Climate Change Mitigation and Facilities Adaptation
Tackling climate change depends on sustainable practices. Throughout the NPS, the effects of climate change are already impacting natural and cultural resources. At Joshua Tree National Park, changes in climate are making the park inhospitable to its namesake species. Glacier National Park is rapidly losing its glaciers. As steward of our national cultural and natural jewels, the NPS is working to not only decrease its environmental footprint, but also to adapt to future conditions. These activities are reinforced by recent Executive and Secretarial mandates that require agencies to become more sustainable and to track and mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
Climate Friendly Parks
Founded in 2003, the Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) program represents a partnership between the SOCC branch of Park Facility Management Division and the Air Resources Division. The CFP program provides the tools and technical and financial support for parks to assess and decrease their emissions and to educate staff and visitors about climate change. Through the program, parks develop sustainability/climate action plans that involve improving energy efficiency, using renewable energy resources, reducing waste, and managing wastewater and runoff. They also begin envisioning how they will adapt to future climatic scenarios. These actions help preserve America’s treasures for future generations by demonstrating environmentally sound behavior to NPS’s more than two hundred and seventy-five million annual park visitors.
The Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) program is one component of the National Park Service Green Parks Plan, an integrated approach by the NPS to address climate change through implementing sustainable practices in our operations. This effort forms part of the larger NPS Climate Change Response Strategy (PDF).
For more information, please visit the Climate Friendly Parks website.
Facility Adaptation to Climate Change
As part of the Park Facility Management Division, it is our job to ensure that parks consider the impacts of climate change before building, renovating or making significant capital investments into NPS facilities. The SOCC is developing guidance and tools to assist park planners in identifying the risks posed by climate change to proposed projects, and to make educated and calculated adaptation, siting, construction and repair and rehabilitation decisions.
Climate Change Communication
The Sustainable Operations and Climate Change Branch of the NPS Park Facility Management Division works with parks, programs and regions across the Service. To view the many sustainability initiatives, accomplishments and park climate change response goals, please visit the Climate Friendly Parks site.
The NPS Climate Change Response Program also aims to inform and educate agency staff in mitigating the effects of climate change on park resources. Please visit their site for more information.