Greenwashing at Heritage Park?

I went to Heritage Park with Ken and Tod today for Heritage Day.  It was cooler and not nearly as busy as we expected, but those turned out to be blessings: it’s never terribly nice to visit a busy park on a hot day, so a scarcely populated park on a cool day is a treat.  I haven’t been to the park since before the renovations and opening of Gasoline Alley.

We had planned to meet at the Big Rock Interpretive Brewery for a craft brewing demonstration, but unfortunately the demo was cancelled due to “circumstances beyond their control”.  So, we took some time going through Gasoline Alley, looking at the very cool cars, trucks, wagons, and fuel pumps.  There is some really neat stuff in there – my brother-in-law, a fan of vintage cars, would thoroughly enjoy this exhibit.  I unfortunately neglected to bring the camera, so have no pictures to help document this adventure.

Lunch was had at Gunn’s Dairy Barn, since it was one of few food vendors with more than just hot dogs, chips, soup, and drinks.  I was rather intrigued when we were all served our food on paper plates explicitly stamped “Biodegradable”, and then noticed that there was no immediately-visible mechanism for them to be recycled.  I find this intriguing and interesting because there are recycling bins (for beverage containers) next to each trash bin in the park.  Once I made note of this strange inequity we started talking about how much this looks like greenwashing, raising some questions:

  1. Why is there no visible mechanism to recycle these plates?
  2. With bioplastic so readily available, why are they not using these for cups and cutlery?
  3. With all the available space in the park, why is there no composting station on the grounds?

We understand that this is an historical park, so would not expect that the compost be visible to the public (historical accuracy).  However, having at least one compost heap visible to the public would certainly help to educate and encourage park visitors.

I have completed a survey online and wrote about my concerns there, but I also will be calling Heritage Park Administration to talk about these points.  I am very interested to hear what they say, and will definitely update here with the results.  I’ll also be writing more about greenwashing soon.  Stay tuned.

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