Delaware North Companies, a global leader in food service and hospitality, is celebrating Earth Day with a variety of events at its corporate headquarters and its diverse operating locations across the country.
Delaware North helped bring environmental responsibility to the hospitality industry in the mid-1990s after earning a variety of foodservice, lodging and management contracts at such places as Yosemite, Sequoia and Grand Canyon national parks and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Today, the company’s environmental management system, GreenPath®, encompasses company operations at sports stadiums and arenas, airports, entertainment venues, state and national parks and travel destinations.
Delaware North’s Earth Day activities include:
Corporate Headquarters, Buffalo, N.Y.
Delaware North Companies’ corporate headquarters employee associates will take the “Billion Acts of Green” pledge. A green, recyclable “tree” with seed paper “leaves” inscribed with Earth Day pledges will be displayed in the lobby. Jon McBride, a NASA astronaut, space shuttle pilot and retired U.S. Navy officer, will visit local schools to share his Earth Day message.
Fresno Reservations Call Center, Fresno, Calif.
Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts’ Fresno Reservation Call Center will host its fourth annual dirty sock contest. Employees will again place brand-new, white socks over their vehicles’ exhaust pipes and run the engine for 30 seconds. The contest demonstrates how much each vehicle contributes to the pollution and air quality. Prizes are awarded for the cleanest and dirtiest socks. Other activities include TerraCycling, an organic potluck meal and the opportunity to make glycerin soap.
Queen Mary, Long Beach, Calif.
Hotel guests will receive a wooden room key with an Earth Day 2011 message, as well as a reusable bag, bottle and an informational letter. A green menu will be featured in the Delaware North employee cafeteria. Each employee will also receive reusable travel coffee tumblers, Easter eggs filled with candy and grocery gift cards. There will be a cell phone collection program. A video and pictures of "Planet Earth" will play on the location’s TVs.
Gideon Putnam Resort, Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
Gideon Putnam Resort invited local elementary students to celebrate Earth Day in Saratoga Spa State Park on April 14. Activities included a cleanup of the park, a nature hike, planting a tree in the park and lunch.
Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
Delaware North’s employee associates will provide eco-friendly camping products and grocery samples at Grand Canyon stores. Wearing a suit made from 500 plastic grocery bags, the "Plastic Bag Monster," will interact with guests. A flier to encourage recyclable bag use will be distributed. Globe balloons will highlight all of the organic and eco-friendly products at the stores. Guests can play an interactive trivia game and win “green” prizes. Employee associates will provide Earth Day-related coloring material and stickers for the children.
Harrison Hot Springs Resort & Spa, British Columbia, Canada
Delaware North employee associates have invited local school students and village residents to help tidy up the resort’s beach and trails. Recyclables will be sorted from the trash collection. Employee associates will celebrate their hard work with hot chocolate and cookies.
Yellowstone, West Yellowstone, Mont.
Delaware North is hosting weekend-long events at the Holiday Inn, including films, displays and learning booths. There will be live birds of prey, movies and crafts for the children. An Earth Day art contest gallery will also be featured in the Holiday Inn Conference Center.
Yosemite National Park, Calif.
The theme for Earth Day 2011 at Yosemite National Park is “Stand Up for What You Stand On.” Delaware North will assist in presenting many activities for adults and children during the week-long celebration including a sing-a-long, games, nature walks, crafts, face painting, a trash pickup, sustainable salad bar tasting, bike rides and a dance film festival. Guests also have a chance to learn more about American photographer and environmentalist Ansel Adams. Emmy-winning producer Catherine Tatge will screen her new documentary highlighting John Muir’s impact on the land conservation movement.
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, Fish Camp, Calif.
Delaware North’s Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite will be celebrating Earth Day with a menu of environmentally-friendly meals and a guided flashlight hike that uses all-new solar flashlights. The Ascent Spa at Tenaya will donate to the Yosemite Conservatory 5 percent of all revenue from Kimberly Parry Organic spa products sold on Earth Day. Earth Day programs for the lodge’s employees include a highway cleanup event and a shuttle for its employees.
Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Fla.
Operated by Delaware North, the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex will celebrate Earth Day at the Apollo Elementary School. The visitor complex’s green team will present fun and educational activities aligned with the learning curriculum for grades K-6. Kindergarten students will learn what they may find in a tree, while older students may learn things such as the effects of pesticides.
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake, Ohio
The Lodge at Geneva-on-the-Lake celebrated Earth Day on April 16with its annual Aluminum Can Collection Challenge for local elementary school classes, Girl Scout troops and Boy Scout troops. The group that collected the most cans and brought them to The Lodge to be recycled won a pizza and pool party at The Lodge at the end of the school year. There was also a cleanup of nearby Geneva State Park.
Sequoia National Park, Calif.
Delaware North at Sequoia will be holding the Earth Day Fair at Lodpepole Retail Center on Saturday, April 23. There will be give-a-ways, activities and samples. There are also vendor display tables offering samples, information and organic products. An interpretive walk, games and a program presented by Sequoia Community Corps. will teach the importance of recycling.
Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room, Daytona Beach, Fla.
Employees, families and friends of the Delaware North-owned-and-operated Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room will spend a day cleaning up Tomoka State Park. They will also enjoy historic demonstrations, guided nature walks and educational presentations by park rangers. In addition, there will be a t-shirt for every volunteer, plus music and food, canoeing and other recreational activities.
And the efforts won’t end with Earth Day. Richard Ferranti, environmental manager for the Daytona Beach Kennel Club & Poker Room, will facilitate an ongoing volunteer program throughout the year at Tomoka State. This partnership will be a minimum three-year labor and monetary commitment to adopt the Oak Pavilion Picnic Area to restore its natural beauty. Delaware North employees will volunteer their time to participate in clearing overgrown areas of vegetation, repainting picnic tables, performing minor repairs and general beautification efforts.
Earth Day is Every Day
Delaware North’s GreenPath® was the first environmental management system of a U.S. hospitality company to be registered to the standards put forth by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO 14001). Since its inception more than a decade ago, it has received more than 50 awards and citations from local, regional, national and international organizations.
Now in place companywide, GreenPath has made a remarkable difference. It has helped Delaware North divert thousands of tons of material from the solid waste stream, save millions of gallons of water, reduce energy consumption and devise new and better ways of operating our hospitality business.
More than 20 of Delaware North’s very diverse operating locations have had their specific operations achieve ISO 14001 registration, including the company’s global headquarters in Buffalo. Delaware North’s extensive operations at Yosemite National Park and Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex plus nearly all of its lodging and resort properties have made the grade, as well as Wheeling Island Hotel-Casino-Racetrack and other major Delaware North gaming locations.
Receiving the international designation more recently were Delaware North’s food service operation at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and five of the Sportservice division’s food and retail operations at major professional sports venues: Progressive Field in Cleveland, Miller Park in Milwaukee, Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Nationwide Arena in Columbus and the St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa.
In addition, the company’s facilities team has become accredited in the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design to bring an environmentally responsible approach to all construction. We’ve also earned international recognition for the green meetings we stage.
Great Barrier Reef, Australia
Delaware North ensures that its five Australia resorts (located within various national parks) remain special places that provide remarkable experiences for guests. Delaware North strives to meet or exceed key values, which include protecting and nurturing the natural ecosystems of the land and becoming learned custodians of the land with a view to preserve it for future generations.
The Plaza, New York, N.Y.
Delaware North jointly operates the historic Grand Ballroom and several conference spaces at The Plaza hotel in New York City. The company’s green team at The Plaza has implemented a composting program, a comprehensive policy for paper use, a food rescue plan to reduce waste and deliver food to the hungry. The green team encourages banquet clients to select the 100-Mile Menu, which sources locally grown, seasonal ingredients.
Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Cheektowaga, N.Y.
A number of Delaware North’s restaurant and retail airport locations, including those in Nashville, Denver and Buffalo, participate in recycling programs. The company has developed a "Green Order Guide" to help all of its divisions and locations select environmentally sustainable products such as paper and cleaning products whenever possible.