Green Pathways
Chicopee Tube Park believes in protecting the special places we operate in, celebrating the beauty of green space in an urban setting and ensuring that the generations that follow us have an opportunity to experience the world the way we do today. It is this sense of stewardship that gave rise to the Park’s concept behind Green Pathways. A comprehensive plan covering just about everything the Park could think of to energy conservation and protect our natural resources. The Park has found dozens of new ways to conserve resources and keep the Earth clean. The Park’s approach is to show other Resort Operations, that the Park is doing all it can to protect the environment, and even to inspire others to follow in its energy conservation footsteps.

The Snowmaking Holding Pond is a prime example of a “Green Pathways” initiative. It will allow water to be recycled for the purpose of making snow. In past the operation was using 4,023,340 million gallons of treated municipal water for this purpose. This project moves the water supply from municipal water resource over to collected on-site storm water.

Working towards “Green Pathways” objectives, the establishment of project fundamentals are as indicated:

Material removed for deepening and widening the surface area of the pond was used to build a reverse slope at the end of the slide. By using this native soil, the Tube Slide launch area was enlarged and several slope areas which were not within the fall line were backfilled. These measures all equate out to less water required to open for winter

The Holding Pond and Cistern is built to accommodate at least 1,104,000 million gallons of water. The Pond is full pre-season by taking advantage of fall rains and has the ability to recharge it’s self between cold spells. Here’s how:

  • Park has been able to harvest water from lapsed snowmaking pipes which no longer making snow and now become a collect system for returning water to holding Pond.
  • Drainage system was extended to Conveyor Snow Pits where snow is melted to keep belting moving freely and this water is now harvested.
    Park building roofs become a capture point for collecting water and this gets transferred to the Holding pond.
  • Park slopes have been contoured to a base French Drain Trench, water run-off from both downhill and reserve slopes is capture and transferred to Pond.
  • Existing slope electrical pits all have drains networked directed into Holding Pond.
  • Water from asphalt driveways and Parking Lot is now drained into the Holding Pond. In past given the nature of these surface areas there would have been significant storm water run-off which is now captured and re-cycled.

Snowmaking Efficiencies’ Gained with focus on reducing hydro costs, here’s how:

The performance factors mentioned earlier in this report of colder dirtier water should be equated out to a 10% savings or reduction in water pumped. This would mean that a reduction of 441,400 gallons of water could be achieved just by providing a colder source of water which is not treated by chlorine which is a dissolved salt. For every gallon of water pumped the yield per acre foot of snow is increased.

Enhanced drainage system is key to capturing and recycling water. Park has realized that during the process there is always a certain amount of leach out of water under the snow surface. This is only a natural part of the curing procession, water being separated from snow crystals. The French drain network has been constructed below grade at the lowest point of the Tubing slopes. Water is captured even at the coldest temperatures and returned to the Snowmaking Holding Pond. The Park is capturing 1,464,070 gallons of water during the months of December, January to re-generate Holding Pond and made back into snow.

The use of native soil from the Pond excavation were construction of reversed slope which in past was manufactured by man-made snow.

In various slope areas have had Fall line corrections. Instead of applying the past practices of using snow to compensate for fall off angles. The excavated soil now means Tubes travel the true direction which means less snow and savings.

Launch area was increased in size to handle Guest queuing lines. Once again native soil was added to this area which in past would have required man- made snow to make Launch Area larger in size.

By adding more excavated soil in the areas stated there is a 25% reduction in gallons pumped. This re-construction work produces an approximate saving of 1,005,835 gallons by replacing snow with earth.

Reclaiming water from lapsed snowmaking pipe 8,035 gallons collected and emptied into Snowmaking Wet Well. Pipes in past were used for Snowmaking and now instead of feeding water and air to slope guns these same pipes are now used as a collection system supplying water for once again snowmaking purposes.

Stormwater run-off from rain and melting snow is viewed as an underutilized resource. The Park, with the assistance of the RAIN program at REEP Green Solutions, is expanding its drainage system to the Holding Pond. Stormwater that is currently running off the hill onto River Road will be redirected to the Pond for winter recycling purposes. This will reduce the potential for erosion on an existing Conservation Trail and allow for captured stormwater to be used for commercial Snowmaking.

Less running hours for compressors and pumps due less acre feet of snow required due to improved snow yields. The Park is on a three year energy conservation program to reduce hydro consumption by 15% a direct result of this “Green Pathways” initiative. Objective is removing approximately $5,724.13 from hydro costs that were in place in 2013 before the Holding Pond was constructed.

Not forgotten is the fact that natural snow does help in refreshing the slopes and offset the need to make addition snow. The snow is typically at its deepest on January 13, with a median depth of 25 cm at that. The depth exceeds 35.4 cm only one year out of ten within Waterloo Region. Tube Park chutes take up an area of 4 acres. Once this surface is covered with compacted snow to a normal snowfall season presents a depth of 12.7 cm. This equates out to 43,560 square feet or 543,100 gallons of water.

The Park has collected water harvesting results for the winter season 2016 and the outcomes were exceptional given that no municipal water was needed to make snow. The chart details the performance of the pond when it came to recovery for the 2016 winter season:

Municipal Water Used for Snowmaking

4,023,340 usg or
15,228 m3

verage Water Used before Holding Pond Construction
Municipal Water Required
Water used 2016 Winter season with Pond
Holding Pond Capacity

1,104,000 usg or
4,179 m3

Water retained by Pond before the start of Snowmaking in November 22nd 2018
Using Storm Water Recovery

2,395,200 usg   or
9,066 m3

Water captured from rainfall for the following months:
December 57 mm
January 28 mmFebruary 36 mm

Catchment of Slope cistern run-off

267,294 usg
1011 m3

Water captured from Slope springs
Expansion of drainage system to Pond

2,991 usg
11 m3

French drain added Conveyor Two catchment area
Reclaiming System

8,035 usg
30 m3

Water recovered from lapsed Snowmaking Pipes
Total amount of water used for Snowmaking

3,499,200 usg or
13,245 m3

Winter Season 2016
With the assistance of the REEP program more water recovery under construction

524,140 usg
1984 m3

Park expanding drainage system further to capture Winter Rain Storm water run-off for 2017 Winter Season

Rainfall was significant during the winter season 2016 months of December, January, and February with a total of 121 mm falling compared to a total of 47 mm that fell during winter season 2018. This equated to an increase of 74 mm in rainfall which the pond captured and, therefore, there was no municipal water demand. Winter season 2016 received an unusual amount of winter rain but this cannot be counted on going forward. Under the REEP program, the drainage system will be expanded in 2017. With expansion, the Park hopes to capture an additional 524,140 usg or 1984 m3 from what is presently draining into the municipal road system.

The Pond project allowed an opportunity for the Park to reduce electricity consumption due to the fact that the colder outdoor-harvested water is not chlorinated. An application has been made to Kitchener-Wilmot Hydro through the Save-on-Energy retrofit program over the past three seasons. The amount of energy savings was just over 34,000 KWH annually, a reduction of approximately $6,000 in electricity costs when it comes to annual savings.

The Park has a self-contained sewage treatment system, reduced greatly storm water run-off and reducing the amount of hydro it is using due to an on-site energy conservation plan. “Green Pathways” is comprehensive plan covering just about everything the Park could think of to energy conservation and protect our natural resources. The only off site resource that is required is water for drinking and reduced electrical transformation.

In order to make “Green Pathways” a reality the Park was fortunate to have Region of Waterloo, GRCA, REEP Green Solutions and Kitchener Wilmot Hydro as partners.

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