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Contact: Maureen McGee-Ballinger, 605-574-3115
KEYSTONE, SD: Celebrating National Park Week, Superintendent Cheryl Schreier announces Mount Rushmore National Memorial has achieved Climate Friendly Park (CFP) status. A component of the National Park Service Green Parks Plan, Climate Friendly Parks focus on sustainability, energy reduction, waste management, water usage and adopting best practices.
Since 2007 the staff at Mount Rushmore has embarked on a journey toward sustainability by carefully examining a variety of park practices and evaluating systems to develop efficiencies. Energy savings through the replacement of controls and monitors in building heating and cooling systems in combination with the installation of new thermostats provide a consistent control of building energy use. Lower energy use equals a reduced need for propane and electrical consumption. Vehicles with lower emissions and reductions in the fleet have resulted in a cumulative reduction in greenhouse gas emissions. On-demand water heaters, additional insulation and the replacement of incandescent bulbs with more efficient lighting fixtures all contributed toward the new CFP status.
Park partners have joined the call to sustainability in a variety of ways. Musco Lighting donated a new lighting system to illuminate the sculpture resulting in a 90.5% savings in energy with a similar reduction in CO2 emissions. Xanterra spearheaded both traditional and new programs including sustainable cuisine, reducing propane consumption by 26% and initiating multiple new recycling ventures. The Mount Rushmore Society contributed to energy efficiencies by replacing lighting fixtures in the parking garage.
"We are delighted with the new Climate Friendly Park designation. Everyone in the park, staff, partners and visitors have been contributing toward this goal," stated Superintendent Schreier. "Everyday visitors are using water bottle filling stations, park partners are recycling waste products and staff members are turning off lights in unoccupied offices. Sustainability is a collaborative effort."
Gaining CFP status is not the end of the sustainability journey, but the beginning. Park staff will continue to look for new opportunities to be energy wise, utilize greener vehicles and adopt best practices.To learn more about the National Park Service's Green Parks Plan visit www.nps.gov/greenparksplan. For more information about the park, please visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial's official website at www.nps.gov/moru.