May 10, 2016 16-06
For Immediate Release
Kathleen Gonder (435) 834-4741
Centennial Celebration of Sustainability: Bryce Canyon Invites All to Attend Ribbon Cutting of Solar Array and Shared Use Path
BRYCE, UT – Lisa Eckert, Superintendent of Bryce Canyon National Park, proudly extends an invitation to see the new solar array, and hike, bike or stroll along the Shared Use Path. These projects are completed in time for the larger National Park Service’s (NPS) 100th Anniversary celebration. To commemorate these two improvements the park, Bryce Canyon City and U.S. Forest Service/Powell Ranger District, will host a dual ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday, May 19, 2016. This Centennial Event will begin at 11:00 a.m. at the Bryce Canyon Shuttle Station in Bryce Canyon City, and then will move to the Visitor Center for the Solar Array Ribbon Cutting. The event is open to the public, and all are invited to attend.
“Transportation and energy underscore the challenges of balancing visitor enjoyment with preservation,” explains Kevin Poe, Bryce Green Team Coordinator. “Just as we realize we need to maximize access, we also need electricity to function.
Bryce Canyon predicts that the Concentrating Solar Photovoltaic (CPV) will generate nearly 400,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. This is enough to power more than 40 homes. Superintendent Eckert also points out that “We will be reducing our annual carbon dioxide emissions by 320 tons, which is the equivalent of taking 65 cars off the roads — that’s twice our number of staff vehicles!” Painting the larger picture, Eckert elaborates that “The National Park Service has a proud history of environmental achievements. This was made possible because of the participation of the American public. As we celebrate the National Park Service Centennial, mitigating the impact of global climate change is high on our to-do list and Bryce Canyon is a strategic place to demonstrate green solutions.”
The Shared Use Path meets all ADA accessibility standards while offering increased safety and enjoyment for pedestrians and cyclists. It also accomplishes other goals like providing a dog-on-leash hiking option as well as cross-country skiing, even when winter snowfall is minimal.
The solar array, manufactured by Arzon Solar, of California, and it was installed by Ridgeway Valley Enterprises from Montrose, Colorado. The Shared Use Path, built by Eddie Lopez Construction of Hurricane, Utah, was funded and engineered by Federal Highways Administration and the Utah Department of Transportation. Additional information can also be obtained by visiting the park’s website at www.nps.gov/brca or by calling the park’s main information line at (435)834-5322.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 411 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Visit us at www.nps.gov, on Facebook www.facebook.com/nationalparkservice, Twitter www.twitter.com/natparkservice, and YouTube www.youtube.com/nationalparkservice.