U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy

Clean Cities

Clean Cities National Parks Initiative

Clean Cities partners with the National Park Service (NPS) through the Clean Cities National Parks Initiative to support transportation projects that educate park visitors on the benefits of cutting petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions. This initiative complements the NPS Climate Friendly Parks program by demonstrating the environmental benefits of cutting petroleum use.

Projects

Clean Cities works closely with NPS to identify parks that would benefit from Clean Cities' support. Clean Cities and NPS transportation projects are featured below.

Acadia National Park

Photo of ocean waves crashing against rocks

Acadia National Park showcases the rugged Maine coast to more than 2 million visitors each year. Courtesy of NPS

At Acadia National Park, visitors and staff can travel among park destinations, inns, campgrounds, and neighboring communities on buses powered by alternative fuels. The park is working with Maine Clean Communities to introduce eight alternative and fuel-efficient vehicles to replace inefficient gasoline-powered vehicles. Acadia National Park is also installing two electric vehicle charging stations that will be available to the public.

Blue Ridge Parkway

Photo of a road flanked by trees with autumn foliage

Blue Ridge Parkway offers spectacular views for visitors. Courtesy of NPS

Blue Ridge Parkway has worked with the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles coalition to cut petroleum use in the park. Blue Ridge is acquiring four hybrids and four propane pickup trucks to replace less-efficient vehicles dating back to model year 1989. The vehicles are helping raise awareness of sustainability among the park's visitors. The park is also installing a propane refueling station.

Catoctin Mountain Park

Photo from the top of a mountain

Chimney Rock at Catoctin Mountain Park. Courtesy of NPS

Working with the State of Maryland Clean Cities coalition, Catoctin Mountain Park will replace two conventional vehicles with plug-in hybrid electric vehicles and install three electric vehicle charging stations for park and public use. The park also will replace three gasoline lawnmowers with propane mowers and share their use with a nearby military base. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Denali National Park and Preserve

Photo of a bull moose raising its head in Denali National Park

A bull moose during the rut in Denali National Park. Courtesy of NPS

The most visited park in Alaska, Denali National Park and Preserve covers 6 million acres, located 300 miles south of the Arctic Circle. The iconic park is acquiring one plug-in electric vehicle (PEV) and one photovoltaic-powered charging station to help reduce emissions in Denali’s "Front Country," home to several campgrounds, visitor centers, and administration facilities. The PEV will replace a gasoline-powered vehicle typically driven short distances. The charging station, to be constructed by local students, will pave the way for expanded use of PEVs in the area and help educate park visitors on the importance of cutting petroleum use and reducing emissions.

Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument

Photo of tree-covered hill

Florissant highlights a wealth of insect and plant fossils. Courtesy of NPS

The Southern Colorado Clean Cities coalition and Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument are collaborating to replace two gasoline vehicles with two all-electric low-speed vehicles, install an electric vehicle charging station, and deploy an all-electric utility vehicle. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Glacier National Park

Photo of a 1930s red and black bus driving on a road in Glacier National Park

One of Glacier National Park's propane-powered historic Red Buses. Courtesy of NPS

Nearly all of Glacier National Park's vehicles and other mobile equipment use alternative fuels. The park's historic Red Bus fleet has been running on propane for more than a decade. In 2007, the park introduced a shuttle system along the popular and scenic Going-to-the-Sun Road. The shuttles, which can run on biodiesel, help reduce traffic congestion and emissions from private vehicles.

Link to video

Glacier-Waterton Park Powers Buses With Propane

 

Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Photo of wildflowers on coastal bluffs overlooking the Pacific Ocean

Wildflower blooms on the Mori Point headlands in Golden Gate. Courtesy of NPS

The expansive Golden Gate National Recreation Area is walking the talk by switching from higher-emission vehicles to five new electric vehicles (EVs). Golden Gate, which partnered with San Francisco Clean Cities, is also installing five 220V EV chargers with data collection capability and implementing a biodiesel project for heavy-duty vehicles.

Link to video

PG&E Helps Bring Electric Vehicle Chargers to Muir Woods

 

Grand Canyon National Park

Photo of the Grand Canyon under partly cloudy skies, as seen from the canyon rim. A pine tree frames the left side of the photo, and a snag rises up on the right

The Grand Canyon offers some of our country's most iconic vistas. Courtesy of NPS

Grand Canyon National Park runs an environmentally friendly alternative fuel vehicle fleet and a shuttle bus system for park visitors, reducing the number of vehicles on some of the park's busiest roads. The park is also participating in the Climate Friendly Parks program to reduce its transportation-related greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2020.

