Community And Environmental Initiatives At Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows
When skiers, snowboarders and other resort guests choose to visit Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, they make it possible for the resort to actively support nearly 200 local and regional community-based initiatives and organizations that benefit the environment and the people who live and recreate in North Lake Tahoe. To share the details of some of these efforts with resort guests and encourage the continuation of active participation, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has introduced a new page on its website: squawalpine.com/community.
The resort’s sustainability and community giving programs are not new – they date back to the resort’s founding; however, they have been expanded over the past seven years as more solutions-based resort initiatives have inspired innovation and a desire to change behaviors. Some of these efforts include banning single-use plastic water bottle sales, introducing ride share and carpool incentive programs, and more.
“We recognize our responsibility to nurture the health and spirit of these legendary mountains and communities we call home,” said Michael Gross, director of environmental initiatives at Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows. “To us, that means taking real action to solve problems in our environment and community, even if that means starting small or taking a big risk. Drawn by the same passion for fun in the outdoors, our guests help make these goals possible with every visit.”
With an employee-driven culture that values the environment, community, innovation, safety and service, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is proud of its commitment to giving back, and all the company has been able to accomplish thanks to its guest and employee involvement. A few of the highlights include:
Environment: Tahoe Fund’s “Green Bucks” Program
By participating in the Green Bucks program with dollar donations added to lift tickets, season passes, and food and beverage sales, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows guests have helped the Tahoe Fund and Truckee River Watershed Council’s efforts to improve the health and clarity of our lakes and rivers. With $40,000 in annual contributions, projects such as restoring the first four miles of the Truckee River, from Tahoe City to Alpine Meadows, and removing invasive aquatic weeds from Lake Tahoe have been accomplished.
“A huge thank you to all of the guests of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows for helping to support our efforts to preserve the Tahoe environment.” -- Amy Berry, Tahoe Fund CEO
“Thanks to the business community and their guests, conservation groups will be able to protect and restore more meadows and forests, and provide more recreation access.” -- Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council.
Community: Creekside Charter School
In addition to $120,000 in annual contributions to local schools and educational programs that support local students, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows provides space for Creekside Charter School to operate at the base of Squaw Valley. For $1 in rent each year, this extraordinary school offers free public education to local kids, and the ability to for them to get outside and grow a sense of self and passion for the outdoors.
“The success of our program is rooted in our relationship with Squaw Valley. Our students are connected with our mountains. To learn at the base of Squaw allows our students not only an opportunity to pursue their outdoor passions, but provides the perfect backdrop to inspire learning.” -- Jeff Kraunz, Executive Director of Creekside Charter School
Leadership: Drink Mtn Tap
Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows was the first resort in North America to ban the sale of single-use water bottles. With more than 20 refill stations located throughout the resort, guests are encouraged to carry and use reusable water bottles. By offering convenient, free access to great tasting, mountain tap water, the resort has removed 87,600 single-use plastic water bottles from the waste stream and landfill each season.
“Drink Mountain Tap is a ground-breaking program, in my mind. Hopefully this initiative shifts people’s mindsets away from single-use to reusable products that they can carry into other aspects of their life.” -- Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters
A snapshot of a few more of the environmental and community-based initiatives Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows has engaged in include:
- 8,372 annual vehicle miles eliminated with employee Ride On program
- $40,000 contributed annually toward clear lakes and streams through the Green Bucks program; this program has helped restore the first four miles of the Truckee River and remove invasive aquatic weeds from Lake Tahoe
- Emissions from 2017 Alpine World Cup to be 100% offset by on-site solar project
- 14,000+ retired staff jackets donated to people in cold weather climates around the globe
- $120,000 contributed annually toward regional schools and literacy
- 8,000 at-risk youth have learned to ski and ride for free
- $125,000 contributed annually to regional transit initiatives
- 1,021 free rides in Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows with Chariot
- 7,200 cars off the road annually with POW Parking, which is equal to 1,900 round-trips from San Francisco
- 87,600 single-use plastic water bottles removed from the waste stream annually, equaling 240 bottles per day
v$800,000 annually in cash and in-kind donations to area non-profit organizations and events
“In calling out some of the initiatives and organizations we contribute to as a company, our intention is to make our guests aware of the positive impact they are helping to make in our community. Without their support, our vision for the future of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows would not be possible,” continued Gross.