Corpsmembers from the Tahoe Center have performed work in the South Lake Tahoe Basin for more than two decades. The center completes thousands of hours each year on local projects promoting the regrowth of forests and limiting soil erosion around the lake.
Lake Tahoe is known internationally for its water clarity, and the Tahoe Center’s mission is to assist in “Keeping Tahoe Blue.” Located in the city of Meyers, the residential facility is about five miles from the City of South Lake Tahoe and is home to 80 Corpsmembers. The center has completed an expansion that includes a new kitchen and administrative wing.
The center has a total of three buildings. One building consists of administration offices, a computer lab, classrooms, and a conference room. The second building is the multi-purpose building contains the kitchen and dining hall, which converts to a basketball court or a meeting room when needed.
Furthest away from Highway 50, the third building is the residential facility. Each room can house four Corpsmembers and is separated by gender. Each dorm has its own bathroom, shower, and exterior door overlooking the golf course. There is a recreation room with a pool table for Corpsmembers to enjoy, a movie room with a big-screen TV and stereo speakers, and a weight room that is popular among Corpsmembers.
1949 Apache Ave.
South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
Life at the Tahoe Center
Corpsmembers at the Tahoe Center work a 4-10-40 schedule which translates to ten hour days, four days per week, totaling forty hours per week. This schedule allows for maximum productivity at work and also gives Corpsmembers the opportunity to travel home for longer periods of time.
The Corpsmembers’ day starts promptly at 6:00 a.m. when breakfast is served and Corpsmembers have the opportunity to pack lunches. Roll call takes place every morning at 7:00 a.m., during which Corpsmembers are briefed on the upcoming day’s events. Crews depart the center around 7:30 a.m. The work day ends at 5:30 p.m., at which time dinner is served.
After dinner, Corpsmembers take classes on the premises or through Lake Tahoe Community College (LTCC). All Tahoe Corpsmembers are required to enroll at LTCC to earn work experience college credits and complete a self-evaluation at the end of every college quarter. This ensures that all Tahoe Corpsmembers earn college credits while in the CCC. All Corpsmembers are encouraged to continue a pattern of “life-long learning.”
The Corpsmember Advisory Board (CAB) meets weekly with the entire Corpsmember population in a community meeting. The purpose of community meetings are to provide general center information, voice questions and concerns, discuss upcoming events and activities, elect new officials, go over policy and procedure changes, and various other agenda topics. The CAB members serve as the voice of the Corpsmember community and have weekly meetings with staff to ensure active communication.
Tahoe Corpsmembers are required to participate in local community volunteerism. The Corpsmember Development Staff works with local community organizations and schedules volunteer events. Many of these volunteer hours are done on the weekends (Friday through Sunday), when Corpsmembers can choose to participate in a plethora of recreation, education, and volunteer events, or can act independently and have some free time to themselves. The weekend meal schedule is a bit different from weekday events. Corpsmembers are served brunch at 10 a.m. and dinner at 4 p.m. Family members are welcome to visit after work and on the weekends with advance approval from the center director.
The Tahoe Center works with several agencies in managing the extensive fuel hazard reduction work in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Some project sponsors include the California Tahoe Conservancy, Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (USFS), Eldorado National Forest (USFS), and California State Parks. Tahoe has currently a Type II fire crew in partnership with the Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit and Eldorado National Forest.
Corpsmembers at the Tahoe Center have planted more than 170,000 trees since 1987. The center has been of great assistance to the re-growth effort in the Angora burn area, assisting in clearing and stabilizing the soil in a once devastated coniferous forest region. The center also assisted in the completion and re-routing of trails around the basin. These combined efforts allow for the environment to return to a natural state and assist in maintaining wilderness areas.
Corpsmembers perform extensive mitigation, which supports revegetation of burn areas and highway soil stabilization. This work includes planting and watering with an assortment of tools and water tenders. Some crews plant up to 200 trees a day and use up to 900 gallons of water. Corpsmembers learn about the environment in a high-elevation climate and help promote and protect the growth of our native species. Tahoe Center mitigation crews work closely with sponsors such as Caltrans and the California Tahoe Conservancy.
Trails projects are another specialty at the Tahoe Center. Crews work with the U.S. Forest Service and California State Parks in all aspects of trail building, including trail survey and design, construction, drainage, and building with rock and timber.
In the winter months and times of heavy snowfall, the Tahoe Center continues to work with arbor projects and snow removal. Crews will “spike” in many areas around California, working and camping away from the center for several days to complete a wide scope of projects.
All Corpsmembers at the Tahoe Center complete Corpsmember Orientation, Motivation, Education, and Training (COMET) and core training courses.
Specialized trainings and certifications offered at the center include:
- USFS Type II Firefighter Training
- Arbor (Includes tree climbing, rope safety, knots, limbing)
- First Aid & CPR
- Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Certificate
- Chain Saw Training
- Chipper Safety & Training
- Culinary Academy Boot Camp
- Safety Stand Down
- ServSafe Food Handler Certification
- ServSafe Food Protection Manager Certification
- Tree Climbing Safety
The center also partners with Lake Tahoe Community College to allow Corpsmembers to earn college credits by taking academic courses that have been approved by Corpsmember Development staff. These courses include work experience, Physical Training, Culinary Boot Camp, Wildland Fire Fighting Training, and other classes that benefit our Corpsmembers. The Tahoe Center provides transportation for Corpsmembers attending the community college.