ASHLAND – Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett announced that the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center (NGLVC) has earned membership in the Department of Tourism’s Travel Green Wisconsin program. The certification honors the Visitor Center’s commitment to sustainability and reduced environmental impact. NGLVC joins the ranks of more than 545 businesses designated as Travel Green Wisconsin certified. The Visitor Center’s eco-friendly practices received 63 points on their application. A minimum score of 30 is required for membership.
“We applaud the Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center for going above and beyond to make sustainability a priority and working to preserve our natural resources,” said Tourism Secretary Stephanie Klett. “With their five-story observation tower, 100-seat theater, accessible boardwalk trail and knowledgeable staff, the Visitor Center is a must-see attraction for visitors interested in the historic, cultural, and natural resources of the Northern Great Lakes.”
Located on 180 acres of protected fields and forestlands near Lake Superior, NGLVC incorporates distinctive architectural elements of the region, including brownstone, cedar siding and an observation tower reminiscent of a lighthouse. The 37,000 square-foot facility emphasizes sustainability through a solar panel system that will be installed later this year, preventative HVAC maintenance, composting programs and use of reusable goods. The center also hosts free environmental and sustainability events that are open to the public. NGLVC showcases environmental best practices with a rehabilitation project that includes the replanting of native plant species, including timber, to restore natural forest and pollinator habitat.
“The Northern Great Lakes Visitor Center is delighted to be included in the Travel Green Wisconsin program,” said NGLVC Director Jason Maloney. “The northern part of the state has a large number of Travel Green Wisconsin-designated businesses, and we’re happy to fulfill the function of talking to visitors and sending them to those businesses all around the state.”
With a longstanding conservation legacy, the Travel Green Wisconsin program furthers Wisconsin’s dedication to sustainable practices. Even seemingly small adjustments can have a big impact. In a study completed in 2013, Travel Green Wisconsin businesses that installed low flow fixtures such as toilets, showerheads and faucets, reduced their annual water use by nearly 37 million gallons. When stacked end-to-end, that’s enough water bottles to circle the Earth over one and a half times. Additionally the study found that by switching to energy-efficient compact fluorescent light bulbs, Travel Green Wisconsin businesses reduced their lighting-related electricity usage by 75 percent, saving an estimated $3 million each year.
Travel Green Wisconsin was the first of its kind in the nation and serves 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 Marketing Specialist Sam Kislia at email@example.com or 608-266-7621.
The mission of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism is to market the state as the Midwest’s premier travel destination for fun 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.