black rock playa with some water

Updates from the Black Rock – May 2019

It’s been a beautiful spring in the Black Rock. For a moment Desert Peach bloomed and ruled the steppes but was quickly replaced by Arrowleaf Balsamwood. Now we look for paintbrush and lupine.

Season change brings flowers and housekeeping. We assessed our visitor center and have renovations in the works. We dropped in on Guru Road and did some some much needed restoration. We celebrated Cinco de Mayo by cleaning up 6 miles of highway 447 (and had some rocking pork tacos). Thanks to all our volunteers who made these projects possible and fun.


Change happens (except with vending machines). We said goodbye to our lovely and talented Americorp member, Claire Schmotzer, and we welcome in our new member, Richard Quist.

Richard designed his own electric bike and rode from Oregon to Reno to attend Burning Man in 2013. With a background in earth sciences and a passion for conservation we are lucky to have him.

Artist in Residence Selection

We are also thrilled to announce Mary Kenney and Jack Hubert as our 2019 Artists in Residence. We can’t wait to see what two weeks of exploration will inspire. 

Black Rock Rendezvous

As the water on the playa recedes our plans for Black Rock Rendezvous move ahead. This Memorial Day celebration and weekend of stewardship projects marks a 20th year Anniversary for Friends. With Nevada Outdoor School rocking the kids camp and BLM, Friends of Nevada Wilderness and Friends of Black Rock leading tours and presenting on topics from Bighorn Sheep to Birding—This is going to be a great year. 

Check out our Rendezvous webpage for the most up to date information and Click here to RSVP.

A personal aside: five years ago, around this time, we were saying goodbye to a family member—our  Golden Retriever, Zoey. We paid a princely sum to do dialysis which earned her three pain free days and headed to the Black Rock. We had the time of our lives. We hiked Soldier Meadows, and winded our way thru Little Rock Canyon and swam in Pyramid lake. She passed away a few days later.

This is the year my family will scatter her ashes and sing Zoey’s praises. 

The desert is magic. A place for celebration, commemoration and a catalyst for change. Come see what it has in store for you.

Stacey Wittek,
FBRHR Executive Director