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Montgomery Bell State Park Wins Sustainability Award for Food Recovery, Recycling

February 15, 2018  |  Permalink

The Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) recognized Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns with the 2017 Award for Excellence in Sustainability.

“The staff at Montgomery Bell has instituted some innovative and results-driven changes that have saved money for taxpayers and supported our Department’s mission to be stewards of our natural environment,” said TDEC Deputy Commissioner of Parks and Conservation Brock Hill.

In 2017, the park enrolled in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) voluntary Food Recovery Challenge to divert as much food waste as possible from landfills. The park accomplished this by composting food scraps on site and donating surplus food to local charity Hearts and Hands of Dickson.

“It’s a service to our park, our visitors and our environment to divert as much food from the landfill as possible,” said Park Manager Pat Wright. “The state has saved thousands of dollars, since we have less solid waste trash pickups and use the compost as fertilizer for our grounds.”

Every month the park composts an average of 9,000 pounds of food waste, reducing the park’s dumpster waste by nearly 60 tons for the year.

In 2017, the park also replaced more than 600 incandescent bulbs with LED lights and strengthened their recycling program. More than 45,000 pounds of aluminum, cardboard and scrap metal was recycled. 

The Annual Park Awards of Excellence – which honor five parks annually – were created to recognize exceptional work within Tennessee State Parks. The 2017 award winners were recognized at the Tennessee State Park annual park management conference in January at Montgomery Bell State Park.Parks are nominated by TDEC staff and voted on by Tennessee State Park leadership. Additional 2017 winners include: Cedars of Lebanon State Park (Resource Management), David Crockett Birthplace State Historic Park (Interpretation), Henry Horton State Park (Innovation) and Sergeant Alvin C. York State Historic Park (Park of the Year).

For more information about Montgomery Bell State Park, click here

Pictured L-R: Tennessee State Parks Director of Operations Mike Robertson; TDEC Commissioner Bob Martineau; Hospitality Manager Brady Lyons; Pat Wright; Hospitality Manager Penny Hood; Brock Hill; Tennessee State Parks Area Manager Christopher Padgett

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Kim Schofinski