Frost Valley YMCA became the first in New York State to receive Hospitality Green’s “Green Concierge: Silver Tier” award for its commitment to sustainability during the second annual Green Tourism Conference, on April 15, 2015. The conference aimed to promote eco-tourism throughout the Catskill and Pocono Mountain Regions, and Frost Valley’s CEO Jerry Huncosky was a keynote speaker.

By implementing new strategies for a greener future, Frost Valley has graduated from a Bronze Tier — achieved in 2011 — to Silver Tier, the second highest honor in the Green Concierge (GC) Project conceived by Hospitality Green, a New York-based consulting firm specializing in environmental and operations consulting services.

“Green living is an integral part of our mission at Frost Valley YMCA, and we offer several programs that teach children and families about water conservation, home energy audits, environmental protection, food sustainability — both through choosing ethically sourced food and by composting, and much more,” says Frost Valley CEO Jerry Huncosky. “We are honored and privileged to receive this recognition as we continue our path to a more sustainable future.”

To attain a Silver Tier certification, Frost Valley has included new achievements to its list of green policies, such as facility energy audits, staff training on sustainable practices, better water conservation, and more, in addition to its current standards, which include:

  • Energy-efficient LED and CFL light bulbs throughout camp, with motion sensors in most low traffic areas
  • Recycling and composting
  • Practicing forestry conservation
  • Using Green Seal-certified, nontoxic cleaning products, as well as EcoLogo soft tissues and paper towels made from recycled content.
  • Sourcing local produce whenever possible, offering food that contains zero trans-fats, and using ethically sourced food whenever possible, including rBGH-free milk, Fair Trade coffee, and poultry and meats without antibiotics.

To learn more about Frost Valley YMCA’s green efforts and achievements, please visit our Sustainable Practices page.

In photo, from left: Two members of Hospitality Green provide Director of Operations Tom Holsapple and CEO Jerry Huncosky with the Silver Tier award.

Earth Day is still months away, but it’s never too early to start thinking about what you can do to protect the environment, both here in the beautiful Catskills and beyond. There are small steps we can take every day to be more eco-conscious, such as recycling, being mindful of electricity use, and the like. But committing to an overall greener, more sustainable lifestyle requires more in-depth knowledge and action. This is why Frost Valley YMCA will be hosing the Roots of E.A.R.T.H. Retreat on April 10-12.

This weekend will focus largely on matters of “E.A.R.T.H.” — which stands for Environmental Awareness & Resources Towards a Healthy lifestyle — with the broader goal of inspiring communities to protect the environment and support the sustainable living movement. Seminars and workshops will highlight attainable solutions to pressing environmental issues, while fun, interactive programs will encourage creativity and exploration of the natural world.

In between sessions, take an educational hike to learn about wilderness protection or to discover native medicinal plants; tour a garden and greenhouse to gain wisdom about year-round agriculture and composting; enjoy do-it-yourself projects, such as natural tea making; and attend Energy Quest, which explores energy use, efficiency, and conservation. Frost Valley favorites will be available for personal development as well, including climbing, archery, canoeing, arts & crafts, and more. There will be live music in the evenings and the option for laid-back discussion or networking.

This article was originally published in the Tri-Valley Townsman, 2015.