The tour provided members from Nevada communities, both young and old, from diverse backgrounds, a chance to take a three-day trip together through the Great Basin desert to learn more about water quality and how we can make a difference.
The tour was also a teaching moment about social and environmental injustices plaguing people, especially marginalized communities, the land, wildlife and even the air we breathe.
We had two starting points for the water tour with central meeting points outside Great Basin National Park: one out of Reno, NV, and the other out of Las Vegas, NV.
After arriving at Great Basin, we set up camp overnight, followed by community engagement activities. We also explored the nearby caves (Lehman Caves) in this beautiful area that is officially designated as an International Dark Sky Park! Groups also hiked to an area with some magnificent bristlecone pines.
During the tour, participants had the opportunity to also interact directly with residents and community leaders of rural areas to learn how we, collectively, can be a part of the solution, notably around being better stewards of our common life source: water.
In order to extend the benefits of the water tour to a wider audience, we filmed and interviewed everyone along the way (in high-definition, no less!) We had an awesome videography crew and the video should be completed by this fall. I intend to help organize multiple film screenings across the state with community partners by the end of the year. My hope is that the screenings will help continue to engage and mobilize people in an increasingly significant issue, water, which affects everyone. Stay tuned.
Thanks to Manny's mastery of logistics and ability to work with others under pressure and against a deadlines, Nevada's first-ever Great Basin Water Tour was a complete success.
Executive Director, Ex-PLAN