Aspen Skiing Company employees that choose not to drive alone to work enjoy at least one or more of the following: a lower carbon footprint, free wifi on RFTA, carpooling companionship, a chance to exercise (if biking or walking), and the opportunity to enter the ASC Commuter Raffle to win $$$. Continue reading
The Environment Foundation released four grants totaling $55,000 to Wilderness Workshop, Thompson Divide Coalition, Western Environmental Law Center and High Country News. These grants represent a continued commitment of the foundation to support responsible oil/gas development. Wilderness Workshop will Continue reading
If you live in the Roaring Fork Valley I am sure you’ve heard of the Thompson Divide. This 220,000 acre region is the center of a pitched battle where natural gas leaseholders face off against a broad based coalition of hunters, anglers, bikers, hikers, backcountry skiers, ranchers and many other Roaring Fork Valley residents, no matter their political stripes. Continue reading
English in Action helps immigrant adults living in the Roaring Fork Valley gain the English language and leadership skills they need to participate fully – as parents, as workers, as members of the community. On March 2, seventeen clients and mentors went snowshoeing atop Aspen Mountain and the enjoyed lunch at the Sundeck. Continue reading
Aspen Skiing Company’s Environment Foundation was established in 1997 to protect the local Roaring Fork Valley environment. The foundation is directed by a 15-member board of directors comprised of Aspen Skiing Company (ASC) employees. Close to 50% of ASC’s employees make donations through paycheck deductions which are matched in part by the Aspen Community Foundation, ASC Family Fund, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters and Coca-Cola.
Twice yearly the foundation releases approximately $100,000 in grants that support efforts to reduce the impacts of climate change, protect western lands from natural gas extraction impacts, provide local youth environmental education programming, and maintain local waterways. Other projects that impact the local environment are also supported. Grant deadlines are 3/1 and 11/1 annually and decisions are made in late-April and late-December.
Earlier this month we welcomed three new board members, Alex Kendrick (Buttermilk Ski School), Steve Hill (Snowmass Mall Alpine Shop at Four Mountain Sports), and Jess Jacobi (Marketing). We also said goodbye to three employees whose terms of service were complete – Matt Jones (Finance), Carmen Barber (Four Mountain Sports) and Stephen Luck (Snowmass Lift Maintenance). Thanks for your service over the past four years.
The Environment Foundation is much more than a grant maker. Its primary purpose is not necessarily giving away money, but rather the process by which our board learns about and considers which projects to fund. It’s in those conversations that ASC hopes its employees learn about environmental issues facing our valley and beyond. We hope they carry their knowledge and passion beyond their service to the foundation through volunteer and philanthropy efforts in our local community.
Because of its belief in the power of this approach to philanthropy ASC encourages guests to donate to the Environment Foundation when staying at our hotels (The Little Nell and Limelight Hotel) and when purchasing season passes or lift tickets. During their stays or purchase guests are asked to donate $1 to $2 to the foundation to protect the valley that is the centerpiece of their time here.
Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) brings 350 second grade students from Basalt Elementary, Aspen Elementary, Carbondale Community School, Blue Lake Preschool, Aspen Country Day, and Sopris Elementary to Aspen Mountain each winter to learn about snow science, local animal winter adaptations, and skier safety.
Aspen/Snowmass supports this program donating 100s of footpasses for students and chaperones to ride the Silver Queen Gondola (the first time for many involved). Once atop Aspen Mountain the students are introduced to the techniques of snowshoeing by ACES educators. The groups then explore along Richmond ridge, taking part in the “winter challenge course” where they act out various adaptations animals have and use to survive and thrive in the winter (becoming weasels and digging into the subnivian zone to look for mice and voles to eat, walking single-file through deep snow like a herd of deer, etc.) After lunch, the students learn about snow science and ski safety from the Aspen Mountain Ski Patrol. This includes avalanche study, snow safety equipment, and working with the rescue dogs as one of the “lucky” second grade students is buried and then found under the snow.
Video by Barry Stevenson – Outside Adventure Media.
Nature’s Laura Morello captures the essence of the impact of climate change on winter sports. From Winter Olympics: Downhill Forecast.
- Snowpacks continue their incessant march towards being non-existent.
- More precipitation falls as rain.
- Champagne powder becomes a thing of your dreams.
- Low elevation ski areas host mountain biking year round.
- And, there are fewer places around the world where winter is actually cold enough to host the Winter Olympics.
The stories about snow in the Caucasus, t-shirts being worn at cross country events and palm tree lined boulevards in Sochi just keep coming. DEEP: The Story of Snow and the Future of Skiing written by Powder Editor Porter Fox discusses the impacts of climate change on the $66 billion ski industry. Written accessibly, rather than like a scientific journal story, DEEP captures the essence of what is at stake for our industry.
The impacts of climate change extend far beyond the ski slopes, from the bread baskets of the world to large stretches of coastal lands submerged the impacts are much more significant. Ultimately, it’s not the end of skiing and winter sports that truly matters, but if it gets your attention and causes you to take action so be it. What can you do? Donate to Protect Our Winters, then check out their get involved page to learn about what else you can do.