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An Alta Environmental Center employee plants a native plant seedling on the slopes of Alta Ski Area on a sunny summer day

Seedlings for the Slopes

By Alta Environmental Center 08-30-2023

13,000 Plants and one short summer.

Video: Tyler Struss

Despite last season’s record-breaking snowfall followed by one of the wettest summers in the past decade, the Alta Environmental Center (AEC) remains steadfast in its efforts to revegetate the slopes of Alta. Revegetation is an integral part of Alta's dedication to Land Conservation.

The AEC started the summer with the goal of planting 12,740 native plant seedlings—a number that grew to over 13,000 plants when Dryland Horticulture offered Alta some surplus seedlings.

Since 1991, Alta Ski Area and the Alta Environmental Center have planted more than 100,000 native plant seedlings and 42,000 trees around the mountain.

Throughout this summer, the AEC, partner organizations, and a remarkable community of volunteers have demonstrated dedication and adaptability. The frequent rainfall benefitted the native plants and recently established seedlings. however, it also presented logistical challenges for the AEC. These challenges emerged as we undertook our most ambitious effort to date—planting the largest quantity of seedlings during a shorter-than-usual summer season.

Fortunately, the AEC isn’t doing all of the digging and heavy lifting alone. Between Community Volunteer Days and planting events with our partner organizations, Alta skiers and community members volunteered their time to plant seedlings around the mountain. The AEC takes great pride in introducing new volunteers to our on-hill efforts. It’s a great way to step out of their comfort zone and get their hands dirty—fostering stewardship and a stronger connection between our skiers and the natural mountain environment where we all recreate.

In late August, the AEC accomplished its goal of planting all 13,000 native plant seedlings on the slopes. And they did so a month ahead of schedule while planting an average of 1,600 plants per week.

These land conservation efforts are something we can all appreciate season after season, generation after generation.

Join us for our annual Tree Planting Day >

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