Onondaga County Parks

Onondaga County Parks Green Initiatives

Onondaga County Parks is constantly striving to reduce energy costs and have a positive impact on the environment.

 As much as possible our parks use eco-friendly products and practices to promote sustainability with Beaver Lake Nature Center and the Rosamond Gifford Zoo taking active roles in educating the public.

 All parks currently:

  • Recycle bottles, cans, paper, cardboard, metal, batteries, ink cartridges, light bulbs and motor oil.
  • Place recycling containers at all shelters, lodges and use at all special events
  • Turn off lights in areas that are not in use with several utilizing motion detector sensors
  • Beaver Lake, Hopkins Road, Jamesville Beach & Onondaga Lake Park utilize GEM (Global Electric Motorcars) cars for internal park needs.
  • Beaver Lake, Highland Forest, Jamesville Beach, Onondaga Lake Park and Pratt’s Falls have implemented reduced mowing areas.

Beaver Lake Nature Center

  • A variety of lighting fixtures and motion detectors were installed in the Visitor Center designed to save energy. Annual savings are projected to be 29,166 KWH, roughly $3200
  • zoned room thermostats to regulate/balance hot water heat
  • use recycled material composite decking for handrails and replacement boardwalk surfaces
  • use 6 picnic tables made of recycled materials
  • print newsletter on recycled paper with soy based inks
  • replaced vintage 1974 single pane sliders with an insulated wall and energy efficient windows
  • motion detector light switches in low use areas such as chase ways and basements
  • utilize CFLs in all applicable light fixtures, including wildlife viewing room
  • installed photovoltaic system on roof of the Visitor Center
  • electric tram...NOWmobile to provide senior or limited walking capacity visitors with nature based tours
  • installed rain barrels at Admission Booth and Visitor Center
  • explore replacing existing exhibit flood/spot lamps with LED lamps
  • alternative lighting for Assembly Room
  • replacing existing benches as they wear with benches made from recycled material
  • drinking fountain with bottle filler
  • Sells only organic fair trade coffee
  • Zero waste events (including Golden Harvest Festival - 15000 attendance, and Enchanted Beaver Lake - 9,000 attendance)
  • Use only compostable plates, flatware, and cups
  • Beaver Lake is a carry-in carry-out park.  When the Nature Center sells food item everything is compostable or recyclable
  • Nature Center offers a washing station for private canoes and kayaks before being used in Beaver Lake, to prevent the introduction of invasive species.

Carpenter’s Brook Fish Hatchery

  • Strategically planted 50 spruce trees along steep banks of property to reduce mowing operations
  • Combine smaller fish stocking trips to two or three streams into one instead of making individual trips

Highland Forest Park

  • A computer program that monitors and prioritizes areas that require heating and air-conditioning in Skyline Lodge is utilized and managed.
  • Picnic tables are painted with environmentally friendly latex paint.
  • Wood from old picnic tables that is still useable is recycled into other wood structures such as sign holders and stations for park events.
  • Small trees and bushes are transferred within the park for maximizing use of shade trees and reducing erosion on slopes.
  • Perennial and native plants are utilized in our planters and around buildings, which are weather tolerant, sustainable, and water conserving.
  • Trees that have fallen on trails, public walkways, and roadways are removed and naturally recycled into the forest or reused as firewood.
  • Outdoor Solar lights are used for several night functions.
  • Snow plowing was reduced by 15%.

Hopkins Road Softball Park

  • Composting grass clippings from infield
  • Composting all edging and soil materials from athletic fields
  • Composting bushes and wood chips
  • Using composite material which has turned to topsoil within the park
  • Replaced old lights in maintenance garage with more energy efficient lighting

Jamesville Beach Park

  • reduced air temperatures during office operating hours as well as after-hours through the use of a programmable thermostat;
  • eliminate paper towel use in public restrooms with use of energy efficient electric hand-dryers

NBT Bank Stadium

  • Re-lamp complete interior of the facility - fixtures, ballasts and bulbs
  • Installed occupancy sensors in all rooms that were not equipped with them
  • Reprogram Boiler Control to reset supply water temperature setpoint with respect to ambient outside air temperature
  • Installed new Carrier web-based I-Vu Standard to allow 365 day programming and trending and allow access from the internet.
  • Implement a new winterization program which allow complete shutdown of several areas of the building.

