ENVIRONMENT

Alta Ski Area to host annual tree planting day

Sep 7, 2023, 5:00 PM | Updated: Sep 28, 2023, 6:41 am

Hikers explore a trail, hiking is good for health, be it mental or physical...

Hikers explore a trail in Alta Ski Area. (Rocko Menzyk/Alta Ski Area)

(Rocko Menzyk/Alta Ski Area)

Editor’s note: This article has been updated to reflect the correct amount of native plants that have been planted. 

ALTA, Utah — Alta Ski Area will host its annual tree planting day on September 23, 2023. The event is hosted by the Alta Environmental Center in partnership with Alta Environmental Center and Cottonwood Canyons Foundation.

The event is billed as a chance for those who enjoy playing in the outdoors to give back. According to Andria Huskinson, Alta Ski Area’s communication coordinator, the resort has been hosting the event for at least a dozen years.

During the tree plant, 50 volunteers will plant 650 Engelmann spruce saplings. They will also gather seeds from pinecones on the slopes of the resort, according to Huskinson. 

The spruce saplings were taken from the ski runs at the resort, then cared for in a nursery. They will be planted out of the way of skiers and hikers. 

After the seeds are collected, they’ll be taken to Alta’s tree nursery where they will be cared for as they grow into saplings. The new saplings will be planted at the resort in the future. 

“What they do is they take some of the seedlings that are [on] the ski runs … and they’ll move them someplace [else,]” said Huskinson. 

Huskinson said that by the end of this summer, 13,000 native plants will have been planted. 

 

Photos from the 2023 Alta Tree Planting Day (Mariah Maynes/KSL NewsRadio)

Tree planting at Alta 

Alta Ski Resort has been planting trees since 1939. Huskinson said the U.S. Forest Service would only allow the land to be designated as a ski resort if trees were replanted.

Miners have also removed trees in the area, Huskinson said. 

“We try to preserve the natural environment that we ski in … we love where we recreate,” said Huskinson. 

According to the Alta Environmental Center’s website, 42,324 trees have been planted on the ski resort’s land since 1991. Additionally, 96,689 other plants have been planted in the same time period. 

“Caring for the environment that we recreate in is important to preservation. Lack of care and stewardship will cause it to be destroyed,” Huskinson said. 

Other sustainability efforts at Alta

Tree planting is just one sustainability effort that the Alta Environment Center offers throughout the year.

The Center also hosts stewardship events year-round. These include surveys and the removal of invasive species like noxious weeds. Alta tracks these plants and removes them, allowing native species to flourish, according to Huskinson. 

Finally, Alta Ski Resort sends its food waste to be composted, diverting 40.7 tons of food waste according to the Alta Environmental Center Website. 

Getting involved

Registration for this year’s tree planting event has closed, but those interested in volunteering can find other summer and winter volunteer opportunities at the Alta Environment Center website

Related reading: 

 

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Alta Ski Area to host annual tree planting day