Zoar Outdoor and The Nature Conservancy Protect Trees through Partnership
by Karen Blom
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CHARLEMONT, MA – This past Tuesday, for the second year in a row, Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort hosted program interns from The Nature Conservancy’sLeaders in Environmental Action for the Future (LEAF) on a zipline canopy tour. Zoar Outdoor and The Nature Conservancy have maintained a unique partnership to protect America’s forests.
Zoar Outdoor supports the Conservancy’sDon’t Move Firewood campaign, a multimedia outreach effort to educate the public on the issue of non-native forest insects and diseases that are wreaking havoc on trees in all regions of the United States. In the Massachusetts forests, the newest and most prominent threats to trees are the Asian longhorned beetle and the emerald ash borer. These invasive insects cannot be controlled by spray or treatment once they reach the forest, and so the Conservancy’s Don’t Move Firewood campaign seeks to raise awareness about a common method of insect transport within the US - as hitchhikers on firewood. When people transport firewood further than 50 miles for camping trips or heating homes, tree-killing pests can get a ride to a new place, where they cause new infestations.
As part of the partnership between Zoar Outdoor and the Nature Conservancy, six New York City teens participating in the Conservancy’s (LEAF) program in western Massachusetts participated in Zoar’s zipline canopy tour, gaining new perspective on the ecological importance of trees. The LEAF program, now in its 18th year, has a mission to engage urban youth in conservation activities now so that they will become stewards for our planet tomorrow. A recent survey of LEAF alumni found that the students are far more likely than their peers to engage in environmental issues as adults.
Zoar Outdoor’s partnership with the Conservancy is consistent with their core values, since they prioritize environmental stewardship. Zoar Outdoor generates electricity from solar panels to offset 80% of the company’s total usage, offers incentives for employees to commute to work using “human-powered” means, and plans thoughtfully to minimize environmental impact in all their endeavors. Their three-hour zipline canopy tour, which travels down scenic Hawk Mountain on eleven zip lines, three rappels and two sky bridges, involved arborists throughout the construction process and makes use of existing trails to minimize forest impact. Zoar Outdoor continues to consult with arborists during the course’s regular maintenance, ensuring the continued health of the forest.
Learn more about the Don’t Move Firewood campaign at www.dontmovefirewood.org and the LEAF program at http://www.nature.org/aboutus/careers/leaf/. More information on Zoar Outdoor’s zipline canopy tours can be found at www.deerfieldzipline.com.
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its more than one million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 18 million acres in the United States and have helped preserve more than 117 million acres in Latin America, the Caribbean, Asia and the Pacific.
Zoar Outdoor Adventure Resort has been offering family-friendly outdoor adventures along the Deerfield River in the culturally-rich Berkshire Hills of western, Massachusetts since 1989. Family owned, the company offers a wide variety of human-powered adventures for all ages from April through October. Zoar has a reputation for excellent customer service, environmental concern and developing a community around people who like to play outdoors.
Zoar Outdoor: Meghan Ecceline, Marketing Assistant
The Nature Conservancy: Misty Edgecomb, Senior Media Relations Manager