Impact Experiences Extend Social Responsibility Options to Meeting and Catering Participants
TUCSON, ARIZ. – August 29, 2017 – An expanded initiative announced by The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is adding to the resort’s robust group activities offering, presenting local and overnight groups with ways to make a real difference in greater Tucson. The new options are part of The Ritz-Carlton Impact Experiences program, which encourages group guests to make a positive impact on local communities while fostering collaboration and a shared sense of accomplishment.
With a spectacularly scenic setting in Arizona’s high Sonoran Desert, The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain is surrounded by a rich but fragile desert ecosystem which benefits from even the smallest of stewardship efforts. As meeting participants often request up-close-and-personal ways to interact with this exotic environment, the 850-acre resort’s naturalists have developed, tested and endorsed the below new group activities:
Meeting Break: Beautify the Desert with a Hand-Planted Cactus
This 30-minute meeting break allows guests to work with a resort landscape expert who will identify and prepare a cactus planting location. Participants listen to the resort’s Ranger Ron provide a history of the saguaro cactus and its vital impact on the Sonoran Desert environment. At the end of the session, a new saguaro will be planted in the group’s name.
Group Activity: Restore the Desert Eco-System
The well-being of the high Sonoran Desert is jeopardized by fast-growing, invasive buffel grass. This non-native buffel grass can push out other indigenous plant life, and area residents often collaborate to remove it from the natural landscape. In this meaningful outdoor activity, guests work with the Sonoran Desert Weedwackers to remove invasive grasses from Tucson Mountain Park. Volunteers have already donated 30,000+ hours to this important cause, which benefits the entire plant ecosystem of the region.
Group Activity: Home-Build for the Birds
Guests partner with the Dove Mountain Rangers to build nest boxes for birds living on and above the hiking trails near the resort. The boxes can become home to warblers, flycatchers and screech owls, who build their nests inside the boxes. This activity helps to nurture hole-nesting birds which may suffer from loss of habitat, especially in Arizona’s expanding urban centers. This activity is part of a robust birdwatching initiative presented by The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain.
Human-focused activities further add to Impact Experiences at The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain. These include:
Teambuilding and Kindness Education: Painting Bells for “Ben’s Bells”
The mission of Ben's Bells is to inspire, educate, and motivate people to practice intentional kindness – and to empower individuals to act according to that awareness. Ben’s Bells are one-of-a-kind ceramic wind chimes which are hand-made by the Tucson community. By the time one Ben’s Bell is complete, at least 10 people have been involved in its creation. Ben’s Bells are hung randomly throughout the community, in public spaces, for people to find and take home as a reminder to practice intentional kindness. Helping to make and decorate these inspirational and artistic pieces is an ideal teambuilding activity.
Group Activity: Operation “Cards for Children”
Groups are invited to participate in an interactive session creating and decorating greeting cards for young patients of the Tucson Medical Center for Children. Through this generous gift of resort guests’ time and creativity, children staying in the hospital feel entertained, comforted and cared about by travelers whom they may never meet in person.
Group Activity: Loving Hands at Casa de Los Niños
Established in 1973, Casa de Los Niños is a non-profit organization which addresses child abuse and neglect in the Tucson area. The organization operates a children’s crisis shelter and is also a voice for at-risk children and their families, while its thrift store functions as a key source for operating revenue. Volunteers help to sort store donations and stock shelves, and those with special skills in the areas of small appliance repair, furniture repair and customer service are invited to lend a hand at the thrift store and center itself, making a meaningful difference in the lives of children under the organization’s care.
Teambuilding Activity: “Build A Bike” with Geocaching
At The Ritz-Carlton, Dove Mountain, teambuilding activities include blending the excitement and challenge of geocaching with the construction of much-needed children’s bikes. Once individual bike components are discovered via GPS-guided geocaching, bikes are then constructed and a group race is held. When the fun and competition are over, the newly-built bikes are donated to Tucson’s Casa de Los Niños children’s shelter and other nearby youth charities.
Group Activity: Organic Farming
Guests can learn about desert farming by planting, harvesting and sorting crops at the organic farm at Marana Community Food Bank. This community heritage farming location produces much-needed and appreciated, high-quality food for the area’s economically challenged community.