Going green is an effort beyond neatly mowed lawns and well-painted visitor centers. For Three Rivers, sustainability is a district-wide initiative by conserving water, saving energy, reducing overhead, and providing green spaces for all current and future populations. Sustainability requires a commitment from Three Rivers and its guests to truly make the parks green.
Sustainability is integral to our vision:
“Through leadership, advocacy, innovation and action, Three Rivers is a model of a sustainable regional system of parks and trails that meets the needs of the present while ensuring that the needs of the future generations are well met.”
Three Rivers has established the following sustainability targets:
- Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions generated through Park Operations: 15% by 2015; 30% by 2025; 80% by 2050
- Reduce Waste Generation by Park Operations and Park Guests: 15% by 2015; 30% by 2025; 80% by 2050
- Conserve Groundwater: 5% by 2015; 10% by 2030; 20% by 2050
As Three Rivers continues its sustainability efforts, studies and numbers will be reported periodically to show our progress and encourage greater community involvement. We need you to help us.
Here’s what we are doing today to meet our targets:
Park Facility Development and Operations
- Energy efficiency efforts include geothermal heating and cooling, solar energy, motion detectors on lighting fixtures, high performance building envelopes with high insulation values, natural ventilation strategies, daylighting, high-efficiency lighting, mechanical systems and controls, and programmable thermostats. Read more about how solar energy is being used in Three Rivers.
- Water is conserved through rain gardens, permeable pavers, rain-water harvesting, low-flow and hands-free plumbing fixtures, low-maintenance landscaping, high-efficiency snow guns at Hyland Ski and Snowboard Area and golf course irrigation during nighttime hours only.
- Sustainable materials and products include durable low-maintenance exterior materials, interior concrete flooring, recycled content roof shingles, and carpet tile flooring.
- Policy dictates that 50-75% of all construction/deconstruction waste must be recycled.
- Sustainable cleaning practices include use of certified green products, metering systems for bulk product use, HEPA filters and customized cleaning procedures for each facility..
Reuse, Recycling and Composting
- We recycle office paper, cardboard, glass, metal, #1-#5 plastics and plastic bags.
- Organics are collected at eight facilities within the system and sent to a commercial composting facility where it is turned into soil.
- Our “Green Gatherings” program requires caterers and reservation groups to use reusable or compostable dinnerware.
- Many of our programs are planned as zero-waste events with the goal to generate less than 1/3 pound of recycling and composting per person and less than one ounce of trash per person.
- All Three Rivers concession facilities sell reusable water bottles.
- Waste studies are conducted to identify areas of improvement and minimize trash sent to landfills.
- All computers, printers, scanners, copiers, cell phones and printer cartridges are recycled.
Vehicles and Fuel
- Three Rivers purchases electric and hybrid vehicles for operational purposes.
- Our Public Safety department reorganized staff reporting stations that resulted in a 15% reduction in miles driven annually.
- Idling guidelines were established in 2008.
Purchasing and Paper Use:
- Three Rivers is a member of the Responsible Purchasing Network.
- FSC (Forestry Stewardship Council) certified suppliers and printers are used for paper purchases and Energy Star guidelines are used for appliance purchases.
You Can Help!
- Go zero-waste in the parks! Use reusable items whenever possible and recycle/compost the rest.
- Join our “Green Gang,” volunteers who serve as waste watchers and waste educators at events and programs. Contact Volunteer Services at 763.559.6706 or firstname.lastname@example.org.