The Climate Friendly Parks (CFP) Program is one of many initiatives supporting the National Park Service (NPS) Green Parks Plan. The program provides parks with the tools and resources to address climate change and ensure the most sustainable operations across the agency.
National parks, because of their location and unique, protected resources, are places where the effects of climate change are particularly noticeable. With the establishment of the NPS in 1916, responsibility was give to the Service to preserve and protect the significant resources within parks for the enjoyment of current and future generations. Today, as knowledge about climate change and its effects increase and potential impacts are better understood, the need to practice good stewardship and develop forward thinking resource management plans is more relevant than ever.
The program provides national parks with comprehensive support to address climate change within park boundaries and within surrounding communities. The goals of the CFP Program include:
- Measure park-based greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions
- Educate staff, partners, stakeholders, and the public about climate change and demonstrate ways individuals and groups can take action to address the issue
- Assist parks in developing strategies and specific actions to address sustainability challenges, reduce GHG emissions, and anticipate the impacts of climate change on park resources
The CFP Program is structured around 4 Milestones. Upon successful completion of all milestones, a park becomes an official Member Park.
- Milestone 1: Submit a CFP Application to express interest in the program and identify the park CFP team
- Milestone 2: Complete a GHG Inventory to develop a baseline emissions inventory for park operations
- Milestone 3: Conduct a CFP Workshop or webinar training to provide park staff, partners, and stakeholders with an educational opportunity to learn more about the potential impacts of climate change on park resources and discuss response strategies.
- Milestone 4: Complete a CFP Action Plan or Comprehensive Environmental Management System to outline planned sustainability and climate change response actions as well as educational initiatives to help educate visitors.