Green Team Blog - September 2009
Climate Friendly Park Drives Less and Pedals More
September 14, 2009
Have you noticed more people driving less and pedaling more in your town? Whether due to fuel prices or simply not wanting to expel carbon dioxide, more of us are using alternative transportation. Since 2003, the staff and Volunteers at Glacier National Park have also been using bikes for transportation rather than vehicles.
Thanks to a Climate Friendly Park initiative and to the Glacier National Park Fund, Glacier provides a fleet of 27 bicycles for staff and Volunteers to utilize throughout the park. The fleet consists of older-style cruiser bikes that complement the historic red “Jammer” buses. This program gives employees an alternative to driving a vehicle when completing short trips, thereby preventing a cold start from an engine. Fuel consumption and pollution output are much higher in the first minute or two after a cold start than when the engine has achieved normal operating temperatures.
You may spot a red bike at one of Glacier’s campgrounds, where a Park Ranger is using it to navigate the hills and check on campsites. It is not uncommon to see the Chief of Natural Resources riding a red bike from the park’s headquarters building to quickly get to a meeting at the science center. Preventing cold starts has a greater impact to air quality than preventing longer-distance driving.
The Glacier National Park Green Team sponsored a bike maintenance workshop for park staff to help maintain the red bikes. Bicycling extraordinaire and mechanic, Pedaling Pete, taught us a few basic bike care and maintenance skills. Our goal is to envelope a bike care and basic maintenance plan that will incorporate park staff.
Did You Know?
If current trends continue, some scientists predict that by the year 2030, Glacier National Park will not contain any glaciers and many of the park's smaller glaciers will melt even sooner.