Grand Teton National Park

Photo of a lake surrounded by mountains

Jackson Lake at Grand Teton National Park. Courtesy of NPS

Grand Teton National Park is adding five hybrid electric vehicles to its fleet. It's also working with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy to launch an extensive education and outreach effort designed to eliminate unnecessary engine idling, reduce fuel consumption, and improve local air quality.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

Photo of a male white-tailed deer standing in a green meadow, with forested, misty mountains in the background.

A white-tailed deer stands in a meadow in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Courtesy of NPS

Great Smoky Mountains National Park is working with East Tennessee Clean Fuels and the Land of Sky Clean Vehicles coalition to cut petroleum use. The park is replacing three gasoline pickup trucks with all-electric vehicles, converting five gasoline mowers to operate on propane, and installing four electric vehicle charging stations—two DC fast charging and two Level 2 charging stations—all of which will be available for public use. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Link to video

Great Smoky Mountains National Park Turns to Alternative Fuels

 

Greater Yellowstone Area

Photo of a valley and river with mountains in the background

Hayden Valley at Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy of NPS

The Greater Yellowstone Area, which includes Yellowstone and Grand Teton national parks along with six national forests and two fish and wildlife refuges, is striving to improve air quality and reduce fuel consumption. With support from Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy the Greater Yellowstone Coordinating Committee completed a greenhouse gas inventory for fleets and facilities in the Greater Yellowstone Area, and is now developing a comprehensive emissions-reduction plan.

Mammoth Cave National Park

Photo of people entering a cave

Ranger and visitors at Mammoth Cave entrance.
Courtesy of NPS

Mammoth Cave National Park started using E85 in 1999 and today runs all its vehicles on alternative fuels. Thanks to new funding, the park is adding four propane-powered school buses, two propane-powered pickup trucks, and one electric utility vehicle to its fleet. In addition, park personnel are partnering with the Kentucky Clean Cities Partnership to enhance efforts to educate visitors, employees, and the media about the benefits of using alternative fuels.

Link to video

Mammoth Cave National Park Uses Only Alternative Fuel Vehicles

 
Link to a video

Mammoth Cave Focuses on Fuel Economy

 

Mesa Verde National Park

Photo of an ancient tower at an archeological site atop a mesa

Cedar Tree Tower in Mesa Verde. Courtesy of NPS

Invoking the spirit of the Ancestral Pueblo people who made it their home for over 700 years, Mesa Verde National Park is working with Southern Colorado Clean Cities to cut harmful emissions. The park is eliminating inefficient vehicles that traveled nearly 400,000 miles, and it is adding four new propane pickup trucks and a propane lawn mower. A propane fueling station will also be installed for park use. Project partners are executing a comprehensive idle-reduction outreach campaign for staff, concessioners, and the park's 500,000 annual visitors.

Mississippi National River and Recreation Area

Photo of a stone bridge stretching over the Mississippi River

The shores of the Mississippi in Minneapolis were once home to thriving flour mills. Courtesy of NPS

The Mississippi National River and Recreation Area (MNRRA) protects a 72-mile, 54,000-acre corridor along one of the world’s great rivers. Regional park and trail destinations within MNRRA are accessible to over 33 million annual visitors to the greater Twin Cities area. The Twin Cities Clean Cities coalition is working with the park to install 12 electric vehicle charging stations at 11 MNRRA sites, helping to reduce emissions and educate park visitors about alternative transportation options.

National Mall and Memorial Parks

Photo of an aerial view of the Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C

The Lincoln Memorial and Reflecting Pool are among the most popular destinations in Washington. Courtesy of NPS

The National Mall and Memorial Parks has been a must-see stop in the nation’s capital for hundreds of millions of visitors throughout the mall’s 200-year history. The Greater Washington Region Clean Cities coalition has teamed with the National Mall in an effort to modernize its high-profile fleet. Clean Cities is helping to meet that goal by enabling the mall to acquire two plug-in electric vehicles, four electric vehicle charging stations (two for public use), and idle-reduction technologies. The mall is also partnering with the Propane Education and Research Council to deploy seven propane-powered mowers.

