LAKE TAHOE - On Saturday, embrace Lake Tahoe with family friendly, informative and fun activities that connect you to the area's magic.
The day-long Tahoe Expo is hosted around the lake by organizations responsible for its current clarity level and watershed health, and includes a kick-off party at Sand Harbor State Park.
The nonprofit group Sustainable Tahoe is inviting the community to showcase a variety of activities that provide visitors with a sense of place and purpose in participating to keep Tahoe pristine. Activities range from wildlife tracking, recreational activities that leave no trace, to a 3-D movie that takes you to the bottom of "America's largest alpine lake."
Activities around the lake will be hosted by the organizations working on the specific areas, such as the Rim Trail Foundation, Water Trails, Tahoe BEAR League, Sugar Pine Foundation, League to Save Lake Tahoe, Historical Society, Incline Village General Improvement District Waste Not, Explore Tahoe, University of California, Davis Tahoe Environmental Center, Tahoe Green, Sierra Watershed Education Project and more.
Besides sustainability, one of the expo's main goals is an increased focus on geotourism, a trend in travel that sustains or enhances the geographical character of a place - its environment, culture, aesthetics, heritage and the well-being of its residents. Geotourism helps travelers to tread lightly and enjoy a locale's sense of place.
"Geotourism offers the Lake Tahoe economy the advantage of increasing the number of visitors to the lake, especially during the slower spring and fall seasons, by focusing on high-touch and low-impact ways to experience local attractions and activities," said Jacquie Chandler, executive director of Sustainable Tahoe.
Many of the activities will be accessible via the Tahoe Basin's public transit system and water taxi, fulfilling another geotourism goal of reducing auto traffic. These provide visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience the natural amenities in the area while also sustaining them.
"The inherent thing about geotourism is that it's collaborative and works with locals to determine the best ways to bring visitors to a place," Nicole DeJonghe, Sierra Business Council project manager for the Sierra Nevada Geotourism MapGuide. "Historically that hasn't been the case when it comes to tourism that is exploitative. We're trying to shift directions with that notion."
The MapGuide, created in collaboration with local communities, can be found at www.SierraNevadaGeotourism.org; use the map to find local lodging or plan the rest of your trip around the Tahoe Expo.
While admission is free to the activities, a $10 donation is suggested for the stage entertainment at Sand Harbor. For more see www.TahoeExpo.com.
Sustainable Tahoe is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, with a volunteer force of individuals from the watershed who seek to emerge a sustainable prosperity that keeps water clean, communities connected and currency flowing.