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Posted 10/15/2012

Release no. 12-040

Robert Kidd

SACRAMENTO, Calif. – Even though it’s autumn, parks managed by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Sacramento District will soon be “greener” than ever – using wind power, solar power, electric vehicles, active recycling campaigns and more to reduce their ecological footprint and help meet the Department of Defense’s sustainability goals.

“It just makes sense for our recreational facilities to demonstrate positive examples of how we can all be kinder to the planet and manage our finite natural resources more wisely,” said Jonathan Friedman, senior district natural resources specialist for the Sacramento District. “And Energy Action Month, this October, is a great time to share this.”

This greening of the district parks was boosted with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 and its associated Department of Defense Energy Conservation Investment Program. The ECIP is a small, but key component of the DoD’s energy management strategy. This program is specifically designated for Recovery Act projects that reduce energy and water usage, and consequently, costs.

The Sacramento District’s 10 parks have variously installed solar energy systems, converted office and shop lighting to compact fluorescent and LED lamps, updated heating and cooling systems and use dual-pane window glass to reduce their net consumption of power.

Black Butte Lake, near Orland, will begin installation of a wind turbine this December, helping sustainably generate power for park visitors. Staff at several parks will soon be using electric vehicles during maintenance duties, decreasing the amount of carbon emissions from gasoline engines.

Water usage efficiency has improved by incorporating low-flow toilets, timers on camping showers and tankless water heating systems.

But the solutions aren’t all found in new equipment. Recycling programs are in full swing at all Sacramento District parks and staff car pools are a popular practice.

“With our rangers and maintenance staff involved in conservation, that enthusiasm gets shared with our visitors. Every visitor can feel better, knowing they help protect the environment when they visit a Sacramento District recreation project,” said Friedman. “Our recreation operations are greener than ever before.”

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is the nation’s largest federal provider of outdoor and water-based recreation, hosting more than 370 million visitors annually at more than 420 lake and river parks.

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