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DNR Purchases Leed Green Power Credits For Gunpowder State Park
BALTIMORE COUNTY, MD – As part of efforts to secure LEED certification for the Hammerman Beach Services Building at Gunpowder State Park, the Maryland Department of Natural Resources (DNR) recently signed a contract with Renewable Choice Energy to purchased 63,000 KWh of renewable energy per year for the next two years.
"The Maryland Park Service is striving to serve as a role model for sustainable building and renewable energy," said Maryland Park Service Superintendent Nita Settina. "This project represents a renewed emphasis on conservation of natural resources in park operations and promotes wise environmental stewardship, which is integral to ensuring a sustainable future for Maryland."
Switching to renewable energy will not increase the facility’s energy expenditures. Purchasing renewable energy credits equal to annual energy cost allows the park to continue to pay its normal electric bill with the agreement that the credits will ensure that the same amount of wind power energy is added to the grid. Renewable energy credits directly contribute to the development of clean power sources and help to reduce the need for fossil fuels.
"We are very proud to have our brand new beach house be environmentally friendly,” said Park Manager Mike Browning. “This state-of-the-art building will not only serve our visitors well with new restrooms, concession and lifeguard facilities, but it will serve as a model for sustainable design in parks throughout the state, and perhaps the country. The renewable energy certificate in particular helps the park reduce carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, so we see this as a very important step."
The new visitor center, designed to accommodate an ever-increasing number of beach goers and boaters, incorporates the following green principals: a light-colored metal roof system intended to reflect sunlight; design that incorporates use of daylight, as well as T-8 lamps equipped with occupancy sensors; carpets, floor tile, toilet partitions, and exterior decking made with recycled materials; and use of low flow toilets, waterless urinals and ultra-low flow showerheads, as well as collected rainwater in bathrooms. The Hammerman Beach Services Building is expected to open in late May.
Encompassing 16,000 acres, Gunpowder Falls is Maryland’s largest state park, offering over 100 miles of trails, historic sites, and a myriad of recreational opportunities. The Hammerman area of Gunpowder Falls State Park is a beachfront area on the Gunpowder River that provides seasonal lifeguards and concessions, beach access for swimming and windsurfing, as well as opportunities to fish, and rent kayaks, wind surfboards and catamarans.
The certification and renewable energy commitment fit in well with the cadre of smaller steps taken under the Gunpowder Global Warming Initiative, which was launched in February 2007 by the park with no additional budget. This initiative includes an annual Polar Fair, the Gunpowder Carbon Footprint Challenge, reconfiguration of park recycling program, movement toward more earth-friendly merchandise and concessions, staff training and incorporation of global warming issues into interpretive programs, as well as preliminary energy audits and exploration of alternative energy retrofitting opportunities.
LEED Certification, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a program that operates through the U.S. Green Building Council, providing a set of standards for environmentally sustainable construction.
For more information, please visit www.dnr.maryland.gov/publiclands/central/gunpowder.html.
April 22, 2008
Contact: Olivia Campbell
410-260-8016 office I 410-507-7525 cell
The Maryland Department of Natural Resources is the state agency responsible for providing natural and living resource-related services to citizens and visitors. DNR manages nearly one-half million acres of public lands and 17,000 miles of waterways, along with Maryland's forests, fisheries and wildlife for maximum environmental, economic and quality of life benefits. A national leader in land conservation, DNR-managed parks and natural, historic and cultural resources attract 12 million visitors annually. DNR is the lead agency in Maryland's effort to restore the Chesapeake Bay, the state's number one environmental priority. Learn more at www.dnr.maryland.gov