2009 Awards: Zion National Park Water Filling Stations

As a Climate Friendly Park, Zion is actively becoming more sustainable as well as encouraging visitors to “Go Green”. The park’s Green Team (composed of park staff and partners) installed attractive informative water bottle filling stations in high visitor use areas to encourage visitors to use reusable water bottles and eliminated the sale of bottled water within the park.  Zion National Park encompasses some of the most scenic canyon country in the United States. Receiving over 3 million visitors a year, it is the fifth most visited park in the country. Park visitors are encouraged to carry and drink enough water to prevent heat related illness in this arid environment. Most people are accustomed to buying bottled water and were the ones targeted for behavior change through this project. In addition the filling stations reduced the waste created by disposable water bottles, transportation of bottled water to the park, and provide visitors with the opportunity to drink Zion spring water versus water imported from somewhere else. This resulted in the elimination of over 60,000 bottles of water (5,000 pounds) being sold and subsequently thrown out or recycled. There was a 78% increase in reusable water bottles sold through park partners. Due to the great success many other parks and local communities have contacted the Green Team about taking similar actions, and the park will be installing two additional water bottle filling stations in high visitor use areas.