chapter of The Nature Conservancy led the project, partnering with the Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment on the arts-meets-conservation initiative. The project was designed by San Francisco-based environmental sculptors, Mary O’Brien and Daniel McCormick, and involves creating natural, woven thickets out of willow twigs and arranging them in serpentine pattern to help re-establish damaged areas of the watershed. The natural installation is intended to hold flood waters, provide Flycatcher nesting habitat, and allow for the seasonal recharge of the wetlands.
Although the day started off with snow, which gave way to rain, and finally blowing winds, Harrah’s and Harvey’s Lake Tahoe volunteers showed up ready to work. Led by project leaders, team members were assigned tasks to help build the art-installation; including waddling, bundling, and weaving willow trigs into the hump-like structures. In spite of the weather conditions, they contributed a hard day’s work to move the conservation project forward. Robert Schilling, Volunteer Project Coordinator for The Nature Conservancy remarked that the Caesars’ volunteers were an “amazingly hardy group that withstood the harshness of nature and still produced an epic quantity of wattles.”
This Earth Day effort is part of an ongoing partnership between Caesars and The Nature Conservancy. In 2011, the Caesars Foundation awarded a $50,000 grant to the Whit Hall Interpretive Center, a then-new facility located at River Fork Ranch and owned by The Nature Conservancy in Nevada. The grant helped remodel and transform an existing ranch home into an interpretive center for one of the state’s most ecologically important and biologically diverse areas.
A special thanks to Jane Flavin, Manager of Recruitment and Training, for her leadership in organizing this successful outing. You can view more photos from the Earth Day Event here. (All images © TNC/Simon Williams)