Nevada Brownfields Workshops Celebrate Past & Future of Silver-State Brownfields
Nevada is a state of extremes. From the hustle and bustle of Las Vegas to ‘The Loneliest Road in America’, Highway 50 which stretches from Baker to Dayton in Northern Nevada, passing through several small towns on its way across the Great Basin Desert. The state has some of the most rural areas in the United States, boom and bust mining towns, and down to earth farming and ranching communities. It also is an international destination for the shows and entertainment of Vegas, and its scenic beauty such as Lake Tahoe. But above everything else, Nevada is home to great people from great communities, who are doing what they can to make their communities the best they can be.
As a long time resident of Nevada, I undertook the task of organizing the Center for Creative Land Recycling’s (CCLR) first-of-its-kind workshops in the state. In partnership with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Nevada Division of Environmental Protection (NDEP), CCLR recently presented two Brownfields Workshops in Henderson on Sept. 7 and Carson on Sept. 13. Both workshops were highly successful events, attracting 103 attendees. There were 52 participants in Carson City and 51 in Henderson, highlighting the strong interest and engagement in brownfields redevelopment and environmental remediation efforts in Nevada.
Both workshops were held in buildings that were previously brownfield sites. In Henderson, the Silver Knights Arena was built on the former Henderson Pavilion, a 40,000 sq-ft canopy-style structure that was the first open-air amphitheater in Nevada. Meanwhile, the beautiful, historic Carson Brewery Arts Center was constructed in 1865 as (you guessed it) a brewery! Carson Brewery is described as the “West’s first microbrewery.” In 1975, a group of artists purchased the space and began restoration efforts.
Each workshop featured four informative sessions designed to provide valuable insights and knowledge to participants. Speakers included subject matter experts, as well as representatives from agencies with an existing brownfields program, or who had been a recipient of a targeted grant from EPA. The sessions included: Brownfields 101, From Cleanup to Reuse, Communities of Engagement and a Hot Topic session on innovative approaches to brownfields and their reuse including renewable energy, affordable housing and economic development.
The success of these workshops can be attributed in part to the support of various sponsors who contributed to the workshops’ organization and execution. Notable sponsors included Stantec, Converse Consultants, Inc., BEC Environmental, UES and Broadbent.
Overall, the Nevada Brownfields Workshops showcased the commitment of both public and private stakeholders to address and revitalize contaminated sites, fostering sustainable development and environmental stewardship in the state. These workshops served as a valuable platform for knowledge sharing and networking within the Nevada brownfields community.