In the spring of 2009, Seven Springs Mountain Resort further demonstrated its commitment to protecting and sustaining the beautiful environment that surrounds Pennsylvania’s largest resort.
Seven Springs partnered with the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society to demonstrate how even the installation of a rain garden can help reverse years of damage to an otherwise overlooked area.
A small patch of land adjacent to the Skier Services Building was selected for this restoration project as it was often times washed out after a heavy rainfall and the storm drainage from the lodge’s roof. The purpose of a rain garden is to allow stormwater to soak into the ground instead of flowing into storm drains and ultimately into streams. Runoff causes erosion, pollution, and flooding. Rain gardens help to minimize these negative impacts as well as enhance the beauty of a property.
On Mon., Sept. 21, 2009, Seven Springs’ Director of Ski Patrol Dick Barron, Sara Thompson from Pittsburgh-based landscape architecture firm Pashel Associates and a few contractors began installing the Seven Springs rain garden. Three days later, construction and planting were completed by volunteers of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks Society (PASHEK) Conference Committee. The new beautiful rain garden contains regional plants and flowers including black-eyed Susan, blue wild indigo, purple cone flower, dwarf blue star and New England aster.
The 2010 PRPS Conference, “Keeping Pennsylvania Green,” was held at Seven Springs March 19 – 21, 2010. In preparation for this, the Conference Committee decided to do a service project to leave the conference site a little greener and to illustrate the benefits of rain gardens and sustainable design.
The PRPS Conference Committee created this service project; however, there were many other key players in creating the rain garden. Seven Springs was a major contributor, donating materials, equipment and contractor services. Pashek Associates donated design services for the rain garden and the interpretive sign. Pannier Graphics constructed the interpretive sign, and Eisler Landscapes donated all the plants for the rain garden.
The resort is committed to developing sustainable forward-thinking practices, and promoting personal responsibility in recycling and conserving natural resources. This commitment earned Seven Springs the National Ski Areas Association’s 2009 Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Water Conservation/Water Quality by a ski resort. The award commends Seven Springs for its overall water usage and conservation techniques. Seven Springs was also selected as a finalist for the Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Energy Conservation/Clean Energy for its innovative snowmaking technique involving a solar panel.