National Parks Initiative

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Vehicle Technologies Office (VTO) partners with the National Park Service (NPS) through the Clean Cities National Parks Initiative. The initiative supports transportation projects that educate park visitors on the benefits of shifting to affordable, domestic alternative fuels, advanced vehicles, and fuel-saving technologies and strategies. Since 2010, VTO and Clean Cities coalitions have partnered with NPS on 35 projects to put alternative fuel and fuel-efficient vehicles on the road, reduce vehicle idling, and improve vehicle efficiency. These actions support and coincide with NPS's efforts to reduce vehicle congestion, air pollution, and resource degradation, and to preserve the long-term quality of the parks.

Clean Cities and National Park Service logos

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore


Sand dunes and forests rise from the shores of Lake Michigan. Courtesy of NPS

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore added one propane pickup truck and three plug-in electric vehicles to its fleet and installed four electric vehicle charging stations and an air pump that will allow drivers to keep their tires properly inflated. These measures will reduce the environmental impact of the park's fleet by about 15%, as compared to a 2010 baseline. The new vehicles and infrastructure will help educate the park's 1.3 million visitors about alternative fuels and fuel-efficient driving. Working with Michigan's Clean Energy Coalition, the park developed an extensive training and outreach program to educate staff, concessioners, and visitors on the benefits of idle reduction.

See how the Clean Cities National Parks Initiative supports parks transportation projects.

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