The Cherokee Nation will unveil today the tribe’s first rural electric transit buses – among the first in the country – and first electric school bus, which is the first in the state, as part of its efforts to reduce the tribe’s carbon footprint.
The Cherokee Nation celebrates Earth Day by announcing several key initiatives with events planned each day next week.
Today at 12:30 p.m. at the Cherokee Casino Tahlequah electric bus charging station in the northeast parking lot, the announcement of the electric buses will be held.
“Reducing our carbon footprint and dependency on fossil fuels is a global problem but one that Cherokee Nation can help to solve,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “We are deeply committed to clean energy and sustainable community projects such as these that not only benefit our citizens and neighbors years into the future, but also make good economic sense and help our environment. Our goal is to reduce our carbon emissions 25 percent by 2027 and we will get there making more of these clean energy investments.”
The rural transit buses will take employees from Tahlequah to the Catoosa area and Stilwell to West Siloam Springs. The electric school bus is for student transportation at Sequoyah High School.
The week’s activities surrounding Earth Day include:
Tuesday, April 20 – The Bee Conservancy has awarded Cherokee Nation a grant for two pollinator houses to be erected at the tribe’s heirloom garden at 4 p.m. in Tahlequah, in addition to the 16 bee pollinator homes as part of the initiative of First Lady January Hoskin to boost the population of bee pollinators while improving the environment.
Wednesday, April 21 – An e-waste and battery recycling event will be held from 7:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. behind the Cherokee Nation W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex at 22361 S. Bald Hill Road in Tahlequah.
Thursday, April 22 on Earth Day —A solar panel roof installation will kick off at 1 p.m. at the Mid-County Community Building in the Peavine Community of Stilwell. Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. will also read an Earth Day proclamation that celebrates the tribe’s clean energy initiatives such as investing millions of dollars into sustainable communities by providing solar panel roofs at Cherokee community buildings to lower utility costs and provide renewable energy upgrades.
Friday, April 23 – A free, drive-through tree giveaway to hand out 500 trees on a first come, first serve basis will be held at the Cherokee Nation heirloom garden next to the Cherokee Nation Election Commission at 17763 S. Muskogee Ave. in Tahlequah from noon to 2 p.m.