Truckee River Day in Tahoe Donner, October 18

For the Truckee River Watershed Council’s 20th annual Truckee River Day on Sunday, October 18, hundreds will volunteer on nearly a dozen restoration projects across the region, including one special project here in Tahoe Donner.

You may not know that Tahoe Donner’s forest is not as diverse as it should be. The lodgepole and Jeffrey pines that dominate today once shared this place with an array of cedars and sugar pines. Cedars remain in the McGlashan Springs and Bucknam Tract parcels, but few sugar pines currently grow anywhere in Tahoe Donner. Logging accounts for much of this loss, but a Eurasian blister rust disease also did significant damage to the sugar pine population.

The Sugar Pine Foundation is dedicated to the restoration of this region’s largest and most majestic pine, and on Truckee River Day they’ll be joining our Forestry Department to plant rust resistant saplings right here in Tahoe Donner.

Forestry has hosted similar sapling plantings for Truckee River Day. We used to get big crowds, but the numbers were down considerably last year. We hope Trails Club members will give this project the boost it needs and deserves.

Sapling plantings are wonderful, even beautiful events. They are ideal volunteer occasions for families with children. The work is fun, satisfying and easy (the holes are pre-dug and the saplings are tiny). Once you get into a rhythm, you might even find it meditative.

Planting saplings is a great way to spend a fall day. It’s something all of you should experience. Indeed, it’s an experience we should look forward to annually. They say Tahoe Donner is Where Traditions Begin. With your help and your support these fall plantings can be a new Tahoe Donner tradition.

When signing up for the sugar pine planting please note that you are part of the of Tahoe Donner Trails group. The Watershed Council is expecting us, and this will help ensure that you’re assigned to the right project.

Here’s all the information.

Truckee River Day, Tahoe Donner Sugar Pine Sapling Planting
– Date: Sunday, October 18
– Time: 11:00 am – 3:00 pm
– Registration: at’s registration page by Thursday, October 15

The Watershed Council will email you other specifics, including the meeting place, after you’re officially assigned.

The Watershed Council has been an extraordinary partner for our non-native, invasive weed work here in Tahoe Donner. This sugar pine planting is a great opportunity to repay their generosity by helping them to restore a native species to our forest.

We hope to see many of you on the 18th!

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Tahoe Donner Trails Volunteer Day, September 12

The second Tahoe Donner Volunteer Trails Day of the season will take place on Saturday, September 12th. We have an exciting project planned on the Hillside Trail, which runs between marker 60 and the campground.

No experience is necessary, all ages are welcome, and experts from the Trails Department will be on hand to teach and supervise.

Tahoe Donner Trails Day

    • Date: Saturday, September 12
    • Time: 9:00 to Noon
    • Location: We will assemble at trail marker 60 near the tip of Hillside Drive (map).

The Hillside Trail is not well known, which is a shame because it’s one of the most diverse and interesting trails within the association. It starts off among the pines and stones of an old quarry, and it ends up in a lush, aspen and spring filled riparian zone beside Alder Creek.

Unfortunately, the trail that runs through this unique and beautiful area is in poor shape and requires a variety of repairs. We won’t have time to do everything on the 12th, but we’ll take care of a few immediate needs.

Some folks tell us that they’d love to help with trail work, but they don’t want to spend all morning using big, heavy tools to move big, heavy rocks. Others say they really love trail work because they get to use big, heavy tools to move big, heavy rocks. The project we have planned for the 12th should well satisfy both tastes.

On the light and easy end of the spectrum, we’ll be raking small, loose rocks and sticks from the trail to create a more stable tread surface. For those looking for a challenge, we can also undertake more strenuous repairs on badly eroded, unstable sections of trail.

Everyone is advised to wear sturdy shoes and gloves, drink plenty of water, and wear sun protection. For answers to frequently asked questions, please see the trail work FAQ, and for more information please email the Trails Club at

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