Ski Butternut is a long-standing example of a successful private partnership with the State of Massachusetts. Ski Butternut leases a portion of the East Mountain State Forest, which is managed by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation. This partnership is just one example of our commitment to the long-term support of a sustainable environment for all to enjoy.
DCR manages state parks and oversees more than 450,000 acres throughout Massachusetts. It protects, promotes, and enhances the state’s natural, cultural, and recreational resources.
Ski Butternut has been active on many environmental fronts. All our trails are constructed in such a manner as to prevent soil erosion. A standard technique is to install water bars that divert water gradually to the side of trails. This helps to prevent the erosion of the soil. We have planted all the trails with a specific seed mix. We then mow all our slopes in late fall after that mix has germinated to allow regeneration and to keep them healthy further preventing erosion. The area has planted hundreds of pine trees to help with reforestation efforts after experiencing an F4 Tornado that cut a wide swath through the front face of the mountain. Summer 2011 NEW Energy efficient windows were installed in the Lower Lodge.
Ski Butternut is a Non-Smoking Facility - Employees & guests are strongly encouraged Not to smoke on property. All of our indoor spaces including; both lodges, the rental building, Ski Patrol, Ski School, the Children's Center and the Employee Lounge are all designated non-smoking facilities.
We were an early adopter promoting water conservation long before it was popular. We installed low flush toilets and automatic faucets in our restrooms. We promote efficient use of our precious water resource. Just by making snow we are stockpiling a water resource on the mountain. As it melts it will be filtered naturally as it makes its way to the local watershed. The stockpile of snow serves as a holding tank and increases the overall aquifer for the surrounding area.
Cardboard, Plastic, Aluminum, Copper, Steel, Oil, Water. We have been recycling cardboard, aluminum, scrap metal and many other by- products of our operation. We recycled our last few lift upgrades by finding homes for all the leftover lift chairs and then recycling all the metal towers and byproducts. Many of the chairs are being used as swings in some of our guests backyards as remembrances of good times had on the slopes. In the past we allowed our waste hauler to handle the recycling of plastic, aluminum cans and glass containers. Our hauler was mandated by Massachusetts statute to separate the recyclable products prior to any remaining trash being hauled to the landfill. NEW this season we have installed 30 recycling containers so that guests who didn't understand that our hauler was handling the recycling process directly in the past can now feel good about their individual efforts to help separate recyclable items at the area. These containers provide a more visible, environmentally sensitive image for Ski Butternut. Please look for and use the new "bright blue" recycling containers. You'll find them conveniently located in both lodges and distributed throughout the resort. Our conservation oriented management team and most all staff have been separating paper in our offices for paper recycling.
Ski Butternut practices energy conservation in many ways; from the practical use of energy efficient LED & compact florescent light bulbs, to major energy savings that are the direct result of planned upgrades to our snowmaking system. The new pump house is running high-energy-efficient water pumps that push 5200 gallons of water per minute to the snowmaking equipment that is installed on every trail of the mountain. Snowmaking systems require a lot of energy and the newer equipment takes advantage of newer technology like our Top Gun water sticks and 30ft tall HKD snowmakers, to more efficiently push water and air under high pressure throughout our network of pipes that circumnavigate the resort. The snowmaking process requires large amounts of compressed air. So we understandably use the most efficient air compressors available. These compressors run on diesel fuel and as you know it's not an inexpensive product. The key to the whole system is our judicious use of the industries most energy efficient snowmaking equipment. We have been purchasing numerous highly efficient snowmaking guns; including the HKD 30 foot tower guns and the Top Gun Water Sticks which are somewhat shorter averaging 18-20ft tall. Both manufactures make some of the most efficient air & water snowmaking equipment available on the market today. There are further savings that come from knowing when to fire up a system that can take and hour to get running and as long as two hours to fully shut down and drain the lines. The whole process becomes more efficient as the relative humidity number decreases and as the outside temperatures drops, ideally dipping to or below 16 degrees F. Choosing the right time to fire up and shut down the system can be a key piece in any mountains energy conservation efforts.
Our award winning Upper Lodge was specifically designed as a passive solar building. Which makes perfect sense for a Ski Resort. Keep it warm and toasty. Most of the buildings' glass windows are located on the east side of the building enabling them to collect the mornings warming solar rays. They are so efficient that in the spring, summer and fall we cover much of the upper windows to help cool the building for weddings, corporate gatherings or other indoor events.
At Ski Butternut we support, promote, and engage in resource conservation. We practice effective use of renewable energy where practical, we believe in recycling and pursuing other forms of waste reduction. We promote wildlife habitat preservation, and try to incorporate a positive environmental message into the educational aspects of our ski and snowboard lessons. Please help us by sharing in this responsibility. Simply do what is right. Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle when ever possible. Pack it in, Pack it out! We live in the Beautiful Berkshires. We all have an obligation to keep it beautiful. Don't you just love those people that toss their trash, (McDonalds bags, beer cans, dirty diapers or cigarette butts) out the car door into the ski areas parking lot, or onto the slopes under the lifts! If you see it happening - beep your horn - or if you feel like it politely ask them to deposit their trash into one of our many receptacles. Most offenders will be embarrassed enough to simply follow your directive. They'll likely not litter again. That is a great lesson. And most of all you'll fell much better on your drive home or while riding up the lift or skiing or riding down. Carpool and where available use public transportation: Do your part. Share rides, keep the tires correctly inflated, take your roof rack off after the season. Drive in a way that minimizes your carbon footprint. (Typically your vehicle will be more efficient at 55 than at 70 mph.) Take pride in living in an environmentally friendly manner.
Ski Butternut is a proud partner with the Natural Resources Defense Council and the National Ski Areas Association in the Keep Winter Cool Campaign. - An effort designed to educate the public about the potential dangers of global warming and what can be done to help prevent it. To learn more visit Keep Winter Cool.