Moving seedlings at Brighton

In a sheltered, out-of-the-way spot, a tree nursery suddenly popped up at Brighton, the ski area gem at the end of Salt Lake City’s Big Cottonwood Canyon. That’s where 266 saplings are adjusting to life in pots until they’re big enough to be planted back onto the mountain.

Mother Nature inconveniently sowed seeds on ski trails where they took root. But the young trees didn’t know they’d get mashed down by heavy snow grooming machines or mangled by skiers and boarders. Solution: Move them or lose them.

It’s a small part of Brighton’s environmental sustainability commitment.

“Brighton Resort is known for its terrain parks, exceptional annual snow fall, and, most importantly, it’s amazing tree runs. We’re … investing in preserving these areas with our new forestry program,” said Director of Sustainability Erika Kazi.

Brighton kicked off the tree moving project by partnering with Tree Utah whose mission is get people excited about trees and plant trees in public spaces throughout Utah – parks, schools, along trails, in national forests and more. On the days when trees are being rescued, an arborist trains volunteers on-the-spot before they head onto the trails to find, dig, and pot vulnerable trees.

But its more than shovels and pots. Tree rescue has gone high tech. “With new technologies we will be able to map out our trees in a more succinct way through GIS mapping,”  Kazi said, and we’ll have a better understanding of our forest.

Brighton’s Ski with an Arborist program. Source: Brighton Resort

Brighton invites guests to ski with an arborist on free tree tours and learn about the mountain’s ecosystem. Meanwhile, the rescued trees are snug and safe under their winter blanket in the secluded nursery.

One Comment

  1. Hi Harriet,
    I enjoyed the “80” badge & did indeed ski on Dec. 27th, 2020. Now can I pass it on? How? Maybe you could write about it again? Thanks,
    Sandra Doe
    [email protected]
    PS Congratulations on being Journalist of the Year!

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