Green means more to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board (MPRB) than the ideal color of lawns and trees. Green also means practicing environmental sustainability – Living Green. The MPRB leads by example when it comes to green living. Organic gardening techniques are being implemented at Longfellow Gardens. The Rec Plus childcare program uses reusable plates, bowls, cups and flatware. The Minneapolis Bike Tour uses tap water instead of bottled water, and composts food waste.
The latest example is a pilot project to implement enhancements at five recreation centers. The McKinstry Energy Efficiency Project, which was recently approved by the MPRB Board of Commissioners, will set in motion improvements to the Lake Nokomis, Logan, Matthews, McRae and Pershing recreation centers.
The five were selected based on existing building conditions that have resulted in increased energy consumption. The program will implement energy saving measures based upon the unique needs of each recreation center. Financing for the $441,000 project will come from the energy savings generated through reduced utility costs.
Improvements at the five recreation centers will begin in August and be completed by the end of 2010. The work focuses on heating and air conditioning systems, Web-based temperature controls, energy efficient lighting, weather-stripping, insulation, vending machine operation controls and plumbing enhancements to conserve water. Project work will not impact the day-to-day operations at the rec centers.
In addition to cost savings and energy conservation, rec center visitors should notice improvements. Indoor air quality will improve and room temperatures will be consistent, especially in the winter months.
The long-term goal of the project is to establish a system-wide conservation management strategy, which would include equipment preventative maintenance, vendor compliance, service record-keeping and staff training.
In other words, sustaining sustainability.