Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pocono Mountains Tourism Partners Thinking Green

Northeastern Pennsylvania Destination Strengthens Efforts to Employ Environmentally Friendly Practices

(POCONO MOUNTAINS, Pennsylvania) – Being increasingly ecologically friendly isn’t just an effort to go with the current flow, but rather a mandate for the many golf courses, resorts and other tourism attractions throughout the Pocono Mountains.

The Pocono Mountains Visitors Bureau has been instrumental in the growing environmentally friendly efforts of the four-county area and recently spearheaded a series of seminars, presentations and expert advisors to assist tourism entities in the region.

“It’s our duty as responsible stewards of this beautiful area to ensure we’re doing everything in our power to protect the environment and the Pocono Mountains,” says Carl Wilgus, President and CEO of the PMVB. “This area is blessed with lush mountains, vegetation, lakes, streams and wildlife and we need to ensure they live on for generations to come.”

The Country Club at Woodloch Springs – home to an 18-hole championship golf course which is an active Audubon Sanctuary Program member – has been a leader in the eco-friendly movement and continues to look for green alternatives for the maintenance and preservation of its substantial land and business. Some of the green choices made at Woodloch include a buffer zone around the natural stream and wetlands to keep fertilizer from contaminating the water, fountains and biological deterrents employed to control algae levels in the ponds, and the resort also carries a new line of eco-friendly recycled clothing available in the Pro Shop.

The Shawnee Inn and Golf Resort has taken great strides to protect the environment. In addition to switching its fleet of golf carts to electric, which saves between 10,000 and 12,000 gallons of gas each year, the resort has moved to automated irrigation during off-peak hours to counter daytime evaporation. Honeybees, which had been practically extinct in the area, were also reintroduced to the grounds that already include many unique birds, eagles and red foxes.

General practices being implemented across the Pocono Mountains include the use of organic products to maintain turfgrass, reducing the number of highly maintained acres by re-introducing natural areas outside the immediate playing corridors and utilizing wildlife to counter invasive pests. One such example is placing bat boxes across the property to keep insect populations in check.

Courses, resorts, B&Bs and other tourism attractions throughout the Pocono Mountains are as diverse as avid travelers are likely to find. Examples include cozy, boutique lodging choices and a mix of modern and classical era golf courses to a brand-new casino and the first destination spa built in the United States in two decades.

Off the golf course, three rivers and countless streams allow for outdoor water activities such as fishing, kayaking and whitewater rafting, while sporting clays, biking, horseback riding, camping and hiking are plentiful. Water parks and dining options abound for those looking to enjoy the Pocono Mountains in these ways.

The close proximity of major metropolitan areas such as New York City, Philadelphia and New Jersey, combined with the country’s current economic situation, has resulted in the increased popularity of the Pocono Mountains over recent years. Golfers are electing to remain closer to home rather than incur the rising travel costs and overcrowded fairways at other destinations. Instead of checking extra luggage, boarding planes and waiting in lines, smart golfers are making the short, scenic drive and teeing off on one of the conveniently located Pocono Mountains courses.

For more information on the Pocono Mountains, visit or call 800-POCONOS (800-762-6667). A complete list of golf courses and links to individual Web sites can be found at


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