Mount Rainier National Park: Climate Friendly Parks Program

What is the Climate Friendly Parks Program?
Mount Rainier National Park belongs to a network of "Climate Friendly Parks" who are leading the way in the effort to protect our parks' natural and cultural resources and infrastructure by addressing the current and future impacts of climate change. In 2006, Mount Rainier conducted an inventory of greenhouse gases (GHG) produced in park operations. The inventory was the first step in developing a Climate Friendly Park Action Plan with the goal of reducing GHG emissions from park operations by addressing the management of energy use, transportation, and waste disposal. In 2014, Mount Rainier completed an updated GHG inventory to track the results of the goals identified in the Climate Friendly Park Action Plan.

Comparing 2006 and 2014 Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Total GHG generated from park operations have reduced by approximately 30% from 2006 to 2014.

A bar graph shows the decreased change in emissions from 2006 to 2014 in the categories of energy, transportation, waste, other, and in total.
Estimated greenhouse gas emissions from park operations in 2006 and 2014.

NPS Image

Two images, the top showing the round, flat-topped old Jackson Visitor Center; the bottom image showing the smaller, pitched-roof, new Jackson Visitor Center.
The old Jackson Visitor Center built in 1966 (top), was a large energy consumer. The new Jackson Visitor Center designed and built in 2008 (bottom), meets Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design standards.

NPS Photos

The decrease in total GHG from park operations is due to a variety of park actions. The old Jackson Visitor Center, approximately 60,000 square feet, was constructed with a flat roof which collected large amounts of snow. It required roughly 300-500 gallons of diesel fuel a day to run hot water through pipes in the ceiling to increase snow melt. The new Jackson Visitor Center, built in 2008, was designed to be an energy efficient building, meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards. It is also approximately a third of the size with only 18,000 square feet, and has a steeply-pitched roof that can shed snow. This, in addition to a variety of actions aimed at reducing overall energy use such as the addition of solar panels on some park buildings, consolidating work space, and fixing old leaking water pipes, have helped reduce park operated energy emissions since 2006.

In addition to the overall reduction in park energy, GHG generated from park waste also decreased. In December 2013, LRI Landfill became a Landfill Gas to Energy (LFGTE) facility, helping to reduce our GHG emissions generated from waste.


Next Steps...
Mount Rainier will continue to implement actions identified in the Mount Rainier National Park Climate Friendly Action Plan to continue to reduce GHG emissions and to adapt to current and future impacts of climate change. Also, learn how you can get involved in the Do Your Part! For Climate Friendly Parks program or find another Climate Friendly Park near you!

Last updated: January 7, 2022

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