The Tyger-Enoree River Alliance (TERA) is working on a clean energy project combined with a clean water project, and the collection of bottle caps could win the alliance a $50,000 grant from Pepsi.
The TERA is a non-profit organization with the mission of promoting the health of the Tyger and Enoree Rivers in the following ways:
- Discouraging litter. General litter pick up and awareness along the rivers. Those using the rivers and corridor are asked to first, “leave only foot prints.”
- Ensuring water quality. Monitoring the quality of the water in local rivers.
- Encouraging the planting of trees and protection of the plants of the Watershed.
- Protecting aquatic life. Fish, reptiles amphibians, waterfowl and aquatic plants are important indicators of the health of the river.
- Being active advocates, socially for the river’s health.
- Promoting public awareness of the river’s special value and the ways in which they can be protected.
One project of focus for TERA is the construction of Camp TERA.
Camp TERA is a proposed clean energy/clean water camp on a four-acre site embedded in the Sumter National Forest. Part of TERA’s charter plan to serve the Tyger and Enoree rivers includes guided excursions in the Sumter National Forest and on the Tyger and Enoree Rivers, providing exciting and educational programs for everyone with an interest in local rivers and forests.
“Summer youth programs, team building programs, guided eco tours, hiking, canoeing and biking activities are all ideal for the location and can serve to bring the sort of awareness that is important to raising the profile of these rivers as the outstanding natural resource that they are,” said Jon Durham of the TERA. “In keeping with our values and mission, TERA has proposed to install a base camp to serve it’s mission and to design and implement this base camp as a clean energy model.”
The proposed camp would serve 10-12 improved campsites with a bath facility and picnic shelter. The modest energy needs for the camp would be met with an off-grid system of solar collection with an ethanol fired generation back up. Ethanol production would be performed on site with locally-grown peaches.
TERA’s use plan has been approved by the U.S. Forestry Service for activities.
Pepsi Refresh Grant
The TERA was selected in the random drawing of projects to be included in the Sept. 2011 Pepsi Refresh America Grant Competition, putting the alliance in the running for a $50,000 grant from Pepsi to fund Camp TERA. The grant allows for online voting during the month of September only, but TERA can still submit votes from yellow “Power Vote” bottle caps found on select Pepsi products.
“I have collected about 500 at this point, and I know at least one other supporter has collected ‘about a gallon ice cream bucket,’” Durham said. “You know you’ve been fooling with bottle caps too long when you know that ‘about a gallon ice cream bucket’ is around 300 bottle caps.”
Durham said he is pleased with the cooperation TERA has received from a couple of local recycling centers and hopes to round up several hundred more caps.
“The best results come from large commercial/industrial work places where employees will bring a cap or two a day,” Durham said. “An even better place is anywhere that plastics are separated and recycled if you can talk your way into perusing the plastic.
“We already have groups signing up for the first organized trips next spring,” he added. “It would be an outstanding leap forward to win this grant from Pepsi and have our permanent base camp prepared for the first season.”
For more information about the Pepsi Refresh America Grant Competition, visit www.refresheverything.com.
For more information about TERA, visit www.tygerenoree.com.