Tag Archives: solar

Earthshine Nature Programs To Hold Fundraiser In Support Of Our Classroom Solar Energy Project

2 Apr

Earthshine Nature Programs* (ENP) is a volunteer operated wildlife and environmental education and conservation and renewable energy outreach education nonprofit (501c3) based out of Pisgah Forest, NC. It is operated by its founder and Executive Director Steve O’Neil.  Steve is on a mission to connect people with nature and wildlife and in doing so he works to foster a renewed curiosity in the natural world that supports us all.  

Through his hands-on wildlife and nature outreach programming at camps, schools, birthday parties and special events in the region, to his unique experiential citizen science based projects and experiences in his classes, Steve strives to educate and inspire his students and people of all ages to get excited about nature, wildlife, the sciences, and above all else – caring for and becoming better stewards of the fragile natural environment that supports all of us.

Steve is also a full time naturalist and environmental science educator at Trails Carolina and The Academy at Trails Carolina near Brevard, NC where he and his students and interns care for a menagerie of animal ambassadors, most of which are ex-pets and non-releasable wildlife.  Some of these animals were once wild but after surviving run-ins with cars, dogs and habitat loss, were rehabilitated by Steve (a NC licensed wildlife rehabilitator), his students, and volunteer staff.  These animals are housed in the rustic log cabin Science and Nature Education Center classroom that is also the office of Steve’s nonprofit. 


Gollum the Eastern Hellbender – one of Steve’s animal ambassadors.

Steve is an avid supporter of renewable energy – especially solar – and he supports the great need for trusting the findings of science to facilitate the final goal of transitioning of our society away from polluting fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and renewably powered electric vehicles for the sake of our health, the health of our shared environment, and future generations of life on Planet Earth.

Working toward that grand goal, over the last few months Steve and his students, and Pisgah Forest resident and hero Jim Hardy, finished construction of a 5.3kW off-grid solar power station that will soon power Steve’s log cabin classroom and ENP nonprofit office. 


This array was constructed from donated components and in-kind donations from generous local individuals and businesses as well as great support and expertise from Bob Harris of Black Bear Solar Institute in Townsend, Tennessee.  

View the construction of our solar array in the video below. 

This student built solar array is now structurally complete; however, it is yet to go online and produce power for the classroom due to lack of support to fund the remaining components – the solar storage batteries.  It is for this reason that Steve will be holding a fundraiser on April 24th at: 


Bring the family and friends and join us as Oskar Blues hosts their Making a Difference Monday fundraiser for

Earthshine Nature Programs 

Between the hours of noon and 8:00pm Oskar Blues will donate 30% of taproom sales to Earthshine Nature Programs!  Proceeds from this fundraiser will support the final phase of the construction of our student built and maintained classroom solar array project. Learn more about this community supported renewable energy project by reading the blog posting on my previous blog post linked below:


Learn all about our wildlife education, rehabilitation and outreach programming and interact with many of our friendly education animals including Rosie, Rex and Charlie the Tortoises, Ashley the Red Tailed Boa Constrictor, Fiona the Ball Python and Piggy the Western Hognose snake.

Special Guests! 

Peter Kipp of Curtis Wright Falconry with his birds of prey!  Get your photo made with a bird of prey sitting on your hand!


Meet Walter Kidd of Serpentarium Magic and Peewee the 22 foot long python!


Meet members of the Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle Club  and learn all about and possibly take a ride in an electric car! The Blue Ridge Electric Vehicle club will have several sleek, fast, EVs on display including the Nissan Leaf, Tesla Model S, BMW i3, Chevrolet Volt and the all new Chevrolet Bolt!


Learn about how you can go solar with Warren’s Solar Superheroes!


Browse local nature and wildlife themed art, photography and jewelry for sale by Steve AtkinsKathy Wright Hardy,  and Christina Ramsey.


Explore our fundraiser table of unique items and if you have any items you would like to donate to the sale table please do contact us or just bring them the day of. 


Live Music!

Local Beer!

Great Eats provided by the Oskar Blues Chubwagon! 

If you are unable to attend, or would like to donate anonymously, please visit our donate page at: 
www.earthshinenature.com/donate or donate to our GoFundMe campaign.


Snail mail your donation to 

Earthshine Nature Programs 

134 E. Dogwood Ln. 

Pisgah Forest, NC 28768

All proceeds from this fundraiser will support the completion of our classroom solar project and are tax deductible. 

Questions? Contact Steve at: earthshine.nature@gmail.com

The ENP website: www.earthshinenature.com

The ENP Blog: www.earthshinenature.wordpress.com

The ENP Youtube Channel: www.youtube.com/user/snakesteve68 

Facebook: Earthshine Nature Programs and The Blue Ridge EV Club 


Steve and a Snapping turtle friend he rehabilitated and released in its native habitat. 

*Steve O’Neil founded Earthshine Nature Programs when he was working as outdoor guide and naturalist at Earthshine Discovery Center in Lake Toxaway in 2010.  In 2013 ENP incorporated as a 501c3 and became a separate business entity from Earthshine Discovery Center yet ENP kept the name Earthshine as a reminder of its humble beginnings at the wonderful Earthshine Discovery Center.  The name Earthshine is foremost in our mission because we believe that stewardship of the EARTH, and all the life contained within this fragile oasis in space, should SHINE brightly above all other issues for without clean air, water and environmental balance  – we have nothing.



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