U.S. Department of Energy - Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
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 vehicle emissions. This initiative complements the NPS Climate Friendly Parks program by demonstrating the environmental benefits of cutting petroleum use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Clean Cities works with NPS to identify parks that would benefit from Clean Cities' support. Transportation projects are featured below.
Acadia National Park
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
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.
Blue Ridge Parkway Incorporates Alternative Fuels in Its Fleet
Catoctin Mountain Park
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 four 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.
Christiansted National Historic Site
Christiansvaern is just one of five historic structures open to the public for tours within Christiansted National Historic Site. Courtesy of NPS
Christiansted National Historic Site, located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, commemorates urban colonial development and offers visitors a chance to experience the history and lifestyle of that time. The park is planning to deploy two all-electric vehicles in its fleet and install two electric vehicle charging stations (EVSE) within the historic site. The project will serve multiple functions: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to promote sustainable transportation, and to diversify the park's fleet to include alternative fuel vehicles. The new vehicles will also be used to educate island residents about EVSE and clean energy technology in transportation through the park's interpretive program on climate change and sustainability.
Denali National Park and Preserve
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
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
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.
Glacier-Waterton Park Powers Buses With Propane
Grand Canyon National Park
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
Jackson Lake at Grand Teton National Park. Courtesy of NPS
Grand Teton National Park is adding one plug-in electric hybrid vehicle to its fleet and will install three electric vehicle charging stations. The park has also deployed five hybrid electric vehicles to its fleet. The installation of the charging stations will support an initiative to grow a larger regional electric vehicle infrastructure network. This initiative will introduce quick-charge stations and electric vehicle use to the heart of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and set the stage for government agencies, local business, residents, and visitors to begin using charging stations throughout the area. Working with Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, the park has launched 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
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 will add four propane pickup trucks and install two propane refueling stations. The park is also replacing three gasoline pickup trucks with all-electric vehicles, converting five gasoline mowers to operate on propane, and installing four publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations. These activities are estimated to help the park reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by almost 40 million tons of CO2 and displace the use of nearly 8,900 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum per year.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park Turns to Alternative Fuels
Independence National Historical Park
Visitors can tour Independence Hall, where both the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution were debated and signed. Courtesy of NPS
Independence National Historical Park, the home of Independence Hall and the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, tells the story of ideas that have shaped our nation. The park is replacing six of its conventional mowers with propane mowers, as well as three of its conventional refuse-collection vehicles with those that run on electricity. Over the course of the next ten years, the park expects to save nearly $20,000, all while demonstrating how these technologies are helping to protect one of America's most important historic sites.
Mesa Verde National Park
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
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
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.
Clean Cities Helps the National Mall Cut Petroleum Use With Propane Mowers
Nicodemus National Historic Site
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
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.
Petrified Forest National Park
Battleship Rock, a natural land form of volcanic rock, provides the backdrop at a popular picnic area in Petrified Forest National Park. Courtesy of NPS
Set partly within the Painted Desert of northeastern Arizona, Petrified Forest National Park offers glimpses of the world's largest concentration of petrified wood, fossils, and a fragile grassland ecosystem. Working with Tucson Clean Cities Coalition (TCC), the park plans to replace all gasoline-fueled vehicles within its Visitor Services fleet and install two publicly available electric vehicle charging station (EVSE) in the park. It's also working with TCC to launch an extensive education and outreach effort designed to educate park visitors, tour bus drivers, and park staff about how to eliminate unnecessary engine idling, reduce fuel consumption, and improve local air quality. The old vehicles will be replaced with one plug‐in electric vehicle and one hybrid electric vehicle. The EVSE will include a DC Fast Charger with Level 2 capabilities located at the park's north visitor center.
Petroglyph National Monument
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.
Point Reyes National Seashore
A view of the mouth of Drakes Estero from the abandoned Drakes Beach Trail in Point Reyes National Seashore. Courtesy of NPS
From its open grasslands to rocky cliffs descending to the Pacific Ocean, Point Reyes National Seashore is home to 38 endangered and threatened species as well as a variety of unique ecosystems. With support from the San Francisco Clean Cities Coalition, the park is adding two all-electric vehicles to its fleet and installing two private charging stations to support their expanded fleet of electric vehicles. This project is estimated to help the park reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 4 million tons of CO2 and displace the use of nearly 700 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum per year.
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 propane pickup truck and two Chevy Volts, install two electric vehicle charging stations, and boost idle-reduction through technology deployment and a comprehensive education and outreach program.
Scotts Bluff National Monument
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
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 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
Sand dunes and forests rise from the shores of Lake Michigan. Courtesy of NPS
Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore plans to deploy of one propane pickup truck and three plug-in electric vehicles, as well as install four electric vehicle charging stations and an air pump that will allow drivers to keep their tires properly inflated. These measures will reduce the environmental impact of the park's fleet by about 15%, as compared to a 2010 baseline. The new vehicles and infrastructure 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.
Wilson's Creek National Battlefield
Civil War musket and artillery firing demonstrations are presented at Wilson's Creek National Battlefield from Memorial Day to Labor Day on selected weekends. Courtesy of NPS
Located in Missouri, Wilson's Creek National Battlefield is the site of the first major Civil War battle fought west of the Mississippi River, allowing visitors to experience one of the best-preserved battlefields in the nation. Working with the Kansas City Clean Cities Coalition (KCC), the park plans to add a propane pick-up truck, four propane lawn mowers, and propane refueling infrastructure to its fleet. The park is also collaborating with the coalition to demonstrate how these technologies can help preserve the historic landscape. This project is estimated to help the park reduce its annual greenhouse gas emissions by more than 4 million tons of CO2 and displace the use of nearly 660 gasoline-gallon equivalents of petroleum per year.
Yellowstone National Park
Great Fountain Geyser at Yellowstone National Park. Courtesy of NPS
Yellowstone National Park plans to add a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle to its fleet and install three publicly accessible electric vehicle charging stations. The installation of the charging stations will serve to educate the public and demonstrate the viability of electric vehicles and charging infrastructure within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem's unique environment. The park has also deployed an electric utility vehicle, two hybrid electric vehicles, and one hybrid electric bus to its fleet. With help from Yellowstone-Teton Clean Energy Coalition, the park is also enhancing its outreach and idle-reduction education efforts.
Yellowstone National Park Commits to Alternative Fuels
Zion National Park
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.