Prince William Forest Park

About the Park

Prince William Forest Park Prince William Forest Park was created as a Recreation Demonstration Area, a program established by President Franklin D. Roosevelt to provide an outdoor experience for inner city youth and to teach job skills to the unemployed. Work began in 1935 to build cabins and establish what was then known as Chopawamsic Recreation Demonstration Area. In 1948, the name was changed to Prince William Forest Park.

Prince William Forest Park

Prince William Forest Park covers over 15,000 acres of land, and includes cabins, campgrounds, an RV park, a 12-mile scenic loop, 37 miles of hiking trails, and on and off-road bike routes. Over the last few years between 215,000 and 250,000 people have visited the park annually.

As a participant in the Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) program, Prince William Forest Park belongs to a network of national parks that are at the forefront of sustainability planning. By developing an emissions inventory, setting an emissions reduction target, developing this climate action plan, and committing to educate park staff and the public about climate change and Prince William Forest Park mitigation efforts, the park is leading by example. In so doing, the park commits to reducing GHG emissions from park operations by 20% below 2008 levels by 2016 through several actions outlined in the park Action Plan.

Emissions Profile

Prince William Forest Park's climate action plan serves to support and enhance existing initiatives and will be incorporated into the park's Environmental Managment System (EMS). This plan is based on the park's initial action plan that was developed in 2008. The plan has been revised and updated to include input from all park staff who participated in the Climate Friendly Parks workshop in 2011.

Total GHG emissions from park operations, concessions, and visitors for FY 2008 was 1,562 MTCO2e. To put this number in perspective, a typical single family home in the U.S. produces 12 MTCO2e per year.4 Thus, the combined emissions from park operations, concession operations, and visitor activities within the park was roughly equivalent to the emissions from the energy use of 130 households. Approximately 596 MTCO2e, or 38 percent of total emissions, were from park operations. Visitor mobile emissions produced 815 MTCO2e, or approximately 52 percent of total emissions. Approximately 10 percent (151 MTCO2e) of total emissions were from the concession operations. Visitor vehicle emissions contributed the greatest percentage to the total emissions from Prince William Forest Park.

Prince William Forest Park 2008 Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Source
Prince William Forest Park 2008 Total Greenhouse Gas Emissions by Source

Goals

Prince William Forest Park has committed to:

  • Reduce GHG emissions from park energy use by 12 percent below 2008 levels by 2016
  • Reduce GHG emissions from transportation by 50 percent below 2008 levels by 2016
  • Reduce GHG emissions from solid waste by 21 percent below 2008 levels by 2016
To read more about how Prince William Forest Park is responding to climate change, check out the park's Action Plan!