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Contact: Katie Lawhon, (717) 334-1124, ext. 3121
The Refreshment Saloon at Gettysburg National Military Park's Museum and Visitor Center offers an earth friendly dining experience. Aramark, the operator of the restaurant, launched a national program for environmental sustainability with Gettysburg's Refreshment Saloon as one of its first restaurants to operate under the new program in 2008.
"We prepare and serve locally grown foods, and use environmentally responsible packaging and serving utensils," said Brian Stanton, manager of the Refreshment Saloon. "We also have energy efficient equipment and lighting and recycling programs."
The museum café is an important player in the Gettysburg community's growing movement to support local foods and local agriculture. Salads in the Refreshment Saloon are produced by Winter Gardens in New Oxford, Pa. The coffee is roasted at Starbuck's facility in York, Pa., and apples and other fresh fruits from nearby Gardners, Pa.
"Sourcing these locally grown foods can be difficult, so we're not yet at one hundred percent on all of our sustainability efforts," said Stanton. "We are trying though, and we are getting there more and more."
"Providing local foods in our restaurant achieves our goals in two ways: first by improving the sustainability of local agriculture and also because it lessens our carbon footprint," said Stanton.
Some park visitors are beginning to notice these subtle choices. Serving bowls and plates are made of sugarcane, a compostable material. Many of the "plastic" containers are actually a compostable corn product. All of the paper napkins are made from 100 percent recycled material. All the coffee is sustainable, fairly-traded, and organically grown by Starbucks.
In addition to the earth-friendly efforts of the Refreshment Saloon, the entire Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center is environmentally-friendly in many ways. The Gettysburg Foundation, owner and operator of the museum facility, achieved Gold LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council. The facility has a geothermal heating and cooling system, energy efficient equipment and design, and many natural landscaping and storm water management features.
On April 19, National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis released the Green Parks Plan to focus the bureau on sustainable management of national parks and key environmental issues ranging from reducing energy and water consumption to limiting waste to lowering emissions of greenhouse gases.
For more about the National Park Service Green Parks Plan please visit www.nps.gov/greenparksplan