Ski resorts help launch “Green Bucks” program to benefit Tahoe environment |

Ski resorts help launch “Green Bucks” program to benefit Tahoe environment

Submitted to The Union

Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows have joined with the Tahoe Fund and the Truckee River Watershed Council to help launch the new Green Bucks program.

Green Bucks is a dollar donation program designed to harness the passion of visitors and residents in order to help care for the region's extraordinary environment.

Squaw and other local businesses have committed to collecting dollar donations on room nights, season passes, lift tickets, golf rounds and other items to help improve the area's natural environment.

"In conjunction with our company's commitment to the environment, we have made two $25,000 donations to both the Truckee River Watershed Council and the Tahoe Fund, and we are asking guests to contribute one dollar on the purchase of lodging reservations or a season pass via the new Green Bucks program," said Andy Wirth, president and CEO of Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows.

Proceeds from Green Bucks support the Tahoe Fund, the Truckee River Watershed Council and other public and nonprofit organizations in the region.

These organizations fund projects that will improve, enhance and restore watersheds, hiking and biking trails, and environmental stewardship programs.

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"The organizations receiving the proceeds from the Green Bucks program are outstanding and impactful organizations, and the funds from this program will go directly to help preserve and restore the rivers, lakes and meadows in the region," continued Wirth.

"It's our hope that our company's broad participation compels and induces other companies in the region to support the Tahoe Fund and the Truckee River Watershed Council through this new program."

Green Bucks will support:

— Miles of hiking, biking and ADA-accessible trails

— Access for swimming, kayaking, canoeing and stand-up paddle boarding

— Open spaces for wildlife habitat and scenic views

— Restoration of rivers, lakes, meadows, wetlands, forests

— Protection of fish and wildlife habitat

— Boating and fishing access

— Landscaping and trail re-alignment to prevent runoff

— Signage and interpretive displays to guide visitors

— Monitoring of water quality

"We are really excited about the Green Bucks program as it is one of the first programs to reach from Lake Tahoe all the way down the Truckee River," said Lisa Wallace, executive director of the Truckee River Watershed Council.

"We are thankful to have Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows as founding members, and for their help in leading the effort to actually develop the Green Bucks program and to secure broad participation from the business community. We hope to see many other businesses join in as well."

Green Bucks is a win-win for residents and visitors by creating a simple way for those who love the Lake Tahoe/Truckee area to help make it even better.

With the support of visitors, residents and local business, Green Bucks will help raise money to restore and improve the environment and enhance recreational opportunities, ultimately helping to drive even more tourism and business to the local economy.

"We'd like to thank Squaw Valley for their early support of the Green Bucks program," said Amy Berry, CEO of the Tahoe Fund. "The program is a great and easy way for businesses to offer their customers a way to give back when they are here enjoying our incredible natural environment."

Similar "buck" programs are operating in places like Jackson Hole, Yosemite and regions similar to our own with exciting results. These programs have raised millions of dollars to support local initiatives.

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