Zion National Park Adds a Touch of Green to the Desert

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zion-national-park.gifFor years now, Zion National Park located in the dry, rugged terrain of southern Utah, has had sustainability at the forefront of its daily operations. According to the National Park Service, the concept of sustainability “is to conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects, and the wildlife therein, and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.”

Since 1999, the park has cut down on vehicle traffic and carbon dioxide emissions by utilizing a propane-powered shuttle bus system to transport visitors into the park from the nearby town of Springdale.

It’s visitor center incorporates many green features such as solar power, natural daylighting, and increased energy efficiencies. Overall, the building uses 74% less energy than a comparable conventional building.

The park’s Emergency Operation Center is LEED-certified through the U.S. Green Building Council for it’s high performance green features.

Zion Lodge has also gone green with its conversion of hotel suites into “Green Suites” that aim to educate guests on the merits of green building materials and furnishings. The lodge serves organic food and composts food waste. They also keep the suites sparkling clean with non-toxic cleaning products.

Park employees participate in vanpool programs and use electric vehicles on park grounds.

Visitors just may come away from Zion National Park with more than a sense of awe at its natural beauty, and may give more thought to how their own actions affect our environment.

Source: Hurricane Valley Journal

Tag(s): For Kids, Green Building, Greenhouse Gas Emissions / Global Warming, The Great Green Outdoors


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