Link to video

Clean Cities Helps the National Mall Cut Petroleum Use With Propane Mowers

 

Nicodemus National Historic Site

Photo of building on a prairie

Nicodemus preserves the a Western town founded by African Americans after the Civil War. Courtesy of NPS

The Nicodemus National Historic Site is working with the Kansas City Regional Clean Cities coalition to replace a gasoline pickup truck and mower with a propane pickup truck and mower. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Pea Ridge National Military Park

Photo of road in a forest

Pea Ridge preserves a Civil War battle site. Courtesy of NPS

Working with the Arkansas Clean Cities coalition, Pea Ridge National Military Park is replacing a gasoline pickup truck with a dedicated propane truck. The park also will develop a Green Team to educate staff, visitors, and students on sustainability and conservation. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Petroglyph National Monument

Photo of petroglyphs

Petroglyph contains volcanic cones and archeological sites. Courtesy of iStock

Working with the Land of Enchantment Clean Cities coalition, Petroglyph National Monument is replacing three gasoline vehicles with all-electric, plug-in hybrid electric, and hybrid electric vehicles. The monument also will install two electric vehicle charging stations with one available to the public. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Rocky Mountain National Park

Photo of mountains rising above a forest and alpine lake in Rocky Mountain National Park

The peaks of Rocky Mountain National Park attract hikers from across the globe. Courtesy of NPS

Rocky Mountain National Park, with more than 3 million annual visitors, is the fifth most-visited park in the NPS system. With support from Northern Colorado Clean Cities, the park is planning to purchase one Toyota Highlander Hybrid and two Chevy Volts, install two electric vehicle charging stations, and boost idle-reduction through technology deployment and a comprehensive education and outreach program.

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park

Photo of a church in a Spanish colonial mission

Mission Concepción at San Antonio Missions National Historical Park. Courtesy of NPS

San Antonio Missions National Historical Park, which partnered with Alamo Area Clean Cities, is taking steps to reduce pollution in San Antonio. The park is purchasing two propane pickup trucks to replace two outdated gasoline-powered pickup trucks. The park is also installing two 220V EV chargers with data collection capabilities.

Link to video

San Antonio Missions National Park Focuses on Alternative Fuels

 

Scotts Bluff National Monument

Photo of a mesa

Scotts Bluff is rich with geological, paleontological, and human history. Courtesy of NPS

Scotts Bluff National Monument is incorporating an all-electric, multi-passenger low-speed vehicle to enable cleaner transportation options to the overlook at the top of the national monument. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.

Shenandoah National Park

Photo of mountaintops covered in autumn foliage

Fall provides stunningly colorful vistas in Shenandoah National Park. Courtesy of NPS

To help keep views along scenic Skyline Drive clear, Shenandoah National Park is acquiring a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle, an all-electric vehicle, and three 220V EV chargers. Working in conjunction with Virginia Clean Cities on ways to reduce emissions, Shenandoah is adding 12 propane lawn mowers to replace existing gas models.

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore

Photo of sand dunes and forested hillsides rising from the shores of Lake Michigan at Sleeping Bear Dunes

Sand dunes and forests rise from the shores of Lake Michigan. Courtesy of NPS

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore will deploy four plug-in electric vehicles, four charging stations, and an air pump that will allow drivers to keep their tires properly inflated. The measures will reduce the environmental impact of the fleet by about 15% compared to a 2010 baseline and will help educate the park's 1.3 million visitors about alternative fuels and fuel-efficient driving. Working with Michigan's Clean Energy Coalition, the park is developing an extensive training and outreach program to educate staff, concessioners, and visitors on the benefits of idle reduction.

Yellowstone National Park

Photo of a geyser erupting

Great Fountain Geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy of NPS

Yellowstone National Park is adding an electric utility vehicle, two hybrid electric vehicles, and one hybrid electric bus to its fleet. With help from Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy, the park is also enhancing its outreach and education efforts. Its idle-reduction campaign encourages visitors, employees, and residents of surrounding communities to avoid unnecessary engine idling.

Link to video

Yellowstone National Park Commits to Alternative Fuels

 

Zion National Park

Photo of a river flowing through a steep-walled canyon.

The Virgin River in the Narrows of Zion Canyon at Zion National Park. Courtesy of NPS

In 2000, Zion National Park introduced a fleet of 21 shuttle buses, which are all powered by propane. By getting visitors out of their cars, the shuttles eliminate more than 5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions each year. Utah Clean Cities is working with park officials to expand Zion's use of alternative fuels by replacing three gasoline-powered vehicles with all-electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and installing 10 electric vehicle charging stations, five of which will be available for public use. The project also includes an idle-reduction education and outreach initiative.