When the Hotel Eden Roc and conservation organisation Naturnetz Initiative came together as part of the Race for Nature, a joint project in Ticino was born. The Hotel Eden Roc team swung into action in the forests of the Vallemaggia to help combat invasive neophytes.
As Switzerland’s most sustainable premium hotel group, it seemed only fitting that the Tschuggen Collection’s 100th anniversary celebrations should point the way to the future by taking action for our natural world. We marked the occasion by hosting the Race for Nature: an event that fit our aspirations and followed our sustainable philosophy.
From 16 to 18 March, 16 forward-thinking companies competed side-by-side with ski stars such as Mauro Caviezel, Maria Walliser Anesini and Didier Cuche in Arosa, the place where the Tschuggen Collection began. The goal was to raise more than CHF 250,000 for participating conservation organisations. The three-day event was also intended to facilitate dialogue, educate interested guests and provide a platform to showcase pioneering projects.
Among the participating conservation organisations was Naturnetz, a service enterprise that works throughout Switzerland to create environmental added value. To this end, they organise non-profit initiatives that not only benefit the environment, but also fulfil an educational need. This collaboration with the Hotel Eden Roc was one such initiative.
After learning of Naturnetz’ projects during one of the Fireside Conservation Chats, hotel director Simon Spiller swung directly into action. The conversation resulted in a joint initiative in Ticino aimed at combating neophytes in the Vallemaggia.
Located very close to the Hotel Eden Roc, the Vallemaggia is one of the most extensive and untouched floodplain landscapes in Switzerland, with wide gravel banks and natural floodplain forests. The natural water dynamics of the Maggia create new habitats on a continuous basis – and it is this that makes the floodplain a valuable home for countless plant and animal species. In recent times, however, this natural idyll has been disrupted by destructive alien plants known as invasive neophytes.
Invasive neophytes displace native plants and propagate quickly to cover large areas. This is where our assistance came in. The control of invasive neophytes is manual and labour-intensive work, meaning that every additional helping hand is welcome!
The Hotel Eden Roc was thrilled to step in and provide much-needed support. In total, 15 employees – from members of the hotel’s management to apprentices – got involved in tackling neophytes in the Vallemaggia. The one-day assignment focused on Chinese windmill palms, also known as ‘Ticino palms’, which occur in large numbers in the forests of Ticino and displace native species. Reducing the spread of Chinese windmill palms allows the natural flora of the forest to re-establish itself and gives young trees the chance to grow and flourish.
Equipped with sickles and axes, the Hotel Eden Roc team spent a whole day in the forest in early May 2023 under the expert supervision of Naturnetz. During breaktimes, Outdoor Butler Cyrill Oherli kept the team feeling fit and relaxed with guided stretching exercises. A super day for all involved – and one we hope will truly make a difference.
Moving Mountains GIVE
This was just one of many conservation projects brought to fruition by the Hotel Eden Roc and the wider Tschuggen Collection. Our responsibility for the world around us is explicitly emphasised in the GIVE pillar of our Moving Mountains programme, which focuses on the need to give back to the natural and cultural environment that surrounds our four hotels. Among other things, the Hotel Eden Roc participates annually in the Bike to Work initiative and supports the local art scene with cultural offerings such as the ETRA exhibition. A variety of local and international nature conservation projects are also supported across the group. Find out more here.