National Wildlife Refuge System

Two Refuges Earn Greening Awards

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex headquarters and visitor center is the first U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service building to earn a LEED Platinum certificate.
Credit: USFWS

Two national wildlife refuges have been honored with U.S. Department of the Interior greening awards for exceptional environmental achievements.

The San Luis National Wildlife Refuge Complex in California has a new, net-zero energy headquarters and visitor center that is the first U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service building to earn a LEED Platinum certificate for its high level of sustainability. 

Seventeen new technologies are used in the building. The “cool roof” has highly reflective metal coating. The building is designed to maximize daylight and scenic views.  Sunshades and colored paint on outside stucco surfaces reflect or absorb heat. No petroleum products generate heat or electricity. Solar energy heats water. All building elements are made of recycled materials, including carpet, insulation, wall board and tile. 

The San Luis Visitor Center was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. The refuge features three auto trails and multiple nature trails. More about the visitor center here.

The Slow the Flow campaign at Parker River National Wildlife Refuge, MA, will help reduce water pollution for these shorebirds.
Credit: USFWS

Parker River National Wildlife Refuge  in Massachusetts won a greening award for its “Slow the Flow” campaign.  The campaign makes local communities part of the conservation solution by teaching them to conserve water, reduce invasive plants, promote backyard wildlife habitat and prevent nutrients and other pollution from entering the waterway.   

Twenty-four landowners attended a refuge-sponsored workshop on sustainable landscaping techniques. Another event taught area residents how to make rain barrels. Grants were provided offered community residents to implement organic green landscaping projects to improve water quality and quantity. One grant was used to create rain garden at the Town of Newbury’s elementary school. “They’ve built a native plant garden and outdoor classroom that includes an interpretive trail into the rain garden,” says Nancy Pau, wildlife biologist at Parker River Refuge. “The entire community, the PTA and local business are involved, many of whom are donating services and materials.”


Department of the Interior News Release on all awards



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Last updated: December 20, 2013