TRPA Recognizes Lake Spirit Award Winners

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From left to right: Joanne Marchetta (TRPA), Beth Quandt, Benjamin Fish, Lisa Wallace, Cyrus Miller, Casey Beyer (TRPA)

Lake Tahoe, Stateline, NV – The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency presented Lake Spirit Awards to four people who possess a strong personal commitment to preserving Lake Tahoe at today’s Governing Board meeting.

The Lake Spirit Awards honor people making real progress at restoring Lake Tahoe. Created in 2011, the awards are a way to recognize those individuals whose passion for Tahoe results in progress and environmental improvements.

“This year’s winners show amazing commitment by going above and beyond to protect our region,” said Devin Middlebrook, environmental education specialist at TRPA. “When it comes to creating environmental improvements on the ground, everyone has a role to play.”

Awards were given in two categories, exemplary citizen and exemplary agency representative. This year’s winners are:

Exemplary Citizen

Ben Fish_LS2015

Ben Fish, South Shore


South Shore: Ben Fish is president of both the Tahoe Area Mountain Bike Association and Bijou Bike Park Association. Through his work, Ben has led hundreds of volunteers over thousands of hours to build and maintain bike trails around the lake while advocating for sustainable trail use. In addition to his advocacy for the mountain bike community, Ben was the impetus behind the Bijou Bike Park, which has quickly become a hub for recreation in the community. Ben works closely with a wide range of public and private partners to create projects that benefit the entire community.



Cyrus Miller_LS2015

Cyrus Miller, North Shore

North Shore: Cyrus Miller is an Eagle Scout candidate from Troop 228 of the Boy Scouts of America. Although Cyrus lives in the Bay Area, he regularly visits the North Shore of Lake Tahoe with his family. On one of his visits, he noticed an old rusted pipe laying on the drought-exposed lakebed just south of Tahoe City. Cyrus decided to make removing this pipe his Eagle Scout candidacy project. After seven months of planning with local agencies and property owners, Cyrus and the rest of his troop spent two days last June removing the pipe section by section from the lake. In total, the scouts removed 730 feet of old pipe and restored the lakebed to a more natural state.




Exemplary Agency Representative

Beth Quandt_LS2015

Beth Quandt, South Shore

South Shore: Beth Quandt works as the science program coordinator with the Lake Tahoe Unified School District. Beth is the lead organizer for the South Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (STEEC), which implements hands-on outdoor science programing in local schools. With more than 20 local partners, the organization and leadership demonstrated by Beth is critical in implementing science programs. Her passion for educating and inspiring local students to become stewards of their environment is priceless. The programs that Beth Quandt leads serve roughly 14,500 students, teachers, and volunteers each year.




Lisa Wallace_LS2015

Lisa Wallace, North Shore

North Shore: Lisa Wallace is executive director for the Truckee River Watershed Council. For 20 years, Lisa has worked to protect, restore, and enhance the Truckee River Watershed. She has guided the council’s efforts by implementing hundreds of projects, leading thousands of volunteers, and fostering public-private partnerships. Lisa also played a key role in the implementation of the Truckee River Operating Agreement, which affects all waterbodies and water users. This ability to build consensus across jurisdictional boundaries is critical to strengthening local communities and protecting the environment.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency leads the cooperative effort to preserve, restore, and enhance the unique natural and human environment of the Lake Tahoe Region, while improving local communities, and people’s interactions with our irreplaceable environment. For additional information, contact Devin Middlebrook, at 775-589-5230 or by email at