Three Wilmot Mountain volunteers work together to apply mulch at Silver Lake Park during the Sept. 15 EpicPromise Day, a company-wide initiative by parent owner Vail Resorts. From left: Chris Bauman, Becky Voss and Frank Heins (Jason Arndt/The Report).

Wilmot Mountain, other groups, beautify county property

By Jason Arndt

After more than 100 volunteers from Wilmot Mountain tackled projects at Fox River Park last year, the group returned on Saturday, when they made improvements at Silver Lake Park.

The improvements were part of parent company Vail Resorts’ corporate-wide EpicPromise Day, according to Marketing and Public Relations Manager Rachael Muhlenbeck, who spent her day beautifying the playground equipment.

“This is just part of a larger scale project through the entire company,” she said. “We have got over 2,000 volunteers working on projects all across the country and Canada this week.”

Volunteers were not limited to its employees as some of their children, spouses and friends also
took part in the initiative.

General Manager Peter Disch, who enters his first year at Wilmot Mountain after spending eight years in Colorado, said Saturday’s EpicPromise Day brought everyone together for a positive mission.

“It is an incredible day, it is always rewarding to give to the communities that we work out of. No words can describe how much fun this day is, 130 volunteers out, multiple projects and making this park look even better than when we came,” he said.

Disch, previously at Keystone Resort in Colorado, spent last year’s EpicPromise Day contributing to an effort in Summit County.

Meanwhile, as Disch finished his first EpicPromise Day in Kenosha County, he found hidden gems at the Kenosha County Park.

Before Saturday, he only drove past Silver Lake Park, but plans to explore the disc golf course and mountain bike trails.

“I love disc golfing and I see they have got a great 18-hole course here,” he said. “I am looking forward to checking that out and also getting my mountain bike out here.”

Kenosha County Parks Director Matt Collins, whose department also received help from a nonprofit mountain bike club, said Wilmot Mountain contributed more than 500 hours of labor on Saturday.

The volunteers repainted the men’s and women’s restrooms and changing areas at Silver Lake Beach. They also scraped, repainted and beautified two playgrounds, along with clearing brush along 10-miles of mountain bike trails.

They also added mulch and red granite to area landscapes to enhance the park, he added.

“We actually collaborated with our nonprofit organization that maintains our bike trails,” Collins said.

“We had over 520 hours of volunteer work accomplished today, just with Wilmot Mountain alone, on top of our mountain bike organization and park staff.”

Collectively, among all participating groups, volunteers easily exceeded 600 volunteer hours, Collins said.

According to Collins, members of his park staff worked diligently to find opportunities for each volunteer, regardless of skill level.

“We want to make sure there is something for every volunteer, from the teenagers that come with their parents to more skilled folks that want to really dive into more elaborate projects,” he said. “Each year, we want to make sure there are multiple projects people can do.”

In 2017, at Fox River Park, the volunteers came together to help county staff repurpose the former park superintendent’s building into an overnight lodge, which opened earlier this year for local nonprofit groups to use.

“They have been a great partner for us,” Disch said.

Vail Resorts, which purchased Wilmot Mountain in 2016, held its first local EpicPromise Day at Richard Bong State Recreation Area in 2016.


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