How regional stewardship campaigns can effectively educate and protect beloved places.

Across the Sierra Nevada and beyond, communities struggle with educating locals and tourists about how to take care of the environment. Trash overflows from garbage cans, endangering wildlife and becoming a blight. Dog poop lines trails and seeps into waterways. And unattended campfires or errant cigarettes threaten to engulf a town in catastrophic wildfire.

Take Care Tahoe is the unified environmental stewardship campaign for the greater Lake Tahoe Region and provides a replicable model for other areas looking to expand their cooperative outreach. The collaboration has brought together over 50 diverse partners to encourage responsible recreation while visiting and traveling to Lake Tahoe. The partnership pools resources for advertising and creative development to further its mission of nurturing a culture of stewardship and sustainability.

The campaign uses humor that resonates with all age levels to convey key messages about a broad array of subjects from invasive species to boat safety. Take Care Tahoe has grown steadily since its inception in 2014, gaining visibility and addressing emerging issues like wildfire preparedness and microplastics. A statistically valid survey found that of respondents aware of the campaign, 59% of In-Basin residents and 72% of second homeowners felt that it has been “somewhat to very effective” in getting more people to take the recommended actions. The Tahoe Chamber of Commerce recognized the campaign’s educational success in 2018 with its Geotourism Award. 

As the COVID-19 crisis impacted the region, local governments and land management agencies sought a regional messaging campaign to educate the public on responsible behaviors. With Take Care Tahoe in place as the unified campaign for the region, messages quickly pivoted to include public safety. This presentation guides attendees through lessons learned and tips for building a regional stewardship campaign that effectively educates people to protect beloved places.


Take Care Tahoe: How Regional Stewardship Campaigns Can Effectively Educate and Protect Beloved Places from Tahoe Regional Planning Agency on Vimeo.