2012 DOI Environmental Achievement Awards Honorable Mentions
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Small rural communities are challenged with properly recycling electronic waste (e-waste) and oftentimes this waste ends up in landfills or is illegally dumped. A community partnership was developed between NPS and Xanterra Parks and Resorts located at Petrified Forest National Park, Arizona Department of Environmental Quality (ADEQ), the City of Holbrook, Global Electronic Recycling, Northland Pioneer College, and Little Colorado River Plateau Resource Conservation Development Area, Inc. and has demonstrated that it is possible to work with local communities and regional partners toward the common goal of environmental stewardship.
The 8,240 square-foot Office and Visitor Center at Morris Wetland Management District, Minnesota, is a model of sustainable design excellence. The new facility combines interior daylighting, low-e glazed windows, and energy-efficient lighting to improve comfort and performance. A 23-ton ground source heat pump works with an enthalpy wheel and energy recovery ventilating units to maintain indoor air quality while improving energy performance by 30%. Water-efficient fixtures, native landscaping, and a natural stormwater management system at the facility save water. A net-metered 20 kW solar photovoltaic array (pictured right) provides 35.9 MWH of renewable power, which offsets 25 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. Sustainable features include a cool roof, Hardie Plank siding, high-recycled content ceiling tile, decks, railings, and rubber mulch landscaping.
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Three projects comprise this nomination:
Alkalinity Enhancement Project – A state-of-the-art technology for treating the hatchery water supply. The system netted a saving of 50% for chemicals, labor, and electrical costs, and improved human health and safety by replacing the laborious aspect of handling individual lime bags with a more automated system.
Solar Panel Project – A plan to install a photovoltaic solar panel system generating an estimated 15,000kWh in FY 2010. Additionally, the project included the installation of sub-meters on 70% of energy-using buildings to more reliably measure the actual electrical usage.
Geothermal HVAC Replacement System – A plan to capture geothermal energy from the cold water spring to heat/cool the Fish Health Building. Our carbon footprint is reduced and the economic benefit will continue for many years. The green geothermal system saves approximately $2,200 per year in propane and electrical costs.
Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks/City of Visalia, Operation of the Sequoia Shuttle, National Park Service, Visalia, California
Throughout the five years of Sequoia Shuttle operation, the City of Visalia has continually collaborated with the park to make the shuttle as user-friendly as possible, to carry as many people to the park via the external shuttle, and to continually improve the service. During 2010 service, the city leased two hybrid-electric buses to supplement the fleet. They later sought funding for, and were awarded funds to purchase, six hybrid-electric buses for use with Sequoia Shuttle. These buses, in addition to continuing the vision of the Giant Forest restoration to protect the big trees, employ state-of-the-art technology to minimize air pollutants in this region that is known for its poor air quality. Together, Sequoia National Park and City of Visalia will take a step forward in modeling environmentally sustainable collaborative models, showcasing the six hybrid buses for the first time in 2012, for use on Sequoia Shuttle routes.
Assateague Sustainability Team, Sustainability Improvements at Assateague Island National Seashore, National Park Service, Berlin, Maryland
2011 witnessed major progress in an ongoing effort to enhance the sustainability of operations and visitor use facilities at Assateague Island National Seashore. Responding to the park vision of becoming a community leader in sustainability, the accomplishments include projects expanding the generation and use of renewable energy, decreasing energy consumption, and reducing waste streams. Thanks in large part due to the availability of 80% Recreation Fee revenue, most of these efforts were designed, funded, and initiated over the course of just the last two years. Led by Maintenance Chief Ish Ennis and Foreman Randy Hartz, the projects involved Assateague staff across all divisions, and received support from several regional office programs.
Environmental Facility and Operational Improvements, Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge, Fish and Wildlife Service, Calipatria, CA
The Sonny Bono Salton Sea National Wildlife Refuge staff achieved significant environmental progress, accomplished in part with an all-employee staff meeting, a review of the Fish and Wildlife Service Practical Greening Manual, and a separate review of Refuge farm practices. One result was a 51% reduction in the volume of diesel fuel used in farm operations by switching to no-till planting. This saves approximately 5,863 gallons per year or 65 tons CO2. Another result was a shift in the products purchased for office procedures and maintenance, such as all paper goods containing some portion of recycled paper, cleaning fluids that are biodegradable, light bulbs that use less mercury and less energy. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 provided a funding opportunity for the design and procurement of nine solar arrays that provide 58 DC KW of energy, which produced 81,659 kWh during the first 12-month period, providing a C02 emission savings of 69 tons and a 52% reduction in grid energy use.
In 2004, Big Bend Resorts (operated by Forever Resorts) implemented an aggressive recycling program to divert waste in partnership with the park in response to a crisis of lack of landfill space. Following this successful eight-year program, Big Bend Resorts employee, Rafael Del Campo, extended this success to develop a recycling program with Cetis 98, a local high school in Ojlinaga, Mexico, a town that borders Big Bend National Park. Through the succeeding years, this joint effort has become a major benefit to the community in Ojlinaga.
With a mission to preserve, protect, and inspire, it has been Grand Teton Lodge Company's (GTLC) privilege to be a concessioner in Grand Teton National Park for over 60 years, culminating their historic sustainability leadership to "Build the Future" with outstanding sustainability performance in fiscal year 2011. GTLC's integrated management system, Envision, incorporates environmental, health and safety, and quality framework for GTLC leadership to set goals and targets aligning with EO 13514 with resulting performance results. Envision not only significantly reduces GTLCs environmental impact but also recognizes the value that their employees and community stewardship provide towards developing a sustainable culture as outlined in EO 13514.