MADISON, Wis. (February 24, 2012) – Several state parks and lodging properties, a yoga studio and kayaking tour operator are among the Wisconsin tourism businesses using creative efforts to go green and become Travel Green Wisconsin™ certified. From partnering with local sustainability groups to creating websites to educating others about going green to using solar energy, these businesses are adapting innovative practices that continue to make Travel Green Wisconsin the gold standard for sustainable tourism in Wisconsin.
The 11 new businesses certified through the Travel Green Wisconsin program join the list of 304 travel and hospitality properties located throughout Wisconsin that have made a commitment to continuously improve their operations to reduce their environmental impact. In January, the Department of Tourism adopted a flat fee structure for Travel Green Wisconsin based on industry feedback and to encourage more tourism businesses to consider implementing sustainable practices in their business.
“The level of creativity and innovation these tourism organizations use to become Travel Green Wisconsin certified is very impressive,” Secretary Stephanie Klett said. “Their efforts ensure our natural resources are here for future generations and these businesses enjoy a marketing advantage in the minds of travelers.”
The list of 11 recently certified businesses follows with a highlight from their application. Their full list of green initiatives can be found at www.travelwisconsin.com.
- Living Adventure Inc., Bayfield – A member of two local sustainability groups and works to keep small creeks heavily vegetated to protect the corridor.
Contact: Grant Herman – (715) 209-8606, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Humble Be Yoga and Dance, Washburn – Cross-promotes with businesses within walking distance and encourages walking and biking for students and teachers. Drinking water comes from a local natural artesian well rather than plastic bottles.
Contact: Suzanne VanGilder – (715) 292-5582, email@example.com
- Tower Hill State Park, Spring Green – Rehabilitation projects in place to restore the natural land (prairie restoration) and employs Leave No Trace principles.
Contact: Kathy Gruentzel – (608) 935-2315 Kathleen.firstname.lastname@example.org
- Country Inns and Suites, Middleton – Implements a linen and terry reuse program and holds monthly staff meetings that include environmental goals and progress.
Contact: Michelle Pugh – (608) 831-6970, email@example.com
- Days Inn, Wisconsin Dells – Very active in local community efforts, including participating in community events. Also grow some of their own food.
Contact: Prince Tuttin – (608) 254-6444, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Governor Nelson State Park, Waunakee – Domestic hot water heating system is solar, self-guided, woodland trail brochure has a return box for reuse, and invasive species control program is in place.
Contact: Rene Lee – (608) 831-3005, email@example.com
- Kinnickinnic State Park, River Falls – Has rehabilitation projects in place, shoreland and prairie, to restore natural lands. Employs a staff of all local people and employs Leave No Trace principles.
Contact: Aaron Mason – (715) 425-1129, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Military Ridge State Trail, Blue Mounds – Office furniture is sent to UW Swap, which re-sells the items to other WI state agencies and the public. Prints marketing materials using soy ink and high recycled paper content.
Contact: Cindy Delkamp – (608) 437-7393, email@example.com
- Point Beach State Forest, Two Rivers – Offers bicycles for use or rental and provides field guides and self-tour information to customers. Has a rehabilitation program in place to restore and protect the fragile and unique dune ecosystem along Lake Michigan.
Contact: Guy Willman – (920) 794-7480, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Roche-A-Cri State Park, Friendship – Prairie restoration has been done through the property by contained burns and re-seeding with seeds of local and endangered species of grasses and flowers. Use Energy Start appliances.
Contact: Heather Wolf – (608) 565-2789, email@example.com
- Superior Horizons, Bayfield – Property is registered as a Certified Wildlife Habitat through the National Wildlife Federation to protect wildlife. Uses solar exterior lighting and rechargeable electric tools instead of gasoline-powered outdoor tools.
Contact: Barbara Murphy – (715) 779-3283, firstname.lastname@example.org
Travel Green Wisconsin is the first of its kind in the nation and has served as a model to promote environmentally-friendly practices in the tourism industry. The program is unique for its inclusion of all tourism-related businesses and organizations including but not limited to attractions, events, accommodations, outfitters, restaurants, retail, visitor centers and more. Tourism businesses interested in learning more about becoming certified can contact Travel Green Wisconsin Program Manager Shelly Allness at email@example.com or 608-261-8767.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination by executing industry-leading marketing programs and establishing strategic partnerships. The Department plays a significant role in generating greater economic impact and jobs for Wisconsin. The portal for traveler information can be found at www.travelwisconsin.com.