Sustainability in the Park

A man plugs in an electric car at a charging station in a parking lot at Catoctin Mountain Park.
Electric vehicle charging equipment is available at several parking areas at Catoctin Mountain Park.

NPS Photo


Since its creation in 1916, the National Park Service (NPS) has been a world leader in protecting natural and cultural resources. The NPS has preserved many of the country’s greatest treasures and in the process has become a model for resource management. Through the implementation of the Green Parks Plan, the Service strives to extend that leadership to the sustainable management of our facilities and operations in order to fully carry out the mission of environmental stewardship. Working towards the vision of net zero waste, energy, and water usage, Catoctin Mountain Park is making changes to lessen our impact of our operation on the environment.


Climate Friendly Parks

Catoctin Mountain Park joined the Climate Friendly Parks Program in 2013 with the goal of reducing the park’s greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to a changing climate. Through the program, we have conducted annual inventories of emissions in the park and developed strategies to ensure our operations become more sustainable.


Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

Visitors are able to charge their vehicles at three stations throughout the park, conveniently located at major trailheads. The charging equipment was provided through a grant from the Department of Energy to encourage the public’s use of electric vehicles, a part of the Clean Cities program.

The electricity has been provided thanks to a grant from the Geller Family Foundation in partnership with Adopt-A-Charger. Simply plug your vehicle in, and begin charging!

A map of electric vehicle charging stations. They can be found at Camp Round Meadow, the Park Visitor Center, and Park Headquarters.
Electric vehicle charging stations can be found at Camp Round Meadow, the Visitor Center, and Park Headquarters.
Water bottle refilling station
Water bottle refilling stations are available at several facilities throughout the park, including at the Visitor Center.

Energy Efficient Facilities

Office buildings and facilities are a significant source of resource consumption in the United States. This includes water and emissions sources like electricity, propane, wood for heat, heating oil, cleaning agents, and solvents. Here in the park, we have implemented several strategies to reduce the footprint of daily park operations. Some of the green changes include:

  • Placing water bottle refill stations throughout the park
  • Installing new energy efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Purchase of electric and hybrid electric vehicles for our fleet
  • Installing low-flow toilets in park restrooms and fitting older sinks with low-flow aerators
  • Installing high efficiency LED lighting and motion sensing switches
  • New building insulation and using programmable thermostats
  • Installing tankless water heaters in park facilities
  • Switching to lower emission propane lawn mowers

Additionally, the Catoctin Mountain Park sustainability committee looks at recycling and resource usage in the park. Their goal is to increase the amount of waste diverted to recycling, by providing employees and visitors with better recycling infrastructure and education.

These changes to our operations not only reduce our impact on the planet, they also save money by reducing our water and electric bills. Calculate your carbon footprint to see where you can save money.

A volunteer crew poses with tools after a day of work.
How You Can Help

You can be a part of the solution. At home, on the road, and in the park – get involved!

Fall foliage on display at the Hog Rock Overlook
Eastern Forests and Climate

Changes in seasonal weather could have an impact on eastern forests, and the animals that call them home.

Extreme closeup of a deer tick on a blade of grass.
Health and Climate Change

Mosquito and tick-borne diseases are on the rise in a warming climate.

Close up of a solar flare
Climate Change

The greenhouse effect is becoming stronger due to human activity.

Last updated: November 20, 2018

Park footer

Contact Info

Mailing Address:

6602 Foxville Road
Thurmont, MD 21788


301 663-9388

Contact Us