Thank you for your interest in Swan Island. We have met our goal and work on the island has begun. If you have questions about this project, please contact Torrey Hood at or (775) 682-6544.

Swan Island

Raised toward our $15,000 Goal
211 Donors
Project has ended
Project ended on April 28, at 11:59 PM PDT
Project Owners

Swan Island

Swan IslandNEW STRETCH GOAL: $18,000


We've officially reached our goal of $15,000. Thank you for supporting the swans, Swan Island, and Manzanita Lake!

Any additional support we receive will be used to purchase additional vegetation and make improvements that were not in the original plans, both on the island and in the entire swan viewing area; known as the Ginnie Kersey Garden. The vegetation in the garden area will be pollinator friendly.

We are excited to announce the new Swan Cam, that will allow you to view the improvements as they happen, you can view the live stream here:​


Original Project Description:

Manzanita Lake was created in 1911 at the University of Nevada, Reno. The lake has become one of the most recognizable spots on campus, due largely to the swans who have called Manzanita Lake home for nearly 90 years. There are generally two swans at the lake, and past swans have included black Australian swans Boris and Natasha, and white mute swans Olivia, Zubb, Zeus and Athena.

The University's current resident swans, Zeus and Athena, are in need of support.

Unlike geese or ducks, swans are not local to Nevada, therefore they require extra care all year long. Led by Assistant Director for Ground Services Marty Sillito, University Facilities Services has watched over the swans throughout the years by making nests for them to live in and lay eggs, as well as providing extra food during the winter months. Facilities Services also worked on updating the island to provide a more secluded space when eggs are being incubated. 

In spring 2019, Facilities Services will be improving Swan Island to make it a more permanent and natural habitat for Zeus, Athena, and their future offspring.

The University's goal to update and improve Swan Island is $15,000. The update to the island will include improvements such as:Swan on Manzanita Lake

  • Removing the concrete tubes that currently border the island with larger rocks
  • Creating paths that will allow the swans and their offspring to access the lake and their shelter safely
  • Updating the vegetation around the island to provide as natural a habitat as possible
  • Extending the vegetation onto the shore and creating a garden and swan viewing area

The University hopes the campus community and beyond will join together in this effort to make improvements to Manzanita Lake and Swan Island, improvements that will greatly impact the lives of Zeus, Athena and future swans. 

For more information or if you have questions about this project, please contact Torrey Hood at or (775) 682-6544.

Swans on Manzanita Lake


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