Most people picture skyscrapers and concrete when they think of New York, but almost three million acres of the state is actually classified as forest preserve. This number includes the beautiful Mohonk Preserve, 8,000 acres of incredibly scenic landscape in the Shawangunk Mountains. Now the park administration is going a step further to protect the surrounding environment by committing to using 100 percent clean energy to power all of its facilities.

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By agreeing to use clean energy, provided by renewable energy provider, Green Mountain Energy, the Preserve will save an estimated 307,700 pounds of carbon dioxide annually, the equivalent of planting 31,675 trees.

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“At Mohonk Preserve, environmental stewardship is part of our DNA,” said Glenn Hoagland, executive director of the Preserve. “Choosing to purchase 100 percent clean energy is an important step to build upon our ongoing sustainability efforts. Our protected forests already absorb 9,105 metric tons of carbon dioxide each year, and going with green power further combats climate change by supporting the expansion of our nation’s renewable energy footprint.”

The new clean energy agreement will complement the Preserve’s long history of sustainable practices such as the park’s Visitor’s Center built with recycled wood and stones sourced on-site. Additionally, the building was installed with a number of energy-efficient features such as a geothermal heat exchange technology that uses 480-foot-deep wells to heat and cool the building. Low-e glass was used to optimize solar gain as well as high performance insulation. Additionally, the building’s passive solar design was used to maximize solar angles, providing the optimal amount of daylight on the interior. The orientation of the building was also strategically built into a sloped landscape to maximize the thermal insulation from the earth.

+ Mohonk Preserve

+ Green Mountain Energy

Images via Creative Commons