National Park Service

Santa Monica Mountains Interagency Visitor Center Recognized by U.S. Department of Energy

Photo of Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

NPS Photo

Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area.

September 2013

The U.S. Department of Energy recognized the National Park Service (NPS) with a 2013 Federal Energy and Water Management Award for the Anthony C. Beilenson Interagency Visitor Center at Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area. The visitor center, located at King Gillette Ranch in the historic heart of the Santa Monica Mountains, is operated by four partner agencies: the National Park Service, California State Parks, Santa Monica Mountains Conservancy, and the Mountains Recreation and Conservation Authority.

The project to design and build the environmentally-friendly visitor center was managed by the Denver Service Center, and received a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED™) Platinum rating from the U.S. Green Building Council. In addition, it is the first visitor center in the national park system to be classified as “net-zero,” meaning it produces all of the energy it uses annually using a 94 kilowatt photovoltaic system. Surplus energy from the system helps offset the energy use of other facilities in the recreation area.

“We are honored to receive this level of recognition from the U.S. Department of Energy. The Denver Service Center emphasizes sustainability on all of our projects, and we are proud that this visitor center will help the National Park Service reduce its carbon footprint,” said Sam Whittington, Denver Service Center Director.

The 7,000 square-foot facility uses light emitting diode (LED) electronics for all exterior and interior lighting fixtures, uses a high-efficiency ground and water source heat pump system for heating and cooling, and uses community recycled water for landscape irrigation and toilet flushing. The facility was opened to the public in June 2012.