Establishing a Community Space as a Sustainable Leader

Evelyn’s Park, a new five-acre community green space in Bellaire, Texas, is set to become one of the most sustainable parks in the nation with a $313,500 grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. With solar power, a rainwater capture system and on-site composting capabilities, the donation will help Evelyn’s Park achieve net zero energy status for the park’s day-to-day operations by late 2018, leading the way for parks across the country. Evelyn’s Park will open to the public on Saturday, April 22, 2017, to coincide with global Earth Day.

Once all systems come online in late 2018, Evelyn’s Park’s sustainable features will include:

  • 73 kilowatts of solar power across nearly 5,000 square feet of space to achieve net zero energy status for the park’s day-to-day electricity costs and operations (21 kilowatts of solar power have been installed to-date at the park)
  • 20,000-gallon cistern to provide significant rainwater capture to mitigate 40 percent of the park’s overall water consumption
  • Several on-site tumbler composters for use in the park’s organic gardens that will recycle fruit and carbohydrate based food waste, coffee grounds and some compostable packaging from The Ivy and James café, set to open in early 2017

“Evelyn’s Park is focused on enriching our local community by connecting people to their city, their surroundings and to each other,” said Mark Parsons, president of Green Mountain Energy Sun Club. “Supporting organizations like Evelyn’s Park is why the Sun Club was founded, and we’re proud to help them soon achieve net zero energy status for the park’s day-to-day operations.”

Evelyn’s Park, located at 4400 Bellaire Boulevard, will debut with a grand opening “Picnic in the Park” event on Earth Day – April 22 – from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., designed to bring the community together for an afternoon of family, food and fun.

“We are very excited to partner with the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club to make Evelyn’s Park a leader in sustainability and a resource for sustainability education for the local community,” said Patricia King-Ritter, board president of Evelyn’s Park Conservancy. “It is a priority for us to teach the importance of conservation as we aim toward our goal of becoming a net zero park, and the sustainability grant is helping us reach that goal.”

The April 22 event will showcase the park’s amenities and future programming to be offered on a year-round basis. The Sustainability Zone powered by the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club will promote on-site water bottle recycling and sustainable education activities, and feature fun Earth Day-themed photo opportunities and a community art piece involving solar panels.

To date, the Sun Club, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, has donated more than $4 million to support over 90 nonprofits across the country through solar and sustainability project donations. To learn more about the Sun Club and how to nominate a worthy nonprofit for a sustainability grant, visit www.gmsunclub.com.