Green Wintergreen: Love your mother (nature)

Now that winter’s abundant snow has finally melted, there are more than a few good— and very green— reasons to pile the kids, dogs, bikes, and golf clubs (or just your nature-lovin’ self) in the car and head for the mountains of Wintergreen. Here are just a few.
Brand new this year is the family-geared Mountain Envirofest. On Saturday, June 21, the mountain will be alive with a series of environment-sound workshops and activities, which aim to teach visitors about some of the unique ways this resort is trying to keep the Blue Ridge Forest as green as green can be.
At 9am, Wintergreen Nature Foundation Director Doug Coleman leads a moderate family hike titled “Projects of Promise.” During this walkie-talkie, Coleman will discuss the 4,000-year history and ecological uniqueness of the Blue Ridge Forest, specifically the 11,000-acre parcel stewarded by the foundation, which is so green because it has never been under the plough. Coleman, like everyone at the foundation, believes that people have a tendency to take care of what they appreciate and understand. “Education is an essential part of conservation,” Coleman says.
Besides lots of lighter, kid-friendly activities (sidewalk chalk painting contests, birdhouse and “trash-to-treasure” workshops) other educational opportunities at Envirofest include an 11am Family Stream Testing Workshop at the headwaters of the Rockfish River. Participants will not only have fun getting their feet and hands wet, they’ll also learn how to monitor the cleanliness of the water by turning over and rubbing rocks to discover what kinds of bugs lie underneath— the dirty or the clean kind! 
And how can you talk green without mentioning golf? Wintergreen is actually making some real headway in the environmental department and soon expects to receive its Audubon certification. At 6pm on the 21st, Fred Biggers, head of Golf Operations, will lead a Golf Maintenance Tour that will spotlight Wintergreen’s new spraying system, as well as the course’s native plant landscaping and “compost tea.” If this sounds like too much education for the kids, why not have them practice their putting at Wintergreen’s brand new mini-golf course?
The first Mountain Envirofest takes place at the Wintergreen Resort on Saturday, June 21. An educational family hike starts at 9am, with stream testing at 11am and a golf maintenance tour at 6pm. For a complete schedule of activities, which include creative workshops and sidewalk chalk painting contests, see www. All activities require advance registration and are free (except for the 2pm Birdhouse workshop -$12). To register, call 325-8180.

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