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Mar. 30, 2009
Jocks and Treehuggers: Professional Athletes Take on Sustainability
This just came our way from our friend Alex Wolff, Co-Founder & President of the Premier Basketball League’s Vermont Frost Heaves.

One Sunday the 29th the Frost Heaves won the Champlain Cup Title by defeating the Quebec Kebekwa 114-84 in Quebec City.

Next up, the Frost Heaves will travel to Wilmington, NC to face the Sea Dawgs in a one-game play-in scheduled for early April. A win against the Sea Dawgs will pit the Frost Heaves against the #1 seeded Battle Creek Knights in the Premier Basketball League play-offs.

So there’s certainly a lot of basketball going on in Vermont—but basketball isn’t the only reason we enjoy working with the Frost Heaves. Here’s a great example from Alex of how this organization thinks outside the box and gets involved on a bigger level, beyond the hardwood:

We take issues of sustainability and the environment seriously at our Premier Basketball League team, the Vermont Frost Heaves.

It’s one of the reasons we’re so pleased to partner with Team Clif Bar, which is populated with plenty of other athletes who believe that those in the public eye can play a role in spreading the gospel of a clean energy economy. And it’s one of the reasons we’ve recently signed on with, the climate action group that’s committed to reducing the concentration of carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million. (A score more teams and athletes are part of that effort, including the Clif Bar Development Cyclocross Team—for the full roster, go to

It’s also one of the reasons I’m so looking forward to Tuesday, April 7.

That’s when I’ll be sitting on a panel at Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vermont, called “Jocks and Treehuggers: Professional Athletes Take on Sustainability.”

I’m no jock, even if I did write the 2007 Sports Illustrated cover story “Going, Going Green,” which took a look at the impact of a warming planet on the world of sports. My fellow panelists, on the other hand, are the real deal. Dhani Jones, when not playing linebacker for the Cincinnati Bengals, is a fellow who works with Nobel Laureate Al Gore’s climate change initiative and rides a bike to and from practices and games. Natalie Spilger, a former U.S. national team soccer player who now suits up for the professional Chicago Red Stars, immersed herself in issues of energy and the environment while an engineering major at Stanford; last year she founded Green Laces, a group of athletes pledged to reaching out to youth to promote recycling and an eco-friendly lifestyle.

Keeping us all on topic will be the troubadour of sustainability, the author, activist and serious cross-country skier Bill McKibben; Middlebury Nordic skiing coach Andrew Gardner, who has wrangled the sportsmen and sportswomen in the 350 stable, will moderate; and the Panther athletes who comprise the college’s Athletic Sustainability Committee, will be formulating questions for us to tackle.

The event is set for 6:30 p.m. in Room 216 of Bicentennial Hall on campus [go to for more information and directions]. If you live in Vermont or eastern New York, come by and join the conversation. If you’re looking for an additional reason to come to Vermont from farther afield, consider the spring skiing. At the very least, check back here late that week, when I’ll update the TCB Blog based on what’s sure to have been a lively back and forth.

—Alexander Wolff
Posted by:
Le Sensation American
Team Clif Bar

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We like getting our heart rates up, taking a big breath of fresh air, savoring delicious food. But we also love telling stories and here's where we type 'em up. (BTW, it works both ways; leave a comment—please and thank you.)

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