Mountain Scenic
 

Green Initiatives

Stewards of the Land

In an era when tourist attractions and ski areas across the country are just beginning to go “green,” Wachusett Mountain Ski Area has been and continues to be a leader in promoting environmentally-friendly tourism both regionally and nationally. For more than 25 years, the ski area has made protecting the mountain’s natural resources -- while providing a valuable recreational opportunity to Massachusetts residents -- one of its primary focuses.  From simple environmental protection measures to more comprehensive conservation initiatives, Wachusett’s long history of developing programs to protect the natural resources of the region has been a model for ski areas across the country and has earned numerous awards.  The ski area’s commitment to environmental programs is stronger than ever.
 

Environmental Policy Statement

As stewards of an exceptional mountain environment, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area is committed to providing high-quality outdoor recreational experiences. Our staff and guests realize Wachusett Mountain is a priceless national treasure. We strive to continually improve our environmental performance in order to provide enjoyment of Wachusett Mountain for future generations of snow and mountain enthusiasts.
As a Skier or Snowboarder you should:
  • Carpool to Wachusett Mountain.
  • Use recycling facilities at Wachusett Mountain and at home.
  • Never litter, and clean up after those that are less thoughtful.
  • Support Open Space initiatives where you live or play
 

Land Acquisition Fund

Wachusett contributes a percentage of its gross receipts to a State Land Acquisition Trust Fund dedicated to the purchase and preservation of open space. The purpose of the trust is to provide the Department of Environmental Management with funds to acquire land desirable for conservation purposes.  Since 1988 more than $4.6 million has been contributed to the fund providing protection for more than 500 acres of open space in central Massachusetts; including areas around Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, Leominster State Forest and Willard Brook State Forest.
 
Old Growth Forest Management Wachusett Mountain has the largest known stand of Old Growth Forest in Massachusetts. Created an Old Growth Management Policy in conjunction with DCR in 1998 to help educate, protect and study the areas of old growth forest located on the mountain. This includes monitoring all snowmaking to prevent excessive ice on trees within the old growth; annual inspection with DCR of hazard trees that may need removal; with DCR constant monitoring and patrolling of old growth areas to prevent unauthorized access.
 

By the Numbers

  • $4.6 million - The amount that Wachusett has contributed to state’s land acquisition fund since 1988 providing protection for more than 500 acres of open space in central Massachusetts.
  • 2,500 - Gallons of cooking oil Wachusett annual converts to biodiesel to help fuel the mountain’s five grooming vehicles.
  • 1992 - The first year Wachusett Mountain was awarded a prestigious environmental award for its “green” initiatives.  The Mountain has earned recognition at a national level for its environmental programs at least 4 times during the past 10 years alone.
  • 450 - The number of acres Wachusett Mountain Ski Area leases for alpine skiing/snowboarding from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation.
  • 12 - The number of interpretive kiosks located around the mountain explaining important environmental and historical information about the area.
  • $11.50 - The one-way cost to take the “Ski Train” from Boston to nearby Fitchburg where a Wachusett shuttle will pick you up.
  • 7.2 miles - The length of the sewer line from the mountain to the Fitchburg wastewater treatment plant which Wachusett Mountain donated to the town of Westminster in 1982.
  • 2 - The number of wind turbines Princeton Municipal Light Department is constructing at Wachusett's summit in summer 2009.
 

DCR & Wachusett Mountain State Reservation

Located within the Wachusett Mountain State Reservation, Wachusett Mountain Ski Area operates in cooperation with the Massachusetts Department of Conservation & Recreation providing skiing and snowboarding on 100 acres of terrain within a 450-acre leased area.   The Wachusett/DCR relationship, in effect for more than 30 years, has been viewed nationwide as a model public/private partnership for ski area operations.    The Wachusett Mountain State Reservation Visitor's Center is located approximately one mile up Mountain Road from the base lodge.  The Visitor's Center, open daily from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., features hiking maps, nature displays, rest rooms and other information on the natural attractions on the mountain. Hiking trails are open year round.   Wachusett Mountain also offers administrative and promotional support to the “Friends of Wachusett Mountain” citizen’s group created to promote and protect the natural resources on the mountain.
 

Environmental Awards

  • 2003 Silver Eagle Award for Wildlife and Habitat Protection presented by the Time Mirror Company. Wachusett was cited for improving water quality in surrounding lakes, ponds and streams by its significant investment in storm water management measures. The Silver Eagle Award is presented annually as part of Mountain Sports Media's Golden Eagle Award program established in 1993 to recognize the environmental achievements of ski areas across the country.
  • 2001 Silver Eagle Award for Energy Conservation presented by Mountain Sports Media. Wachusett Mountain was recognized as one of six Silver Eagle award winners nationwide among more than 50 entries from 26 ski areas; including major western resorts. Wachusett was cited for having invested more than $2.5 million in energy savings measures since 1992 resulting in a savings of more than three million kilowatt hours.
  • 2001 National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes Marketing Outreach Award recognizing Wachusett's outstanding environment education efforts. In receiving the award, Wachusett Mountain was cited for "an extraordinary job of raising the visibility of Sustainable Slopes and communicating a strong message of environmental commitment to the public. The NSAA Sustainable Slopes program is the environmental charter for ski areas nationwid recognizing the efforts made through outreach and education, signage and printed materials, implementation of the charter's Environmental Priniciples and raising awareness of the Environmental Code of the Slopes.
  • In 1999, Wachusett's commitment to the environment was also recognized on a national level as one of three finalists for the presitigous Golden Eagle Award from The Skiing Company. Wachusett was runner up in the category for "Overall Environmental Excellence" to honor programs developed by ski resorts that reflect pro-active environmental sensitivity.
  • In 1992, the Massachusetts Audubon Society and Worcester Business Journal honored Wachusett Mountain Ski Area with a special recognition award for its innovative means of reducing power consumption through efficient snowmaking.