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National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation

1 Lake, 5 Parks, 0 Carbon

Decarbonize the Parks Project

From the unique ecosystem of Isle Royale to the historic lighthouses of the Apostle Islands, Lake Superior’s 5 National Parks boast natural and cultural resources cherished by generations. But the park facilities run primarily on fossil fuels. We are hoping to change this!

With 10% of the world’s freshwater, Lake Superior is vulnerable to climate change; it is one of the fastest warming lakes in the world. To ensure that the lake, and its parks, remain healthy for future generations, we must do all we can to turn the tide, with urgency.

In partnership with the National Park Service, the National Parks of Lake Superior Foundation (NPLSF) is taking action on climate by pursuing net-zero greenhouse gas emissions in park facilities and operations on our lake. Our children, and their children, will thank us.

We owe it to the lake, the parks, and ourselves to create a future without carbon pollution.

For further details, please contact us at decarb@nplsf.org.

Our deep thanks to Askov Finlayson, a climate positive outerwear company, for their early investment in our Decarbonize the Parks Project. Their early seed funding and collaboration made this project possible.

An opportunity for Midwest leadership

The National Park Service’s Green Parks Plan lays out a clear vision for reducing its environmental impact through climate change mitigation strategies across the United States.

Thanks to early planning and strong public-private partnerships, Lake Superior’s National Parks are poised to be among the first and most ambitious park decarbonization initiatives.

 

An initial study commissioned by NPLSF, with support from Askov Finlayson, laid important groundwork and we are working closely with National Park superintendents, gateway community officials and regional tribal leadership, to begin implementation. Because many park buildings are the size of homes and businesses, net-zero projects in Lake Superior’s national parks will create actionable and inspiring models for visitors as well as demonstrating the National Park Service’s commitment to advance climate change and sustainability solutions.

Since the project's formal launch in January 2023, it has gained national attention.

Decarbonization Strategies Tailored to Each Park

We will address the unique needs of each park, and maintain its character, through a combination of tools:

  • Zero-carbon energy, using solar, geothermal and other renewable grid sources.

    Energy efficiency in windows, insulation, lighting, HVAC and appliances.

  • Transportation electrification of light-duty vehicles and building charging stations are a top priority. We are monitoring emerging technology for EV boats.

  • Innovation, including load management and new high-impact, cost efficient and proven technologies.

  1. Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

  2. Grand Portage National Monument

  3. Isle Royale National Park

  4. Keweenaw National Historical Park

  5. Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore

Program Priorities

The National Parks of Lake Superior is focused on five major program elements to Decarbonize the Parks:

Utilize industry-leading technical design.

Create a realistic, practical example of climate resiliency to educate and inspire others.

Elevate clean energy jobs

Build an equity and inclusion lens into all aspects of the project.

Support and advance the National Park Service Green Parks Plan

Your partnership and support are crucial to the success of this project. Please join us. 

 

To learn more, please contact us at decarb@nplsf.org.

The National Parks of Lake of Lake Superior Foundation is the official nonprofit (501(c)(3) funding partner of the five national parks on Lake Superior. 

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