Eco - relating to ecological or environmental terms.
Centric - pertaining to or situated at the center; central.
Metroparks has been a “green” leader in Lucas County for over 80 years, preserving 12,000 acres of natural areas and inspiring preservation efforts through educational programming. Still, the park district is always looking for new ways to reduce the impact of day-to-day operations on the environment.
Even a park district can strive to be greener. Being Ecocentric means making the environment central to what we do every day.
Metroparks goal throughout the organization is to have 75 percent of its fleet running on alternative fuels within three years.
In 2008, the park district reduced its fleet from 72 to 56 vehicles and replaced some small trucks with electrical vehicles, saving 12.5 cents per mile. Recently, the park district purchased six Electric Utility Vehicles, including the fully electric truck pictured here, to add to the eight EUVs already in service.
A management decision has been that every vehicle purchased in the future will be the smallest possible vehicle necessary to do the job. All new vehicles purchased must be able to accept alternative fuels such as biodiesel, propane or E-85. Ranger patrol cars purchased in 2008 have flexible fuel engines.
Park rangers already spend a considerable amount of their time on foot or bicycle as part of their community policing philosophy, which has the added benefit of burning less fuel.
Metroparks has switched to coreless toilet paper, resulting in a 54.6 percent reduction in packaging waste. It is also more cost effective.
By using Green Seal-certified cleaners that are super-concentrated, the park district has reduced packaging size and frequency of refilling. For example, Green Seal products were recently used to strip and seal the floor of the Secor Room at the National Center for Nature Photography at Secor Metropark.
By switching to microfiber cleaning cloths rather than using paper towels, Metroparks eliminated approximately 80 cases of paper waste.
Garbage bags used in the park system are made with 50 percent recycled content.
Turning Out The Lights
The Metroparks Maintenance Dept. replaced an old line voltage lighting system at the Yager Center at Swan Creek Preserve with a low-voltage system, realizing a 78 percent reduction in electrical usage! It’s just one example of the many ways – large and small – the park district staff is reducing its electrical consumption.
One simple step the park district took in 2008 was to remind the staff to turn out the lights when leaving a room and shut down computers and other appliances when leaving for the day. A simple placard with a logo reminding people to turn out the lights to save energy was distributed to all offices to be placed above light switches. (The original logo design by staff graphic artist Jesse Mireles was selected as a Best of Show winner in a contest this fall sponsored by the Northwest Ohio Chapter of the Association for Women in Communications.)
Nature’s Nursery, a Metroparks partner organization that operates a wildlife rehabilitation center at the Blue Creek Conservation Area in Whitehouse, saw a 25 percent reduction in electrical usage in 2008 over 2007 by adopting energy-saving habits.
Public recycling bins located at Providence, Pearson and Secor Metroparks.
The bins are part of the Lucas County Solid Waste District's recycling program. [Drop-off sites and details]
Containers marked for waste paper and beverage bottles and cans have been placed in administrative offices and other work sites throughout the Metroparks. Individual offices have receptacles for recyclable waste paper.