Earth Day Activities at Yogi Park Reviewed
The Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Canyon Lake, Texas, is going to be celebrating Earth Day in a big way this year.
Later this month, the Hill Country campground plans to install enough solar panels to heat its 1,000-gallon hot tub.
“We believe these panels will help us reduce our propane consumption by 80 percent and that the investment will pay for itself in less than a year,” owner Larry Jones stated in a news release from Leisure Systems Inc., franchisor for the Yogi Bear parks.
Jones has also installed new 640-square-foot insulated cabins with 6-inch thick walls, dual pane windows and steel doors and pressed wood siding that requires a fraction of the maintenance as standard wood-sided cabins.
Last year, Jones installed high-velocity hand driers in the park’s bathrooms, and wound up saving a lot more than paper. “It saves in clogs because people aren’t flushing paper towels down the toilet,” he said. “It also reduces our maintenance time because we don’t have to constantly refill paper towel dispensers or go to the store to buy them. Having electric hand driers also saves us on storage, since we no longer have to have storage space dedicated to paper towels.”
Jones, of course, has a lot of company when it comes to green initiatives, since Jellystone Park operators across the country are increasingly looking for ways to reduce their environmental footprint.
Here’s a sampling of green initiatives underway at Jellystone Parks in several cities across the country:
- Burleson, Texas: This park is switching from plastic to recycled materials for all of its food service items, including coffee cups, plates, napkins and utensils, said park manager Steve Stafford. www.rusticcreekranch.com
- Fremont, Ind.: This park has installed solar water heating systems for its pools. It also provides aluminum recycling services. www.jellystonesbest.com
- Hagerstown, Md.: This park has received awards from the Washington County Chamber of Commerce and Economic Development Corporation as well as the National Association of RV Parks & Campgrounds for its successful recycling initiatives involving local charity organizations. The park recycles all of its aluminum cans through Star Community, a local non-profit community for people with developmental disabilities. The park also collects plastic and cardboard on behalf of ARC Inc. of Washington County, which works to improve the lives of people of all ages with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Park owners Ron and Vicki Vitkun have also invested in motion activated lights and programmable thermostats and are exploring the merits of solar power for water heating and power generation. www.jellystonemaryland.com
- Horn Lake, Miss. (Memphis): This park is recycling paper and aluminum. www.memphisjellystone.com
- Montrose, Colo.: This park has invested in a computerized system for electronic check-ins, which save on paper and postage. “We print out a small receipt. That’s all the paper it generates,” said park manager John Barber. www.countryvillagervresort.com
- Quarryville, Pa.: Like many campgrounds across the country, the Jellystone Park Camp-Resort in Quarryville is located in an area where recycled materials are not picked up each week by the local unit of government. But park owner Beth Ryan pays a private company to pick up both her trash and recycled materials, and she provides bins for recycled waste at each campsite. “We take cans, bottles and cardboard,” Ryan said, adding, “Our guests like it. They are very happy to see that we do recycle. And campers are environmentally conscious anyway, so it’s a positive thing for them.” www.jellystonepa.com
- Tunkhannock, Pa.: This park has installed recycling centers throughout the campground, using lumber that was recycled from the park’s previous game room to build them. www.northeastpacamping.com