Mad River Glen’s Environmental Program seeks to educate the public about the ecology and conservation of our unique alpine environment and to advocate the stewardship of Stark Mountain for recreation, healthy forests, and wildlife habitat. Our education program provides alternative recreational activities at Mad River Glen and strives to inspire young people to become involved in the Cooperative mission and the protection of our environment.
The program was founded in the fall of 1996, by Sean Lawson, Program Director, as an integral part of the Cooperative’s mission “to preserve and protect...” Mad River Glen’s unique effort has grown from seasonal weekend snowshoe treks to include four seasons of programming.
Our Environmental Director can develop a special program just for your group or family. We offer guided family adventures, snowshoe treks, school field trips, ecology hikes, wildflower walks, bird watching and slide show presentations on a variety of topics. Our award-winning staff includes several Naturalists available to lead trips for all age groups at any time!
Our Staff Naturalists are highly qualified and trained in first aid. They are experienced environmental educators who enjoy working with people and provide excellent leadership.
Sean Lawson, the Program Director, has over 15 years experience teaching in the field and classroom settings. He holds Bachelor’s degree in Ecology and Environmental Studies and a Master’s degree in Forest Ecology. Sean is currently certified as a Wilderness First Responder, has Rescuer/Level C CPR certification, has five years experience on Ski Patrol, and has completed Outdoor Education and Leave-No-Trace training with the National Outdoor Leadership School.
Cory Stephenson is a place-based educator with a Master’s in Environmental Studies and over 9 years of teaching experience. Working both in schools and with the greater community, she strives to bring the wonder of nature to students of all ages. When not out in the woods, you can find Cory spending time with her children, skiing, biking or gardening.
Kent Thomas Nature Center
The new Kent Thomas Nature Center, located at the base of the Slalom Hill, will house interpretive displays focusing on the ecology, wildlife, geology and other natural wonders found on General Stark Mountain. The goal of the center is to help educate the public and further Mad River Glen’s mission of protection and preservation of the land under the Co-op’s stewardship. The center will be open year-round, and will be linked to Mad River’s existing snowshoe trail network this winter.
The renovation of the Slalom Hill old lift shack and its conversion into a nature center was the joint work of the Stark Mountain Foundation and Mad River’s Environmental Program, made possible by a generous grant from the Tauck family to honor their friend Kent Thomas, a long-time Mad River skier who passed away in the spring.
Custom Programs and School Field Trips
We can develop a special program just for your group or family. We offer guided family adventures, snowshoe treks, school field trips, ecology hikes, wildflower walks, bird watching and slide show presentations on a variety of topics.
Golden Eagle Award
The National Ski Areas Association Naturalist Program recognized the success of our efforts with the 2000 Silver Eagle Award for Excellence in Environmental Education. The Environmental Program has also been featured in articles by SKI magazine, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Philadelphia Inquirer, the Hartford Courant and many local papers.