WASHINGTON (National Park Service) — The National Park Service
(NPS) recently presented its 2009 Environmental Achievement Awards to
three parks and three concessioners that incorporated high environmental
standards into their operations.
Acting Director of the National Park Service Daniel N. Wenk praised
this year’s winners for “setting an example by protecting not only NPS
sites but also the land and environment beyond their borders.”
The 2009 winners are:
Denali National Park and Preserve Team: The new Eielson
Visitor Center received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design
(LEED) Platinum level rating — the first NPS building to do so. Largely
powered by water and sunlight, the center educates visitors about
climate change and sustainable construction practices.
Mojave National Preserve: By using recycled asphalt cuttings
to pave about four miles of Zzyzx Road, the preserve kept 14,000 tons
of material out of a landfill and gave the once-dirt road an improved
and durable surface.
Zion National Park Green Team: The Green Team decreased both
the waste generated in the park by disposable water bottles and the CO2
emitted during the transportation of bottled water to Zion National
Park. The team installed stations for filling water bottles in several
popular areas of the park to encourage visitors to drink from reusable
containers. With partners of the park, the Green Team ended the sale of
bottled water within Zion.
Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts: In 2008,
Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts (DNCPR) implemented its
GreenPath Environmental Management System at Grand Canyon, Sequoia and
Kings Canyon, Yellowstone, and Yosemite national parks. These projects
included the development and implementation of comprehensive recycling
programs at each park.
Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Yellowstone National Park: At
Yellowstone, Xanterra cut emissions of greenhouse gases and conserved
energy by supplying used cooking oil from the company’s eateries to run
boilers at its hotels. The cooking oil replaced petroleum-based diesel
fuel in the heating of the hotels.
Xanterra South Rim. LLC, Grand Canyon National Park:
Xanterra reduced waste at the hotel Phantom Ranch through efforts such
as beginning a composting program, giving guests duffel packs made from
used feed bags, and selling only postcards from Mosaic, a zero-emissions
Honorable mentions went to Bryce Canyon National Park/Xanterra Parks & Resorts, for partnering with Garfield County, Utah, to transport recyclables more efficiently, and to Marsh-Billings-Rockefeller National Historical Park, which opened the LEED-Platinum-level-rated Forest Center in 2008.