Thursday, May 16, 2019
Written by Margo Wade
As we bid our very busy 2018-19 winter adieu and look forward to mountain biking, hiking, fishing, boating, swimming, gardening, and other summer pursuits, we turn our attention to our annual spring clean-up activities while we patiently wait for temps to rise, trails to dry and waters to warm. One of these annual spring clean-up activities is Green Up Vermont, which has been a Vermont tradition since 1970 when Governor Deane Davis launched the statewide initiative. The governor even closed the Interstate Highways for a few hours back then so volunteers could safely pick up litter. Each year, on the first Saturday of May, you can see folks of all ages walking the Vermont roadsides with the telltale bright green “Green Up” garbage bags. Next year, Green Up Vermont will celebrate its 50th year.
The Mad River Valley has a strong track record of supporting Green Up. Each MRV town appoints a Green Up coordinator who rallies the town troops and coordinates the individual town efforts. It was fun to read on Front Poarch Forum (FPF) this year detailing the Green Up plans, efforts and status updates from the coordinators. Larger organized groups such as Green Mount Valley School, who hit the roads with over 100 students and staff, announced their plan on FPF so the community knew which roads they were covering and which still needed the spring cleaning love.
Sugarbush also supports the Green Up effort. Since 2002, when Summit Ventures NE, LLC purchased the resort, we have hosted what we lovingly call Resort Green Up. On this day, which typically falls a few days before or a few days after the statewide Green Up effort, we invite all employees to come together and clean up the sides of the road in and around and leading to both Lincoln Peak, Mt. Ellen, the Golf Club and other farther afield resort facilities. This year we were lucky enough to hit a sunny day sandwiched between several rainy days. The temps were cool and the wind was calm and 72 Sugarbush employees collected 84 bags of garbage and 42 bags of recycling. One of the more ironic items collected this year was a toy garbage truck that said “Don’t Litter” on the side. Go figure.
The resort’s Safety, Environmental, and Wellness Committee (SEW Committee) organizes, coordinates and tracks the data for Sugarbush’s Green Up efforts. The SEW Committee, as its name portrays, is made up of a rotating group of employees who meet monthly to provide a forum for discussion and resolution on safety, environmental, and wellness issues and initiatives. The SEW Committee was created in 2014 and expanded the scope of the resort’s Green Team which, which focused on environmental efforts, and began in 2002.
On my family home front, Green Up has been a tradition for our family since our boys were young. Now 14 years old, it takes a bit more cajoling than it used to, but sure enough, we were out there in full force greening up a stretch of Roxbury Mountain Road this year. I could tell you in detail what beer our Roxbury Mountain Road litter bugs drink, but that is a story for another day.