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.
  • Cecil
    THE MAYOR—Cecil Schoonover poses with a collection of garden gnomes that mysteriously arrive and disappear from his property. Along with the gnomes, someone created the sign stating that he is the Mayor of Gnomesville. He hasn’t yet tracked down the people involved in the prank, but he’s having a good time with the mystery.
  • Front.rest
    TAKE A BREAK—Last Wednesday’s session of Stair District Library’s Summer Reading Program ended with a quiet period in a class presented by yoga instructor Melany Gladieux of Toledo. Children learned a variety of yoga poses in the main room at the library, then finished off the session relaxing. Additional photos are on page 7. Area children are invited to visit the library today when the Michigan Science Center presents a flight program at 11 a.m. and roller coasters at 1 p.m.
  • Front.batter
    THE DERBY—Tyler “Smallpox” Flakne of Minnesota’s Home Run League All-Stars goes for the fence Friday night during the National Wiffle League Association’s home run derby in Morenci. This year the wiffleball national tournament moved from Dublin, Ohio, to Morenci’s Wakefield Park. During the derby, competitors had two minutes to hit as many home runs as possible. The winner this year finished with 21. See page 6 and 7 for additional photos.
  • Front.green Screen
    OUT OF THIS WORLD—Elizabeth McFadden and Elise Christle pose in front of the green screen as VolunTeen Noah Gilson makes them appear as though they are standing on the Moon. More photos from the Stair District Library’s NASA @ My Library program are on page 12.
  • Front.snake
    Lannis Smith of the Leslie Science and Nature Center in Ann Arbor shows off a python last week at Stair District Library's Summer Reading Program.
  • Front.fireworks
    FIREWORKS erupt Saturday night over Morenci’s Wakefield Park during the waning hours of the Town and Country Festival. Additional festival photos are inside.
  • Pipeline Spread
    LINED UP—Lengths of pipe were put in place last week along the route of the Rover natural gas pipeline that will stretch from Defiance, Ohio, to Ontario, Canada. Topsoil was removed before the pipes were laid out. The 42-inch diameter pipeline is scheduled for completion in November.
  • Front.rock Study
    ROCKHOUNDS—From the left, Joseph McCullough, Sean Pagett and Jonathan McCullough peer through hand lenses to study rocks. The project is part of Morenci Elementary School’s summer camp that continues into August.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2017