The Mt. Ashland Ski Area is getting ready for the season with help from the Southern Oregon University community.

As many as 150 students and volunteer coordinators will ring in the new school year with a day of environmental stewardship. The entire SOU community was invited to care for the slopes of local nonprofit ski area Mt. Ashland on Saturday, Sept. 30.

Service work will include helping with erosion mitigation, trail brush trimming and removing trash from the slopes before the snow flies.

"Volunteering at Mt. Ashland is a great way for students to kick off the new school year,” said Jill Smedstad, SOU’s environmental and community engagement coordinator. “They get to give back to their community and discover this amazing resource right in their backyard.”

“The SOU Civic Engagement Program aims to connect students to the community through service, and we're thrilled that so many students, employees, and alumni are spending their Saturday volunteering together at Mt. Ashland," she said.

This “Day of Service” represents SOU’s largest off-campus day of environmental service. Mt. Ashland will provide a gift certificate to each student who participates. Transportation, lunch, and T-shirts will be provided for all volunteers by SOU. Buses will arrive at the mountain at 10 a.m. and depart at 2 p.m., after a lunch catered by Mt. Ashland.

“Last year’s day of service was a huge success, so we were elated that SOU wanted to come back again this fall,” said Hiram Towle, general manager at Mt. Ashland. “The students all worked very hard and got an amazing amount of work accomplished. We are grateful for our partnership with the university, and we could not be happier to have them here again to take part in caring for their local ski area and the Ashland watershed.”

Mt. Ashland is a nonprofit ski area owned and operated by the Mt. Ashland Association under a special use permit from the U.S. Forest Service.