Wish List 2016 – please help us continue to make it all happen!

21 Sep


Our tax ID: 27-3465594

Updated 9-23-16

It takes a lot of work to keep a non-profit dedicated to wildlife conservation, rescue and rehabilitation,  science and renewable energy education running smoothly.

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 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 deductible 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  , 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 ambassadors for their species, which is listed as special concern over most parts of its range.  They are in dire need of life support system upgrades for their 125 gallon mountain stream habitat.  The components we need are listed below with links to sources where they may be acquired. 

 New aquarium water chiller for Eastern Hellbender Habitat


Hellbenders have strict habitat requirements and a constant cool water temperature is at the top of the list.  This unit will replace the older, secondhand, home-built, age unknown, chiller unit with this new, more energy efficient and reliable unit for our most sensitive animal habitat.

Our chiller of choice would be this model  or you can donate a similar unit via our wishlist on Amazon.com

*For more on the Hellbender watch the beautiful short film The Last Dragons.* 

New canister filter for the Hellbender Habitat

Hellbenders need exceptionally clean water so an excellent water filtration system is a must. Our current filter is over 10 years old and suffers from occasional age related issues.  


 UPDATE: DONATED by an anonymous donor


Classroom supplies 

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 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 goes 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 supplies and Steve will then be able to take his educational materials with him to another education institution and continue programming at that location.  It is for these reasons Steve is seeking the below donations to his classroom environment.

48″ HD Flatscreen “Smart” TV



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 also be connected to the AmScope microscope (listed below) allowing an entire class to view what the microscope is”seeing.”  It will also be connected to one of the previously donated computers and ISS Above unit for screening educational material in class.

“Dissection” style microscope with HD camera and USB connectivity



This amazing microscope will be connected to the flat screen TV allowing the entire class

to view what the microscope is viewing.

AmScope microscope with digital camera attachment

model# SM-1TSW2-L6W-5M or donate a similar unit via our wishlist on Amazon.com

ISS Above 


“The ISS-Above is a fun and educational device that connects people to the International Space Station, and specifically to the humans on board. Our mission is to bring this magnificent human scientific achievement into your home, schools and offices and to inspire awe in the beauty and fragility of the planet we call home.”


The view from the live camera aboard the International Space Station

UPDATE: DONATED in June 2016

by an anonymous donor.




LUXOR MB7240WW (or comparable) Reversible Magnetic Whiteboard or you can donate a similar unit via our wishlist on Amazon.com


Acer Laptop Computer


UPDATE:  DONATED!  In July 2016 not one but FOUR new computers were donated by Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute and Siemens Corporation.–WOW!!

THANK YOU Bob Harris, BBSI and Siemens!! 

Outdoor Classroom Gazebo 

We  would really love to have an outdoor space for our students to engage in nature study, quiet contemplation, and meetings with therapists and visiting naturalists.  The below gazebo is similar to what we have in mind but we are open to anything.


UPDATE: DONATED by the Carnahans in August 2016!


Field Science/Natural Resource Management and  

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.

Tracking Catherine!

This data will directly benefit the conservation of these species for many years to come and more importantly, inspire young people to respect and love wildlife and nature and want to preserve and protect it forever.

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.

 You may also donate this unit using our wishlist on Amazon.com

GPS Unit


Our current GPS unit is over 10 years old and not very accurate so we are in need an up to date GPS for our reptile conservation programs.

 You may also donate this unit using our wishlist on Amazon.com


Our most ambitious project so far!


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 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.  That is our Leaf in the below photo at the Pisgah Astronomical Research Institute (PARI).


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 by mid-November if not before.

The following outline shows what components we have already received and the yet to be sourced components.  Four of the six primary components needed to make this project a reality have already been donated – they include;

1.The Solar Panels. 22 240watt solar modules – Donated by FLS Energy, a local utility scale solar installation company from Asheville, NC.  Approximate value: $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 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 Volt golf cart batteries to store power for use at night and on cloudy days.  Need: 24 Trojan T145 EHPT 6 volt batteries.


Donate via our wish list on Amazon or special ordered locally from Batteries+Bulbs in Asheville to save on shipping costs.

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 Aims 6000 Watt 48V Pure Sine Power Inverter / Grid Charger / Transfer Switch

 Via: http://invertersrus.com/product/aims-picoglf60w48v120v/

 You may also donate this unit using our wishlist on Amazon.com

Other needs to make it all a reality.

Hidden Costs: $2,500  – these are the unseen costs that will come up during construction and upgrades to the ENP/Trails Science and Nature Center.  Should this not be needed immediately, it will be deposited into the ENP account and used for future needs.



Primary Supporters of Our Solar Project

Black Bear Solar Institute

Bob Harris – Executive Director


Bob Harris: bob.harris@blackbearsolarinstitute.org

*Donated many of the components needed to construct this system and new, energy efficient computers for the classroom and providing pro bono guidance, technical expertise, and installation assistance.

FLS Energy


Frank Marshall: frank@flsenergy.com

*Donated 22 new 240 watt solar modules.

Jim Hardy

Master carpenter, passionate educator, and founder of Charge Transylvania County Providing construction and installation assistance.

Email: jh3@citcom.net

 Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization

 The Academy at Trails Carolina

Supports the project and its great value to the students and the organization

Jewell Mimms donated $1000 – THANK YOU!!

After our classroom’s solar energy project is complete, the students and I will create an informational plaque that outlines the benefits of the array, the student groups that worked to make it happen, and all of the project’s supporters that worked with us to make it a reality.  This plaque will forever be proudly displayed on the array for all future students and visitors to see.

A note from ENP 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 grants and donations from any and all sources that would like to support us.

This is the master needs list that I would like to see become reality for the betterment of our students, outreach program participants, and education animals now, and for many years into the future.

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 animal habitats, classroom, and research equipment, and power the ENP/Trails Science and Nature Center and outreach vehicle via the endless energy from the sun and most importantly – educate and inspire thousands of middle and high school aged children and adults on the proper respect and understanding of wildlife and wild places and the responsible, clean energy sources 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, and it is my goal to give them the best possible exposure to the best ethics and practices and leading renewable energy technologies so that they will be better informed and ready to change the world for the better.  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 of us all and for the earth that supports us.  


Steve O’Neil

Executive Director of Earthshine Nature Programs (501c3)


Naturalist with Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina


Email: http://www.earthshine.nature@gmail.com







2 Responses to “Wish List 2016 – please help us continue to make it all happen!”

  1. Stratton Andrew 09/23/2016 at 7:52 am #

    Please provide Tax ID.

    • snakesteve 09/23/2016 at 11:42 am #

      Hello Mr. Stratton,

      My Tax ID is 27-3465594


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