In October 2006, the staff at Whitman Mission received three certificates of recognition from the US Environmental Protection Agencyâs âChampions of Environmental Leadership and Green Government Innovation Recognition Program.â
According to EPA coordinator Barbara McCullough, Whitman Mission is the first site to receive the top acknowledgement in three separate areas in a single year.
The EPA program recognizes the efforts of federal employees, groups, or facilities in Alaska, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington that âare showing leadership by going above and beyond the call of duty in working to improve the environment and protecting our natural resources.â
One of the projects specifically cited was the installation of the first solar-generated, grid-tied system between a major public utility and a National Park Service site within the state of Washington. Another project involved converting the parkâs vehicles and the heating systems for park buildings to B20 biodiesel fuel. Using biodiesel has reduced the parkâs annual fuel costs by 10%.
The EPA certificates acknowledge special accomplishments in the areas of renewable energy, environmental leadership and innovation, and alternative fuel use. Efforts in these areas also resulted in Whitman Mission being one of the four finalists for the 2006 national Achievement Award for Real Property Innovation. This contest, sponsored by the GSA (US General Services Administration), focuses on âdemonstrating innovation, creativity, and leading practice in Federal real property asset management and sustainability.â
âWhitman Mission has attuned its own ecological and organizational attitudes to sound environmental principles and practices to help preserve and conserve the resources of the planet," said Bruce Hancock, the park's chief of maintenance. "In doing so, we have demonstrated to other individuals and organizations that when the right technologies are applied in a holistic approach significant savings can be achieved.â