Eighty NPS employees and representatives from partner organizations and local communities recently attended a two day climate workshop at Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, during which the park announced its efforts to become the next "Climate Friendly Park."
The workshop consisted of informative talks and planning sessions focusing on the science of climate change, how climate change affects national parks in the Great Lakes Region, and what Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore can do to mitigate these effects.
"We the consumers are ultimately responsible for what happens to the environment," said Liz McConnell, the park's chief of administration, during an exercise about who is responsible for greenhouse gases. "Through our actions we have the power to guide industry toward environmentally safe production and products."
The same is true for guiding how parks operate.
"Visitors to our national parks expect us to be leaders in protecting the environment," said Laura Thompson, coordinator of the park's environmental management team. "We have a responsibility to set an example of being climate friendly."
Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore has already implemented many greenhouse gas reduction changess, such as adding fuel efficient hybrid vehicles, installing solar powered street lights, upgrading to more efficient heating and cooling systems, and installing a living "green" roof on one park building.
The park's staff recognizes that this is just the beginning, and they are excited to do even more to reduce greenhouse gases. Participation in the workshop puts Indiana Dunes one step closer to creating a climate friendly action plan to help employees do just that.
The Climate Friendly Parks program stems from a partnership between the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the NPS to educate, communicate, and mitigate climate change and air pollution. Learn more about becoming a Climate Friendly Park at the link below.