NOTE: Our most up to date wishlist can be found on our Amazon Wish List page.
It takes a lot of work to keep a non-profit dedicated to misunderstood animals, wildlife conservation, rescue and rehabilitation, science and renewable energy education running smoothly and effectively.
From animal feed and healthcare to habitat and life support systems maintenance, and special projects...all of these things add up to make our science and nature center a one of a truly one of a kind education facility that makes a great difference in the lives and futures of our animals and our students--the future caretakers of our fragile shared earth.
We also share a wonderful partnership with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina in which we provide daily nature, science, and environmental education classes to their student populations of at-risk middle and high school age boys and girls. Your support will directly support these students in their growth, appreciation, understanding and support of themselves and in turn the wild places and wild things we share this beautiful planet with.
To make this happen we need your help.
All donations of new or used equipment and/or funds are tax deductable and if requested, a receipt will be provided for your records.
Our current wishlist consists of major habitat, education and infrastructure supporting items. The components we are in need of are listed below with links to the items should you decide to help us shorten our wishlist. If you choose to support us anonymously, you may do so by using our Amazon Wish List or PayPal link on our donate page.
Education Animal Habitat Supplies
Some of our most popular and most environmentally sensitive education animals are our Eastern hellbenders - “Gollum and Smeagol.” They are in great need of a primary component of their habitat’s life support system for their 125 gallon mountain stream habitat.
1. New aquarium water chiller for Eastern Hellbender Habitat
This unit will replace the older, secondhand, home-built chiller unit with new, more energy efficient and reliable unit for our most sensitive animal habitat.
2. New canister filter for the
DONATED by an anonymous donor
The Earthshine Nature Programs (ENP) outreach team visits many local camps, schools, private organizations and public festivals in order to fulfill its nature and science education mission. ENP’s Executive Director Steve O’Neil also has a full time partnership with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina where he teaches twice daily, three hour long science based environmental education, wildlife and nature conservation and renewable energy education classes for the student populations from both schools. Although the schools supply him with the use of a building and many wonderful educational materials and training, Steve always tries to go above and beyond to supply what he believes is the “icing on the cake” with more interesting and unique educational materials for many of his class programs and special projects. He covers the cost of these educational offerings via funds raised through ENP programming and often out of pocket. These items then become property of ENP and will be used in outreach activities and classes while Steve is employed by Trails for many, many years to come. However, in the unlikely event something changes with his teaching position with Trails, the 501c3 will then own these materials and supplies and Steve will then be able to take his educational materials with him to another education institution and continue programming at that location.
by Executive Director Steve O'Neil
This unit replaced our ageing and very energy consumptive data projector and 1980’s era movie screen with an energy star listed HD TV that we will use for all data projection and documentaries shown in class. This unit will be connected to the AmScope microscope (listed below) and will allow an entire class to view what the microscope is "seeing." It will also be connected to our computer for screening educational material in class.
DONATED! In Juy 2016 not one but four new computers were donated by Bob Harris of Black bear solar Institute and Siemens Corporation.--WOW!!
THANK YOU Bob Haris, BBSI and Siemens!!
These units will replace an older personal (2006 model) laptop that Steve has been using as the primary class/presentation computer for the last three years as well as the data logger computer that relays temperature and video data to our remote habitat and security camera monitoring systems and Steve's primary office computer.
From pond water to printed circuits this amazing microscope will be connected to the flatscreen TV allowing the entire class to view what the microscope is viewing.
AmScope microscope with digital camera attachment model# SM-1TSW2-L6W-5M
4. LUXOR MB7240WW (or comparable) Reversible Magnetic Whiteboard
Field Science/Wildlife Conservation Project Upgrades
Trails Science/ENP is conducting unique wildlife conservation focused student/citizen science field research projects. These projects are working to learn as much as possible about the natural movements of wild Eastern box turtles and Rat snakes that live in association with areas frequently used and modified by humans. These projects serve to educate our students and other participants (and viewers/readers via our web based outreach) on the biology, life history, and intrinsic beauty and value of these often very misunderstood creatures and their important interconnections to healthy ecosystems, a healthy earth, and healthy humans. These projects are collecting meaningful, scientific data on the ecology and life history of these animals. This data will directly benefit the conservation of these species for many years to come.
1. Upgrade radio receiver.
Our existing radio tracking study equipment is in need of upgrading. Our radio is over 15 years old and will be replaced with a new radio receiver. The receiver old unit will become a back-up unit in the event of a malfunction of the primary radio.
2. Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Meter
We would like to acquire a Kestrel 4500 Pocket Weather Meter to allow higher quality weather data measurement at the time of each study animal’s location.
Earthshine Nature Programs and Trails Science is working to develop an environmental education classroom and wildlife rehabilitation facility that is powered by the sun! Our goal with this project is to drastically reduce our carbon footprint and dependence on fossil fuels by taking advantage of the most renewable energy source – our nearest star.
