Harpers Ferry National Historic Park
About the Park
Approximately 250,000 visitors stroll through the streets of Harper's Ferry National Historic Park annually to discover the natural and cultural treasures preserved by the park's dedicated staff. Historic buildings, living history presentations, museums and exhibits recreate the stories of Harper's Ferry's robust and influential past, while guided tours and hiking trails offer visitors a chance to see the sights and a picturesque views of the Potomac and Shenandoah rivers and the area's mountainous terrain.
Changes in area climate may alter the park’s ecosystems, changing vegetation communities, habitats and visitor experience. Challenges to cultural resources and infrastructure may also occur. However, to adapt to a changing climate, park managers must plan ahead and prepare.
Harper's Ferry National Historic Park has already contributed to improving the environment through implementation of a variety of programs and projects. Sustainable operational practices implemented include 70% replacement of ighting fitures and ballasts to more energy efficient models, upgrading of 18 HVAC unitis throughout the park, use of B-5 alternative fuel in new fleet shuttle buses and elimination of 12 vehciles from park fleet, implementation of a comprehensive park-wide recycling program (including staff and visitors) and development of educational programming encompasing environmental messages.
The Harper's Ferry National Historic Park Climate Action Plan identifies further steps that the park will take to reduce GHG emissions and adapt to current and future impacts of climate change. The plan presents the park’s GHG emission reduction goals, and associated reduction actions and adaptation strategies to achieve the park’s goals.
In order to develop appropriate and effective emissions reductions efforts, the park assessed emissions from park operations by source. Purchased electricity represents the largets source of GHG emissions from park operations with 882 MTCO2e (63%). The second largest source of emissions from park operations os mobile combustion with 206 MTCO2e (23%). The third largest source is stationary combustion with 171 MTCO2 e (12%). Only 1% of GHG emissions from park operations were generated from solid waste disposal and refrigerants. Emissions from wastewater treatment (1 MTCO2e) and fertilizer application (0 MTCO2 e) were relatively very small.
The 189 MTCO2e attributed to visitors come from visitor transportation in private or non-park vehicles traveling within park boundaries. Park staff provide shuttle buses to transport visitors between Upper and Lower Town Harper's Ferry, helping to limit visitor traffic on the roads between the two park units, therefore reducing the need for private vehicle visitor travel.
Harper's Ferry National Historic Park 2008 Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Source
Harper's Ferry National Historic Park has committed to:
- Reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from park energy use, transportation, and waste by 15 percent below 2009 level by the year 2019
- Increase climate change and greenhouse gas emissions reduction education and outreach