Localizing California Waters 2016 Conference

Evergreen Lodge is proud to be hosting the Localizing California Water Conference again this year. This eye-opening conference serves as a hands-on intensive for water conservation and reuse on both personal and commercial levels.

Newcomers to the water conservation scene and expert conservationists alike are invited to submerge themselves in 4 days jammed packed with seminars, workshops and panels featuring over 40 speakers. Take a look at the agenda online.

Space is limited but there are still a few seats available, with registration options ranging from $175 per day or $250 for a four-day pass. Both Evergreen Lodge and our sister property, Rush Creek Lodge, are extending special lodging rates to conference attendees (see details below).

Best of all, between sessions you can enjoy all of the amenities at both lodges, including live music, yoga, therapeutic massage, hot tub stargazing, and a wealth of other opportunities for fun and relaxation. Plus, our friendly Recreation team is here to help you make the most of your time with additional adventures in and around Yosemite.

Always Adapting

Evergreen Lodge has been part of the Yosemite landscape for almost 100 years. As you look at the history of Evergreen Lodge it is fun to see how the lodge has adapted to the times and the needs of our area and visitors.  Starting out as a stop along the Hetch Hetchy Railroad during the construction of the O’Shaughnessy Dam in 1921, then making its mark as a favorite local and tourist hangout with a hearty restaurant, full service gas station and lively dance patio, Evergreen’s constantly evolves to meet the demands of the ever changing world around us.  The gas station has given way to electric charging stations and bike stands, and the dance patio faded into the past as a wealth of other activities and entertainment have made their way onto the scene.

As part of its environmental mission, the Evergreen has been focusing on water conservation for many years. The main source of water for most structures in our region are reservoirs that have been collecting water for ages. Local experts jokingly refer to it as dinosaur water!  Since the Evergreen also relies on this type of well water, finding ways to adapt our water systems to a more environmentally conscious system was a must.

It only felt right that our owners of the Evergreen Lodge pair up with local water conservationist, Regina Hirsch and her brilliant crew at Sierra Watershed Progressive to make sure we are using our water in the most efficient manner possible. What to do, how to do it and why bother – important considerations Regina helped us navigate in our journey to create a more environmentally-friendly and sustainable business, and make sure we’re doing our part to alleviate the stresses of the drought.

The Sierra Watershed Progressive adapted our guest cabins, staff housing and commercial laundry to recycle roughly 1.8 million gallons of water annually in 2010. Being one of the largest permitted greywater installations in Tuolumne County at the time, Evergreen Lodge’s system has served as a case study for the potential of larger, commercial greywater systems, as well as operations of greywater systems in colder four season environments.  

Regina and her crew upped the ante and implemented what we have been doing here at Evergreen Lodge on a much larger scale when building their greywater system at Rush Creek Lodge, our brand new sister property that opened in June 2016.  The Sierra Watershed Progressive put together a series of gravity fed irrigation and reuse systems that  allow us to recycle 3.8 million gallons of water annually, using zero energy to irrigate 95% of the landscape, and keeping Rush Creek Lodge’s carbon footprint to a minimum.

Again, much like at Evergreen, Regina has taken the property’s 20 acres of hillside woods and turned it into not only a functional water reuse system, but also an artistry of local and native plants that represent our area and the Sierra Nevada beautifully. This stands as quite a feat, making it the largest known greywater system in California, and taking us one giant step forward in our efforts to alleviate the stresses of the drought.

Conference Overview

Finding out how to use water responsibly and tackle the drought head-on is the cornerstone for the Localizing California Waters Conference. Meet water experts from diverse backgrounds covering stormwater, rainwater, greywater, blackwater, California Water Reuse Policy and watershed management – all integral parts of preserving this precious resource.

Some of these experts, like Olivia Wright of the Sierra Watershed Progressive, have helped us here at Evergreen Lodge to implement systems, train employees and inform our guests on efforts of responsible water use.

“This conference will give you insight into permitting, actual builds and the rebates regarding modifying your home to conserve water. It’s also a great opportunity to get involved in developing ideas for policy regarding water conservation.”

–Olivia Wright of Sierra Watershed Progressive

We hope to see you here at the conference, and we encourage you to help us spread the word about this meaningful work!


Regina shares more details in this video about Rush Creek’s system.


Watch Here