On December 11th, Prince William Forest Park staff and volunteers were awarded first prize in the business/organization category for their entry in the Christmas Parade in Dumfries, Virginia.
The theme of this year’s parade was ‘A Green Christmas.’ Working together, park staff created a green-themed parade entry that turned park electric vehicles into Santa’s reindeer and sleigh. The entry highlighted the park’s ongoing environmental efforts in recycling, Leave No Trace, energy efficiency, alternative energy vehicles, and composting.
Each electric vehicle reindeer highlighted a different ‘green’ theme:
Rudolph had a bright red glowing nose and led the way.
Compost Comet showcased a composter that is currently used in the park and instructions on what to compost and what not to compost.
Trasher Dasher highlighted the park’s efforts at recycling with a Christmas tree made out of 20 ounce soda bottles and another tree made from soda cans and a list of what you can/can’t recycle.
Leave No Trace Vixen was packed with park taxidermy animals who called out their favorite Leave No Trace principle such as ‘I’m bitter about litter’ or ‘Don’t take me with you.’ Leave No Trace Vixen also had a sign which introduced the seven main Leave No Trace principles to the public.
Light Bulb Blitzen rounded out the reindeer by highlighting the park’s efforts to use energy efficient lighting. Compact fluorescents and LED lights were mounted on a sandwich board and the benefits of solar power were highlighted.
Santa’s sleigh was an all-terrain vehicle decked out with presents wrapped in recycled newspaper.
Volunteers and park staff, walking along side of the vehicles, handed out candy canes and informational booklets about the park.
Each operational division within the park worked together to make the parade entry a reality. Participation in the local holiday parade is just one in a series of efforts by park management to reach into the local community. Superintendent Vidal Martinez, park staff and several park volunteers were on hand to celebrate when the coveted first prize was awarded.