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| Panther Creek
State Park was recently named winner of the 2006 Tennessee
Environmental Stewardship Award for Energy Leadership. This
award was designed to recognize outstanding leadership for improving
energy efficiency, developing advanced energy technologies and using
renewable energy resources. Given that nominations for each
of the 12 Environmental Stewardship Award categories are open to
individuals, agencies, businesses and organizations state-wide, it
was a special honor for the park to receive
Panther Creek received the award for initiating the use of biodiesel
and implementing several energy conservation practices in 2005.
Last year, Park Manager, John LeCroy, implemented a project to
replace several traditional light switches in facilities throughout
the park with energy-saving time and motion-sensitive switches.
Energy-conserving light bulbs were also installed to complement the
new switches. As a result of these improvements, the park
saved approximately $6,000 in electrical utilities last year.
In May 2005, Mr. LeCroy, with the assistance of Park Secretary,
Sherry Johnson, procured biodiesel for regular use in six vehicles
at the park. This non-toxic, biodegradable, alternative fuel
is produced from vegetable oils and other domestic, renewable
resources. Due largely to Mr. LeCroy's commitment to energy
conservation through greater efficiency, Panther Creek significantly
reduced electricity consumption and became the first state park in
Tennessee to use biodeisel.
This marks the
third consecutive year Panther Creek State Park has received an
Environmental Stewardship Award. In October 2004, Veronica
Greear accepted the Governor's Greenways and Trails Stewardship
Award during a ceremony held at the state capitol. The park,
in conjunction with the Morristown/Hamblen Keep America Beautiful
received this award for their participation in designing the
innovative self-guided nature trail, which has served to educate
countless park visitors on the importance of recycling and litter
prevention. In July 2005, John LeCroy and Jason Chadwell
traveled to the Adventure Science Museum in Nashville to accept the
award for Aquatic Resource Preservation. The park received
this award for implementing several aquatic resource management and
environmental education projects in 2004.
In 1994 Panther Creek State Park joined
forces with Keep America Beautiful and the park's recycling program
began. Recycle bins were placed throughout the park.
Veronica Greear (far right) was instrumental in this initiative.
2008 Friends of Panther
Creek State Park