Read how Onondaga County is partnering with the Syracuse Chiefs (& Syracuse Crunch) to become more eco-friendly.

Oneida Shores Park

  • Streetlights and sidewalk lights on photo eye timers so they operate only when necessary
  • Reduced paper towel use in select locations by installing energy efficient blowdryers
  • Campground shower vent fans are on motion sensor on/off switches so they only run when people are using the showers
  • Plowing reduced by 60% in 2010

Onondaga Lake Park

  • Reduced paper towel use in select locations by installing energy efficient blowdryers
  • We use low phosphorous cleaning chemicals.
  • Have mixture of exterior lights on photo eyes or timers
  • Recycle all leftover metals created through park maintainance
  • New Commemorative benches are built with recycled composite material.
  • Approximately 20% of the Lights on the Lake displays have transitioned to LED bulbs with plans convert additional displays.

Pratt’s Falls Park

  • Newer public restroom has: 1) water conserving faucets, toilets, and urinals. 2) the water-heating element has a low heating setting and has replaced the traditional hot water tank. 3) energy efficient hand dryers have replaced paper towels.
  • Picnic tables are painted with environmentally friendly paint.
  • Wood from old picnic tables that is still useable is recycled into other wood structures such as sign holders and stations for park events.
  • Small trees and bushes are transferred within the park for maximizing use of shade trees and reducing erosion on slopes.
  • Perennial and native plants are utilized in our planters and around buildings, which are weather tolerant, sustainable, and water conserving.
  • Trees that have fallen on trails, public walkways, and roadways are removed and naturally recycled into the forest or reused as firewood.

Rosamond Gifford Zoo

Zoo Porous pavement image

Porous Paving and Rain Gardens – will allow storm water to be absorbed back into the earth rather than running into storm drains and into our water supply, thereby reducing soil erosion and pollution.

The Rosamond Gifford Zoo at Burnet Park was Central New York’s first green building. We used natural and recycled building materials in the construction of our addition in 2000.

  • Removable textile flooring that has 51% recycled content
  • Ceiling tiles made of 50-80% recycled wood pulp fiber
  • Roof shingles made from recycled vinyl and cellulose fiber
  • Reception hall wall made from Environ Biocomposite (soy bean flour, waste newsprint and coloring)
  • Carpeting used in the reception hall that was made from salvaged, cleaned and re-dyed carpets
  • PolySteel, an insulated concrete that helps retain heat in the winter and cold in the summer
  • We minimize energy use by maximizing natural light through skylights and light tubes
  • Our heating and cooling system uses no harmful, ozone-depleting hydrochloroflourocarbons (HFCFs)
  • Building cisterns at the entrance control water drainage. From the cisterns, the water flows into a nearby pond, where a semi-permeable liner gradually releases water into the ground, reducing the amount of rainwater that empties into storm sewers.
  • The surrounding landscape consists of native plant species, which are drought resistant, which conserves additional water.

Green Roof on the Pachyderm Pavilion – The zoo is partnering with the State University of New York School for Environment Science and Forestry on the green roof project. Green roofs are layered with soil and planted with drought resistant vegetation - typically Sedum – and dramatically reduce energy use, improve air quality, and lessen storm water runoff.

Elephant Manure Composting – The zoo collects 200 pounds of elephant manure per elephant per day and composts it for agricultural use.

Rain Collection and Cistern in the Courtyard – will collect rain water to be reused to water plantings.

Porous Paving and Rain Gardens – will allow storm water to be absorbed back into the earth rather than running into storm drains and into our water supply, thereby reducing soil erosion and pollution.

Plantings – all plants inside and outside the new outdoor primate exhibit are native species, which are sustainable, proven to endure local weather, require lower transportation costs to bring to the zoo, and provide an opportunity to educate the public about the importance of preserving native specimens. One exterior garden will be dedicated to demonstrating how the green roof in Asian Elephant Preserve works to reduce energy and storm water runoff.

 

Zoo Porous pavement image

Rain Collection and Cistern in the Courtyard – will collect rain water to be reused to water plantings.

 

 

During your visit to Onondaga County Parks, you may be photographed, videotaped, or filmed by Onondaga County Parks or authorized parties. Your attendance/admission serves as permission for use of these images by Onondaga County Parks. Commercial photography or filming is prohibited without permission of Onondaga County Parks.