Sierra Streams Institute to hold open house Saturday |

Sierra Streams Institute to hold open house Saturday

Sierra Streams Institute will hold an open house from 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday with the aim of showing the community what it is currently working on, as well as its new home, according to the organization’s executive director, Jeff Lauder.

The open house will be at 117 New Mohawk Road in Nevada City.

The organization’s prior office and laboratory were destroyed last year in the Jones Fire. Both were located in Madrone Hall at the Sierra Friends Center’s campus.

Lauder said Thursday that, in the aftermath of that loss, Sierra Streams’ immediate priority was to get its water quality monitoring program back up and running.

With support from the state Water Resources Control Board, borrowed and donated equipment from other local groups, and a space to use on Sierra College’s campus, it only took around a month to set the program back up, he said. This was made possible “all through community support,” according to Lauder, who said people in the area reached out at the time, offering help by way of an extra machine or instrument.

While searching for a new permanent space and reassessing how to maintain its various programs, Sierra Streams continued much of its work remotely. It also underwent a change in leadership during that time, leading to Lauder becoming executive director.

“Part of this whole process has been, now, not just a transition physically, but also a transition in the organization,” he said.

After finding the new space, there was still some work to do. From knocking out some of the building’s walls and removing carpeting, to duct work and rerouted plumbing, building work began in June, leaving the building customized for Sierra Streams to run its micro-invertebrate and in-house water chemistry laboratories.

Almost to the day, said Lauder, one year passed between Sierra Streams Institute receiving confirmation that its office at the time was destroyed and staff walking into their new Nevada City work space.

On Saturday’s event, Lauder said it is intended as a sort of reintroduction to the community Sierra Streams has worked in for 20 years.

As a community science organization, he said, it works with and depends on volunteers, who get involved with its work with areas such as water quality, insect collection, and forest health.

Lauder said attendees on Saturday can arrive at any point during the three-hour open house, during which multiple small group tours will be led through the new space. Information and discussion about the organization and its several different programs will also be held outside on its covered porch.

Victoria Penate is a staff writer with The Union. She can be reached at


What: Sierra Streams Institute Open House

When: 3 to 6 p.m. Saturday

Where: 117 New Mohawk Road, Suite H, Nevada City

More info:

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