Volunteers Celebrate Earth Day by Planting Trees on Ski Slope

SCRANTON -- On this Earth Day, people in Lackawanna County planted more than 100 trees at the Montage Mountain Ski Area.

Earlier this year, a tornado hit the facility. Now, they are bouncing back one seedling at a time.

Back in February, a rare winter tornado hit this part of Lackawanna County, knocking down scores of trees. Montage Mountain Ski Area had to temporarily close.

Managers came up with the "grow" initiative as a way to start restoring the greenery all over the facility. The hope is that the pines will help the hill hang on to the snow.

"It's going to protect the slopes, block the wind, and lessen erosion. We will be able to use less energy to protect what we put out there when we are making snow," said Jeff Slivinski, Montage Mountain.

Volunteers said they were looking forward to watching the little trees grow when they go skiing.

"I have a couple that are going to be my trees, so when I come skiing here in the winter, I am going to tell everybody that is my tree," said Jerry Rogers of Jessup.

Some of these volunteers have been coming to Montage Mountain for decades. Others are still in high school.

"(We're) trying to do our part. Plus, Montage Mountain is a great place to go. I ski here all the time," said Austin Catania of Clarks Summit.

In less than two hours, more than 100 trees got a new home with room to grow, creating a legacy that could be enjoyed by generations of skiers.

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