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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.