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The Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission

Sustainability – Climate Action

Renewable Energy

Montgomery Parks’ has a solar initiative to reduce the impact of our operations on the environment and reduce utility bills through the installation of solar within the parks. Solar energy systems:

  • Reduce greenhouse gases
  • Lower utility bills
  • Stabilize regional energy grid by generating additional power on hot sunny days when energy demand is high
  • Create jobs in the community

So far, 2.6 megawatts (MW) of solar has been installed on our facilities and land, which produces over 3.27 million kWh of electricity every year and covers 20% of our electricity use. That is equivalent to:

  • Enough energy to power more than 270 single family homes for a year
  • Carbon sequestered by 2,750 acres of U.S. forests per year, which is five times the size of Wheaton Regional Park
  • Removing 500 gas powered vehicles off the road

Energy Efficiency

For the past two decades, Montgomery Parks has implemented a comprehensive utilities management program. Upgrades are made in our older facilities to help reduce the energy use of those facilities. These upgrades include:

  • Installing high-efficiency heating and air conditioning units
  • Expansion of building automation controls and energy management systems
  • LED retrofits of exterior lighting within the parks
  • Improvements in the building envelope

Eliminating Fossil Fuel Heating

Montgomery Parks has been working to reduce fossil fuel consumption associated with heating systems in buildings by transitioning those systems to electric or geothermal whenever possible. This entails replacing old inefficient HVAC units with efficient electric air source heat pumps. Heat pumps simply transfer heat rather than burn fossil fuels to create it.

Riding to Zero Emissions

Maintaining a large parks system requires a diverse array of vehicles and equipment. Vehicle types range from small sedans, light-duty pickup trucks, to large dump trucks and specialized vehicles which serve as the backbone of our maintenance commitment. Montgomery Parks has already begun replacing gasoline and diesel power vehicles and equipment with more efficient electric and hybrid alternatives. As of 2023, Montgomery Parks:

  • Maintains 31 hybrid vehicles and 8 fully electric vehicles in the fleet
  • Purchased 3 fully electric trucks and 1 transit van
  • Eliminated the purchase of gas-powered trimmers and leaf blowers

EV Charging in the Parks

Montgomery Parks is supporting the transition to electric vehicles by expanding publicly available EV charging in our parks. We have partnered with Pepco and BGE to install up to 42 parking spaces with access to charging stations across 11 parks. Plug in today by visiting our parks that currently have EV charging:

Stay tuned because there are more chargers to come! Visit the Exelon Charger Network map for exact locations of chargers and updates on upcoming projects.