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Peninsula State Park Earns “Green” Certification

Travel Green Wisconsin, a voluntary certification program that recognizes tourism businesses for reducing their environmental footprint through eco-friendly practices and the first of its kind in the country, has just announced that Peninsula State Park has earned certification.

The Travel Green Wisconsin program is a partnership between the Wisconsin Department of Tourism and the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative. To achieve certification, applicants must earn a minimum of 30 points from a checklist of basic requirements covering a wide range of “green” practices, including: waste reduction, reuse and recycling; energy efficiency, water conservation and wastewater management; air quality; wildlife and landscape; transportation; purchasing; and local community benefits.

Peninsula State Park earned 73 points from the application checklist. A few highlights from Peninsula’s checklist and practices include: restoration projects such as Scotch pine thinning; invasive species removal and tree planting; interpretive trail signs related to forest ecology; a recycling program for campers, and participation in the Clean Boats, Clean Waters program. Peninsula State Park also primarily uses fluorescent lighting and has made efforts to conserve heated water and improve building efficiency. The park staff works diligently to ensure that infected firewood is not brought from distant areas, and asks campers to keep fires small, to conserve energy and reduce air pollution. Peninsula’s year-round nature programs share environmental awareness and responsibility to tens of thousands of visitors each year.

Tourism Secretary Kelli A. Trumble made the point that serving the needs of eco-aware travelers is not only the right thing to do, it’s good for business.

“Sustainability and profitability need not be mutually exclusive,” Trumble said. “All signs point to a burgeoning consumer demand for green travel in the nation, and the Wisconsin tourism industry is poised to serve this niche market, all the while continuing to grow tourism revenue for the state.”

She went on to say, “With our state’s history of land stewardship, it’s most fitting that Wisconsin lead the nation in this.”

Since it was launched statewide in 2007, Travel Green Wisconsin has garnered its share of national media coverage, with stories appearing in USA Today, the Chicago Tribune and New York Times, as well as on CNN. The program has certified more than 130 tourism businesses to date, including hotels, resorts, B&Bs, restaurants, retail stores, tour operators, nature centers, state parks, convention centers, golf courses, and a range of indoor and outdoor attractions. For more information visit http://www.travelgreenwisconsin.com.