Become a Climate Friendly Park

Becoming a Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) Member Park entails completing the following four milestones. At the completion of the fourth milestone a park officially becomes a Member Park. To maintain this status, member parks are requested to continuously engage in three "Ongoing Activities" listed below.

  • MILESTONE 1 – Submit a CFP Application and/or Speak with Your Regional Point of Contact
  • MILESTONE 2 – Complete a GHG Inventory & Collect Baseline Data
  • MILESTONE 3 – Conduct Workshop or Training
  • MILESTONE 4 – Become Certified: Complete a "Comprehensive" EMS or an Action Plan
  • ONGOING ACTIVITY 1 – Workshop Follow-up Assistance and Ongoing Activities
  • ONGOING ACTIVITY 2 – Implement and Continue Developing Your EMS Yearly Work Plan or Implement Your Action Plan
  • ONGOING ACTIVITY 3 – Monitor Progress and Report Results Yearly

Speak with your regional point of contact and/or submit a CFP application. After submitting a CFP application, the park unit will be contacted by WASO CFP program leads.

This milestone consists of three portions and is designed to identify a park unit’s specific greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, identify key sustainability challenges and review a park’s existing Environmental Management System (EMS) for CFP compliance. Ideally, the park’s Environmental Management or Green Team will participate in the data collection phase and will remain part of the planning efforts for the workshop and EMS revitalization or action planning. This is also a great opportunity to ensure that all departments are represented on your Environmental Management or Green Team.

In order to accommodate the unique needs of each park unit, the workshop length and scope will be developed with the guidance of park staff. For example, in some cases, a cluster workshop consisting of a few adjacent parks will be efficient while at other times a workshop with one park will be necessary. The material provided on this website is oriented to a WASO-led CFP workshop with the understanding that four months are needed to plan a workshop. However, changes can be made to accommodate park and regional specific needs. Sample Workshop Agendas and a Workshop Planning and Logistics Sheets are available on page 13 of the Climate Friendly Parks Program Guidance.

Developing Emission Reduction Goals & Using CLIP Data
The CLIP Tool focuses on the overall GHG emissions that your park unit generates and provides you with the baseline needed to identify, implement, and monitor GHG emission reductions. Specific reduction targets need to be contained in your action plan/EMS (____ Park will achieve __% reduction by a designated year using an identified baseline from its CLIP Tool, e.g., 15% below 2005 levels by 2012).

In addition, CLIP Tool Module 2 provides assistance in determining emissions reduction goals for the park in relation to facilities-related activities and can provide the foundation for some of your reduction target goals. Keep in mind, to have a robust framework for responding to climate change it is important to include both quantitative and qualitative action items in the CFP Action Plan / EMS. Never underestimate the value and savings achieved as a result of behavioral change. A goal should be low enough to be achievable, yet high enough to stimulate creativity, innovation, and substantially reduce your GHG emissions. Parks around the country have used Executive Order 13423 (2007) and Executive Order 13514 (2009) as a framework for setting a goal.

For more information on setting an appropriate emission reduction goal, please contact your CFP team.

Complete an Action Plan / "Comprehensive" EMS

The CFP Action Plan / EMS details the mitigation actions the park will take to reduce park emissions, prepare for a changing climate, and outline education and outreach activities the park will engage in to educate park staff and the public about climate change. Often, this work is organized by an existing green team around the various topic areas. Each subset should consider the interrelations of these topic areas. For example, the park’s climate change adaptation strategies or actions to reduce emissions should be presented in educational materials to inform the public of the efforts the park is making to address climate change. After the CFP program receives and accepts an Applicant Park’s final CFP Action Plan / EMS, the Applicant Park will officially enter the CFP program as a CFP Member Park.

Submit your Action Plan / EMS

After completing your CFP Action Plan / EMS, e-mail your document to the CFP program at For a list of required CFP elements in your EMS, please see Appendix E in the Climate Friendly Parks Program Guidance. The CFP team will respond with suggested changes within three weeks. Upon completing all changes and modifications, the document should be resubmitted via the above e-mail. Once the CFP program has reviewed and accepted the CFP Action Plan / EMS, the park is considered a CFP Member Park.

ONGOING ACTIVITY 1 – Workshop Follow-up Assistance & Other Activities
Being recognized as a Climate Friendly Park is just the beginning of the journey toward becoming a truly sustainable park. Keep in mind that WASO and regional support is available to help with overall project planning, technical aspects, EMS integration, and communicating sustainability and climate change. Please feel free to contact us and share how we can further assist you in achieving your CFP goals.

ONGOING ACTIVITY 2 – Implement & Continue Developing EMS Yearly Work Plan or Implement Your Action Plan
After completing an EMS, the Green Team should ensure that actions are completed within the timeline and by the individuals identified in the yearly work plan. Prioritize your action items and select a few each year that you anticipate will be accomplished. The CFP workshop will most likely have generated enough action items to keep your park unit busy for 15–20 years. Establish focal areas and approach action items one by one to increase your productivity and decrease the potential of feeling overwhelmed.

ONGOING ACTIVITY 3 – Update CLIP Tool & Report Results Yearly
After completing your initial baseline emission inventory, CFP member parks should produce emission inventories each subsequent year in time to report them in the CFP annual survey which will be sent to all member parks July 1st via a Survey Monkey link; replies are requested by the end of August.