WASHINGTON, D.C. - Monday, June 24, the National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA)
fired up the engines on its first and only alternative fueled lawn mowers through a donation from the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Each of the six propane-fueled Exmark Lazer Z S-Series lawn mowers will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Mall by 50 percent per mower.
PERC and Greater Washington Region Clean Cities Coalition (GWRCCC) celebrated the first use of the mowers on the Mall in addition to the park's adoption of two electric cars and charging stations at a ribbon-cutting event. The combined deployment of alternative fuel vehicles and mowers added NAMA to the list of national parks advancing the Green Parks Plan, a National Park Service initiative to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate the effects of climate change, and conserve energy.
"We are always looking for ways to integrate sustainable practices into every part of our operation," Bob Vogel, National Mall and Memorial Park Superintendent, said. "The electric cars and generous donation of propane mowers from PERC will help the National Mall meet its sustainability goals with a clean-burning, American-made fuel."
The four 72" and two 60" Lazer Z S-Series propane-fueled zero-turn riders will comprise one-third of the Mall's mower fleet and replace diesel-fueled mowers. NAMA is a first adopter of the Exmark model with Kohler Command Pro Propane EFI engine - a technology that was developed and commercialized through PERC funding. The Kohler power system increases fuel efficiency by 25 percent and delivers the lowest operating cost of any mower on the market today.
In total, PERC's donation amounts to approximately $70,000 in equipment.
"PERC is proud to play a vital role in greening one of our nation's favorite places to gather," said Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO. "Through PERC funding and support, Kohler and Exmark have created the greenest, most fuel efficient mower on the market today. The National Mall is the first major adopter of this technology, and their commitment to clean-burning, American-made propane sets the standard for parks, municipalities, and landscape professionals across the country."
Switching to propane mowers will lower carbon monoxide emissions by 80 percent compared with gasoline, reduce fuel spills, and save NAMA money on fuel and maintenance costs. A byproduct of domestic natural gas processing, the U.S. produces more than enough propane to meet current demand and became a net exporter of the fuel in 2011. The mowers will be refueled using a propane cylinder exchange system from Thompson Gas.
For more information on PERC or propane-fueled lawn mowers, visit autogasusa.org. For more information on the National Mall and Memorial Parks, visit www.nps.gov
The National Mall and Memorial Parks, a unit of the National Park Service, includes the National Mall, Pennsylvania Avenue National Historic Park, and Ford's Theatre National Historic Site, as well as numerous other small "uptown" parks and memorials, such as those at DuPont, Logan and Washington Circles.
The National Mall - the great swath of green in the middle of our capital city - is the premier civic and symbolic space in our nation. "We the People" come here to demonstrate our rights and celebrate our freedoms, our history and culture, our unity and diversity, and our way of life. The National Mall and Memorial Parks receives more than 25 million visits each year, more than any other national park. Learn more at www.nps.gov/nama
The Propane Education & Research Council (PERC) is a check-off program established, operated, and funded by the propane industry. The only energy council of its kind, PERC leads safety and training efforts among propane retailers and consumers and drives technology development to expand adoption of propane as a clean, domestic, and affordable energy source. PERC programs benefit a variety of industries including fleet vehicle management, landscaping, residential and commercial building, agriculture, and material handling. For more information, visit propanecouncil.org