It began with a simple email. It blossomed into a memorable educational trip for a group of students.

“We were wondering if the students from Yosemite Wawona Elementary Charter School could come to Tenaya Lodge for a field trip on Monday, 5/22,” a teacher from Yosemite Wawona Elementary Charter School wrote in an email to Jorge Negrete. “We would love to see what the hotel does to reduce, reuse & recycle!”

Upon receiving the email, Negrete, an environmental and security supervisor at the Delaware North-owned-and-operated Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, got to work.

Negrete designed a full day of activities to educate and inspire the young students and their chaperones. Upon welcoming the group in the morning, he showcased Delaware North’s proprietary environmental stewardship platform, GreenPath, with an educational presentation and a tour to highlight the resort’s eco-friendly features, including its recycling and composting systems and car charging stations.

After lunch, the students toured the resort’s Wastewater Treatment Plant, then Negrete led them on a scenic nature hike.

“It’s amazing with all the GreenPath-aligned initiatives and projects (water bottle filling stations, planting trees, ‘Zero Waste’ goals, etc.), perhaps the most meaningful efforts can be planting seeds of GreenPath information in the minds of young people in hope that their environmental responsibility will blossom and be fruitful in the years ahead,” said Dean Smith, security and environmental manager at Tenaya Lodge, in a congratulatory email to Negrete, who is pictured at far right in the image below, along with the students and two teachers.

GreenPath Q&A with Jorge Negrete

What GreenPath accomplishment are you most proud of? I am proud of several things that we are doing here at the lodge, but I think that my biggest accomplishment is changing our associates’ way of thinking in how to recycle, recycle organic materials, reuse items, report environmental concerns and take care of the environment at work and at home.

Do you have any simple tips that other locations and associates could adapt to become more GreenPath-friendly? Educate our associates to involve them in the environmental program. The information is out there and if we have more and more people involved, we can do great things.

What are your GreenPath goals for the next year? I want Tenaya Lodge to reach a goal of Zero Waste — we have a plan in place and are working on it.


Published: May 26, 2017