This 5.3 kilowatt photovoltaic solar array will not only supply our classroom with renewably generated electric power but it will be a bold teaching tool for the students of Trails Carolina, The Academy at Trails Carolina, and our visitors. It will offer our students a myriad of learning opportunities in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) education, environmental education, and conservation courses. It will also provide web interface technologies that will allow the system to be monitored in real-time by students in class or from anywhere on the planet!
Once online, this solar farm will not only provide much of the power used by the science classroom but it will also provide enough solar generated electricity to power our nonprofit outreach vehicle, an all-electric Nissan Leaf.
Our students and visitors will benefit greatly from the applied use of renewable energy technologies in class by experiencing the first hand functioning of real world, renewable energy applications such as solar-electric power, and electric vehicles. In our unique solar powered science classroom they will bust through the negative myths often associated with renewable energy and electric vehicles by assisting with the maintenance of, and studying of the most up-to-date technologies in class. After leaving Trails our graduates will be more up to date, connected, and ready to accept the reality of, and make use of, sustainable clean energy power and transportation systems to power their lives and their futures.
To make this grand vision a reality we have partnered with Black Bear Solar Institute (BBSI) in Towensend, Tennessee with the goal to install a state of the art off-grid solar array that will allow the Trails Science and Nature Center to one day become fully self-powered by the sun!
The students and I have already begun site preparations and will begin installing the solar array in the early fall of 2016 and depending on granting/donation support we hope to have the system online and operational by spring 2017.
Tours of the facility offered by appointment only.
The following outline shows what components we have already received and the yet to be sourced components. Two of the three primary components needed to make this project a reality have already been donated – they include;
1.The Solar Panels. 20 240watt solar modules – Donated by FLS Energy, a local utility scale solar installation company from Asheville, NC. Approximate value at time of donation: $10,000
2.The charge controllers. Two (2) Morningstar 600 Volt charge controllers with DC disconnects – Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,600. These devices will monitor the output of the solar panels and the needs of the batteries and regulate the power as the batteries need it. They are “smart” devices so we will be able to monitor their status from anywhere with an internet connection.
3.Electrical Panels, Wiring and Conduit for Solar Control System. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $600.00
4.Aluminum Racking for solar panels. Donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Towensend Tennessee. Value: $3,922
Remaining Needs for Solar Project
1.The battery storage – yet to be acquired. This project will rely on Trojan L16 AGM 6 volt batteries to store power for use at night and on cloudy days. Estimated cost: $6,900*
*This is our cost through a supplier our solar installer Bob Harris is associated with. If you would like to support us with a donation of these batteries please contact us. If you would like to donate funds to cover the cost of these batteries annonymously please do so via the PayPal link on our Donate Page.
2. The power inverter – yet to be acquired. The remaining primary component for this system to work as planned is the power inverter. This device ties everything together, converts DC to AC power and is the “brains” of the system. Need: 1 Outback Power VFXR3648A Vented 120V A Model Inverter/Charger. Cost: $2,099.95 via this link or via Amazon.
A note from Executive Director Steve O'Neil
I am working very hard to complete all of these upgrades and enhancements under my very small wildlife, nature and science conservation, education and outreach organization Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3) (Tax ID 27-3465594) which is supported primarily through monetary, resource, and time donations from concerned individuals just like you. To cover the remaining costs I am working on acquiring donations from any and all sources that would like to support us.
Please consider supporting us in any way you are able. If you are unable to support us at this time please, if you know of any possible monetary or component donation sources and/or granting options please do share this document with them.
Every little bit helps us get closer to our grand goals that will serve to upgrade our education animal habitats, classroom, and research equipment, and power our education facility and outreach vehicle via the endless energy from the sun and most importantly – educate and inspire middle and high school aged children and adults on the proper respect and understanding of wildlife and wild places and the wise and responsible application of clean energy sources that we can all use to provide for, and empower our shared futures.
I am passionate about sharing my love, curiosity, and respect for nature, wildlife and wild places with everyone I meet – especially my classroom and outreach programming students and participants. It is the students and children of today that will make the big wildlife, nature, science, and energy decisions of the future. It is my goal to give them the best possible exposure to the best ethics and best practices of these most important disciplines so they will be better informed and ready to change the world for the better as they mature.
I feel that by demonstrating what is possible, and working together toward the common goal of creating and maintaining a better world for all living things today and into the future, we will be able to make all of our dreams come true for the betterment and health of us all and in support of the planet that supports us.
Executive Director of Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3)
Naturalist with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina
134 E. Dogwood Lane
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
Please, support us in any way you are able and if you know of any possible monetary or resource donation sources and/or granting options please do let us know as every little bit helps us get that much closer to our goal of upgrading our programs and more importantly, to educate and inspire thousands of middle and high school aged children in not only developing an interest and a love for the sciences, wildlife, nature and renewable energy, but also respecting and understanding themselves, nature, wildlife and their connections to our shared earth.
Please contact Steve if you would like to make a donation or contribution to our cause.
If you would rather donate anonymously you may do so via PayPal by visiting our donate page or by mailing a check to;
Steve O'Neil - Earthshine Nature Programs.
134 E. Dogwood Ln.
Pisgah Forest, NC 28768
If you would like a receipt, please do let us know and we will send one out to you ASAP.
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