Historic Grant site gets another touch of green
The site, which is operated by the National Park Service, recently announced that it plans to purchase wind and water power to meet its electricity needs. The switch to green power will remove the 9.6-acre park from the carbon-based utility grid.
The park’s local utility company, St. Louis-based AmerenUE, offers “pure power” to its customers for an additional 1.5 cents per kilowatt hour. By participating in the Pure Power program, the park service estimates that the Grant site will help prevent 448,500 pounds of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.
“We’re very proud to be in this position to do something positive for the environment,” Larry Lipinski, a park guide with the National Park Service, told GovPro.com.
Environmental stewardship is nothing new to the Ulysses S. Grant National Historic site. According to Lipinski, the site for about 15 years has been relying on geothermal well water to provide most of its heat.
“We’re very environmentally friendly here,” Lipinski told GovPro.com.
The centerpiece of the Grant site is the historic home known as White Haven (despite its green exterior), where Grant first met his future wife, Julia Dent. The home was named after the Dent family residence in Maryland.
The park also includes a visitor center with a theater, information desk, classroom, gift shop and offices. A historic barn includes a museum that opened last year.
According to Lipinski, the Grant site drew 45,000 visitors last year, which was an attendance record for the site. He attributed the spike in attendance—around 20,000 more visitors than the previous year—to the museum’s grand opening as well as the completion of a number of renovations to the overall site.
“We now have a paved parking lot, a modern entrance and news signs making plain who we are—all the things we were lacking since the park came into existence [in 1990],” Lipinski said. “We finally became a full-fledged park last year.”