It Takes a Team to Be Green

National Park Service
Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska
Environmental Stewardship
Michael_Cobbold@nps.gov


Left to Right: Mike Cobbold, Gale Norton, Elwood Lynn
Left to Right: Mike Cobbold, Gale Norton, Elwood Lynn

The Green Team at Denali uses a quote from Duane Elgin, author of Voluntary Simplicity, to describe their environmental achievements: "The character of a society is the cumulative result of countless small actions, day in and out, of millions of people." All Denali employees create, maintain, and use sustainable practices. Too long to enumerate here, the following are highlights of Denali employees' environmental achievements. The Interpretation staff created a Sustainable Mess Kit to prevent waste from disposable goods and to introduce new employees to the Park's focus on sustainability. The auto shop uses re-refined oil, biobased and biodegradable hydraulic oil, and 4-stroke engine snowmobiles which are more fuel efficient and make less noise. The sled dog kennel staff compost waste and collect shed fur for local crafts people who spin, dye, and knit it into ear muffs and hats. Park staff quadrupled the recycling program's recovery rates from 2002 to 2003. Photovoltaic systems are in use at numerous remote sites throughout the Park. Denali is laying the groundwork for a Greening Workshop for Park employees, local businesses, the community and the borough government to encourage sustainable practices in the Denali area. Sustainability goals are included in the Park Strategic Priorities Plan. The Park also maintains an informative website and distributes a newsletter to showcase employee environmental achievements. A model of sustainable practices, Denali's new Visitor's Center will include extensive use of daylight, passive solar heating, and wood harvested from dead spruce forests. All exhibits in the Center incorporate the theme "Threads of Sustainability." The employees of Denali strive collectively and individually to innovate environmentally sustainable practices to great result.

Accepting the Award:
Mike Cobbold, NPS
Elwood Lynn, Chief of Maintenance
Kayce Cook, Regional representative

Left to Right: Fran Mainella, Mike Cobbold, Elwood Lynn, Steven Griles
Left to Right: Fran Mainella, Mike Cobbold, Elwood Lynn, Steven Griles