Ohio state park lodges going greener 5.21

Written by David Green.

 Occupancy-sensing thermostats, heat-trapping swimming pool covers and solar window films are all part of a new "green" initiative in the Ohio State Park resort lodges aimed at saving energy and resources.
 
"Energy conservation is a major thrust among our 74 state parks, especially the nine resort lodges," said Dan West, chief of Ohio State Parks. "We want to provide an example for saving dollars and resources - whether it be with more efficient kitchen practices, a renewed emphasis on recycling or innovative ways of generating heat and light."
 
Special programs in April at Deer Creek State Park Lodge in Pickaway County and Geneva State Park Lodge in Ashtabula County emphasized the importance of conserving water, energy and other resources.
 
Eating "green"
 
At the Geneva lodge, a Green Path team led by an environmental coordinator is looking at a variety of ways to make the facility more "green." A diversion program that incorporates recycling, reuse and sustainable building and green purchasing practices is already in place.
 
The lodge has substituted environmentally friendly cups, plates, paper towels and gift bags, with recycled content, as well as biodegradable products, for use in eateries and retail shops.
Similar measures at Deer Creek lodge mandate that all disposable items used day to day in the lodge restaurants and meeting facilities are environmentally friendly. In fact, the use of Styrofoam cups and plates was banned in all the state park resort lodges this year.
 
Diners in resort lodge dining rooms throughout the system will not notice a difference, but kitchen practices in all resort lodges have grown more efficient as head chefs adopt an overall energy conservation strategy.
 
More efficient heating and cooling
 
The lodges at Maumee Bay State Park in Lucas County, Salt Fork State Park in Guernsey County and Mohican State Park in Ashland County recently retrofitted boiler operations to conserve heat. Likewise, solar films were added to the windows at Maumee Bay and at Hueston Woods State Park Lodge in Preble County to help keep rooms cooler in the summer.
 
Visitors to Punderson State Park in Geauga County will enjoy greater control over temperatures in their lodge rooms with the installation of a new heating and cooling system and thermostats that "sense" when the room is occupied - adjusting the temperature accordingly. A pilot program at Punderson has proved so successful that similar thermostats are slated for installation at the Hueston Woods and Mohican lodges, as well as Shawnee State Park Lodge in Scioto County and Burr Oak State Park Lodge in Morgan County. Occupancy sensitive thermostats are being installed in the cottages at Hueston Woods.
 
Energy costs take a "dip"
 
The cost of heating swimming pools at Hueston Woods and Salt Fork will grow less as those lodges install liquid pool covers that minimize evaporation and subsequent heat loss.
 
Future is even "greener"
 
Upcoming projects include exploring the possibility of installinga wind turbine at Maumee Bay on Lake Erie shore to reduce overall energy costs associated with operating the lodge and cottages. And seven of the resort lodges arelooking into the purchase of daylight "harvesting" equipment that will reduce operating costs.
 
Waste vegetable oils from the kitchen at Salt Fork lodge may soon be converted to bio-diesel to fuel the park's tractors, mowers and other maintenance equipment.
 
Recycling of glass, aluminum cans and cardboard has long been a common practice at all Ohio State Parks resort lodges. Those recycling efforts will be expanded in coming years to save on expenses and put resources to better use.
  • Front.splash
    Water Fun—Carter Seitz and Colson Walter take a fast trip along a plastic sliding strip while water from a sprinkler provides the lubrication. The boys took a break from tie-dyeing last week at Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program to cool off in the water.
  • Front.starting
    BIKE-A-THON—Children in Morenci’s Summer Recreation Program brought their bikes last Tuesday to participate in a bike-a-thon. Riders await the start of the event at the elementary school before being led on a course through town by organizer Leonie Leahy.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016