Silver Eagle: Environmental Education - Mount Ashland, OR

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A small community-owned ski area in southern Oregon, Mt. Ashland had two problems-a difficulty staffing for summer maintenance of trails and area facilities and a student population that generally viewed the ski area as a maintenance-free playground. The resort created the Youth Summer Service Program in 1995, a program to help local youth understand the area's stewardship belief-- fun and recreation come with responsibilities and hard work. Program accomplishments to date have been critical in controlling erosion, improving the health of the city of Ashland's watershed, improving the aesthetics of the ski area and achieving slope maintenance objectives. The benefits of its summer youth program are two-fold--getting local youths to work on the mountain, which enables them to earn a season pass, and teaching students that recreation comes with environmental responsibilities. (Finalist: Whistler/Blackcomb, British Columbia)