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National Park Service Honored With 3 Environmental Awards

Originally Published in MotorHome Magazine

Move over digital maps and interactive displays – make room for that green roof, recycled
glass countertop, low-flow toilet and passive heating system. Every day, thousands of
people walk into National Park Service visitor centers to talk to rangers and see
award-winning exhibits about nature and history. But now, it’s the buildings themselves
that are winning environmental awards – three more in the last month for Lassen Volcanic
National Park, Blue Ridge Parkway, and Golden Gate National Recreation Area. “We appreciate
that people are taking notice of our efforts to be sustainable,” said Jonathan Jarvis,
National Park Service Director. “Making our buildings and operations as ‘green’ as the
parks themselves is a top priority for us.” The U.S. Department of Energy has honored two
National Park Service facilities in their annual Federal Energy and Water Management
Awards. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at Lassen Volcanic National Park and the Blue
Ridge Parkway Destination Center were both recognized in the Sustainable Design/High
Performance Buildings category. The Kohm Yah-mah-nee Visitor Center at Lassen achieved a
Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEEDâ„¢) Platinum certification. It is the
first year-round LEEDâ„¢ Platinum building in the National Park System as well as the first
Platinum federal building in the State of California. The Destination Center at Blue Ridge
Parkway was designed to conserve the Parkway’s biologically diverse landscape, receiving a
LEEDâ„¢ certified Gold rating. Recently, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger presented
the 2009 Governor’s Environmental and Economic Leadership Award (GEELA) to the Post-to-Park
Transformation project at Fort Baker, part of Golden Gate National Recreation Area. The
GEELA is California’s most prestigious environmental honor, given only to organizations and
individuals who exemplify exceptional leadership for protecting and enhancing the
environment while promoting economic growth. President Barack Obama just released Executive
Order 13514 calling for 15% of all federal buildings over 5,000 square feet to comply with
“Guiding Principles” for sustainability by 2015. LEED standards, developed by the U.S.
Green Building Council, have been accepted by the Department of the Interior as meeting
these “Guiding Principles.” The National Park Service is already working to retrofit
existing buildings and has pledged that all new construction will meet LEED standards. To
learn more about National Park Service sustainable buildings, go to http://www.nps.gov/environment/sustainablebuildings.html.From National Park Service

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