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Virginia State Parks joins the Virginia Green Travel Partnership

The Virginia Green Travel Alliance is pleased to announce that Virginia State Parks is now one of the core partner organizations that support and guide the Virginia Green program. Virginia State Parks joins the Virginia Tourism Corporation, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality, and the Virginia Restaurant Lodging & Travel Association as the program’s primary partners. Additionally, the program is administered by the Virginia Green Travel Alliance, the 501c3 non-profit organization that was created to help further the program’s mission.

Virginia Green is the Commonwealth’s program to support and promote sustainable tourism by engaging the industry through education and its voluntary Virginia Green Certification program. The program requires participants to make significant commitments to reduce their environmental impacts, and it recognizes them for their efforts. The certification program is available to all tourism-related businesses in Virginia, including hotels, convention and conference centers, B&B’s, restaurants, tourism attractions of all sorts such as museums, sports and music venues, wineries and breweries, outdoor recreation businesses and tour guides, and even festivals and events. Of course, parks are an integral part of the program.

More than 1200 tourism businesses have been certified through the Virginia Green program. Consumers are encouraged to seek out Virginia Green certified partners to support these businesses and reduce their own environmental footprints.

“This is a great day for the Virginia Green program and for sustainable tourism in Virginia,” says Tom Griffin, Executive Director of Virginia Green Travel Alliance. “Virginia State Parks is a cornerstone of outdoor recreation in Virginia, and we are incredibly excited to have Virginia State Parks as one of the core organizations that support and promote the Virginia Green program.”

Conserving natural resources is central to the mission of Virginia State Parks, and it only makes sense that the park facilities themselves would operate as sustainably as possible. Virginia State Parks and Virginia Green have worked together for several years in order to get all 41 parks certified. All of the parks have made commitments to recycle and reduce wastes, reduce their energy and water consumption, and to manage sustainable operations. This new level of partnership demonstrates that Virginia State Parks is one of the cornerstones of green tourism in Virginia.

“We are proud to announce this new partnership with the Virginia Green program,” said Dr. Melissa Baker, Director of Virginia State Parks. “Our staff is deeply committed to conserving our parklands and the environment, and we want our visitors to know that we are proud to be doing our part to sustainably manage our operations.”

The Virginia Green program will benefit greatly from increased public awareness associated with the Virginia State Parks brand. The Virginia Green logo, certificates and marketing materials will now include the Virginia State Parks logo. Conversely, the partnership demonstrates Virginia State Parks’ environmental commitments to all visitors, and it underlines the fact that the park system is integral to Virginia’s tourism industry.

“Virginia’s State Parks are beautiful and special destinations,” said Rita McClenny, the President and CEO of Virginia Tourism Corporation. “We are delighted to have Virginia State Parks as a full partner in the Virginia Green Travel program. We want visitors to know that the Commonwealth of Virginia is committed to sustainable tourism and that you can find Virginia Green certified facilities wherever you travel in Virginia.”

If you would like more information about the Virginia State Parks and Virginia Green partnership, please contact Tom Griffin of the Virginia Green Travel Alliance at (804) 986-9119 or Virginiagreenta@gmail.com.

The Virginia Green Travel Alliance is the non-profit organization that administers the Virginia Green certification program and supports partner outreach and educational opportunities – www.VirginiaGreen.net.

The Virginia Tourism Corporation promotes the Virginia Green program partners at www.VirginiaGreenTravel.org and encourages visitors to plan their green vacations in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Environmental Quality provides technical resources and oversight of the certification process – www.deq.virginia.gov/get-involved/pollution-prevention/virginia-green.

The Virginia Restaurant Lodging & Hospitality Association assists in promotion and development of educational opportunities for the tourism industry.