Dodge Ridge is combining education and fun this season with the introduction of its Children's Interpretive Program.

The program, which is aimed at kids from ages 4 through 12, is designed to create a lifelong love of not only skiing and snowboarding, but also the neighboring bio-region and forests; the program's instructors are trained in natural history and mountain animal life.

Five mascots -- each representing an important quality of on-mountain activities -- have been introduced to help educate and inspire the kids who take part in the Children's Program: There's "Snowy" the female flying squirrel who represents fun flying in the air and landing in control; there's "Buddy" the blue jay who represents the Dodge Ridge's terrain parks; there's "Emmy" the bald eagle who represents safety and smart-style riding; there's "River" the female raccoon who represents family and learning on the mountain; and then there's "Cinnamon" the coyote who represents mountain exploration.

The Children's Interpretive Program has other features it will develop, including skiing mascots, children only trails, gullies and alleys and a "kids only" trail map.

Dodge Ridge also offers a snow-play program for children ages 3-5. This program attempts to cultivate a love of the snow through play in a no-pressure, fun atmosphere.