In an effort to further its environmental stewardship, Grandfather Mountain State Park has installed two ChargePoint electric vehicle (EV) charging stations.
The park announced the new installations in a press release, stating that one is located at the park’s entrance gate and the other near its nature museum, each able to service two vehicles at once. The park added that the stations are the first public EV charging stations in Avery County and they are courtesy a grant from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality.
“Grandfather Mountain is always looking for ways to improve our park and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Jesse Pope, president and executive director of the Grandfather Mountain Stewardship Foundation, the nonprofit organization that owns and operates the park. “We have wanted to add electric charging stations to the park for many years, but it wasn’t a feasible option until we were able to receive a grant from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality to purchase and install two stations in the park.”The release states the in-park station will be free to park guests, while the entrance gate station will allow travelers on U.S. 221, the Blue Ridge Parkway and beyond an opportunity to recharge for an hourly fee.
“During Secretary Regan’s visit, he introduced me to their grant program for supporting the increase of zero-emission vehicle infrastructure, which is supported in part by Volkswagen’s air-quality settlement funding,” Pope said in the news release.
The new stations are the latest additions to Grandfather Mountain’s sustainability efforts, including:
- Photovoltaic cells (solar panels) on the roofs of numerous buildings, which collectively generate 50,000 KwH and mitigate approximately 60,000 pounds of C02 from entering the atmosphere annually
- An eco-friendly fudge shop, featuring solar thermal panels, bamboo flooring, skylights and rain barrels
- Green practices in Mildred’s Grill restaurant, such as biodegradable plates, cups, takeout containers, etc.
- Refillable water bottle stations
- Energy-efficient HVAC system in the nature museum
- Educational initiatives and signage
- Zero-waste initiatives for employees
The park’s release adds that in the early 1950s, the park’s entrance gate was home to an Esso service station.
“It’s quite a remarkable and encouraging juxtaposition, comparing our filling station from another century to this compact charging station of today,” said Frank Ruggiero, Grandfather Mountain’s director of marketing and communications in a release. “We’re excited — energized, if you will — to offer our guests another amenity, while furthering our mission of environmental stewardship.”