Energy-Efficient Equipment and Infrastructure

Park LightsParks and Recreation has been implementing conservation practices in our journey toward saving energy, by updating and adapting our operational techniques, equipment, and infrastructure. We’ve also upgraded lighting and control systems to be more energy efficient.

  1. Lights: We’ve upgraded lighting and control systems to cut energy usage. Many parks requiring lighting for large outdoor and indoor spaces are equipped with LED bulbs and auto-timer controls which significantly reduce the energy and maintenance costs. These lightings also have a longer equipment life cycle.

  2. Solar energy: Solar panels offer a robust and cost-effective means of generating clean, renewable energy in parks. Solar energy not only helps lower greenhouse gas emissions on public lands but also helps to power some of the remote “off-grid” sites within our park system with minimal disruption to the environment.

  3. Synthetic fields: Synthetic turf offers better drainage allowing for year-round play and reducing water usage dramatically without sacrificing aesthetic standards. Additionally, synthetic fields don't need mowing or application of pesticides or fertilizers that cause harmful emissions.

  4. Energy-saving building: In designing future park structures, energy-saving materials, appliances, and HVAC are considered in our parks’ buildings. For example, Catoctin Creek Nature Center features a vegetated green roof design and a geothermal HVAC system. The geothermal HVAC can heat and cool the nature center without burning any fuel or emitting greenhouse gases. 

    The benefits of the green roof include:
    • Improved water quality by reducing stormwater runoff
    • Mitigates the heat island effect
    • Extends the service life of the roof
    • Saves energy
    • Improves oxygen and carbon dioxide ratio and reduce air pollutants
    • Reduces sound transmission
    • Creates more green space and wildlife habitats
    • Creates an education venue for the public