Family REC Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit News and Events South Lake Tahoe


Written by Charlie Pankey

Private donations helped repair broken glass to ensure popular facility reopened to the public

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (June 10, 2019) – During the average school year, Taylor Creek Visitor Center hosts over 150 students per day to connect classroom curriculum through direct experience with local aquatic life. One of the highlights of the experience is the Taylor Creek Stream Profile Chamber. When the glass of this underwater viewing chamber broke during routine cleaning last year, staff worried that this educational tool would be lost. Fortunately, help from the nonprofit Tahoe Fund and Tahoe Blue Vodka ensured its replacement.

“For decades, students and families have come from all over to connect with Taylor Creek,” said Jerry Keir, Executive Director of the Great Basin Institute (GBI) and the Interpretative Association for the Taylor Creek Visitor Center, a USDA Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU) facility. “The stream profile chamber has been an essential first-hand learning opportunity for the K-12 community and we’re so thankful this grant from the Tahoe Fund and Tahoe Blue Vodka helped restore it.”

The glass broke last May and the staff at the visitor center had no choice but to close the chamber until funding to replace the glass could be secured. While the LTBMU worked to identify funding, GBI requested assistance from the Tahoe Fund for the repair and the nonprofit stepped in to help solve the problem with support from Tahoe Blue Vodka. Funding for the glass replacement came from the Forest Service and this partnership, a joint effort that also provided a large part of the funding needed for the recently completed viewing platform, the Taylor Creek Overlook.

The Taylor Creek Steam Profile Chamber allows visitors to get an up-close underwater view of local aquatic life. “This is a beloved facility,” said Jeff Marsolais, Forest Supervisor for the LTBMU. “Without the shared stewardship by our partners, we simply could not have re-opened the Stream Profile Chamber this year.”

“Taylor Creek continues to be a special part of the Tahoe community and an important piece of wildlife education in the South Lake community,” Tahoe Blue Vodka Founder Matt Levitt said. “We’re excited to help get the chamber back up and operational so visitors can continue to learn about what’s happening not only above the water, but below it too.”

With help from these partners, the glass has been installed and once again the doors are open. This year the chamber celebrates its 50th anniversary with a variety of guided hikes, special events and educational programs. Under a Forest Service cooperative agreement, GBI operates the visitor center to advance its mission of environmental research, education and service.

The Taylor Creek Visitor Center and Stream Profile Chamber are open from Memorial Day weekend through the end of October. To learn more about programs and activities, visit the LTBMU website at or call the visitor center at 530-543-2674.

About the author

Charlie Pankey

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