Celebrate Parks and Recreation Month this July
In recognition of Parks and Recreation Month, we’re looking at five cities that have used Sol solar lighting for their park and pathway projects. From sustainability initiatives to environmental protection and low maintenance to remote monitoring, the reasons cities choose solar lighting are as varied as the cities themselves.
Chris Hotts Park
San Jose, California
The first installation of the EverGen M Series, Sol’s latest product, the Chris Hotts Park project involved just 4 lights, but set the stage for San Jose’s plans for greenhouse gas reduction through sustainable lighting across the city. After a failed attempt with another solar lighting company that could not meet the required lumen output, the City turned to Sol for a solution that would meet the requirements without compromise. The lights also included LightGuard, Sol’s remote monitoring system that provides peace of mind for city crews that the lights are working as expected. Meanwhile, visitors can enjoy positive park experiences, even after dark.
Sand Creek Park
When the city of Aurora sought to reassess the Sand Creek Park master plan, solar lighting became a necessity: Discovery Playground needed lighting, but the new light-rail line stood between it and the closest power supply and trenching wasn’t allowed. But the benefits of using solar lighting were soon apparent: “We’re always looking for ways to include more sustainable and environmentally friendly amenities in our parks,” says Ed Shalkey, Project Manager for the City of Aurora Parks, Recreation and Open Space department. “Our general contractor suggested we check out Sol because he had recently installed Sol’s lights elsewhere. I went and looked at the light and said, that’s just what we need.”
Haxton Way Trail
The Lummi Nation sought a safer solution for Haxton Way, a corridor through the reservation where residents often walked along the dangerous shoulder and fatalities were all too common. A trail constructed alongside the road included 70 Sol EG Series solar LED lights to ensure the wetlands were not disturbed by trenching and underground wiring to light the three-mile stretch. The project set a precedent for other tribes looking to add solar pathway lights for sustainable, environmentally friendly solutions.
Juan Pablo II Park
Juan Pablo II Park, found in the Las Condes municipality of Santiago, required lighting for several reasons: increasing the perception of safety, extending park hours, and becoming a leader in renewable technology in Chile. An older project for Sol, the park was outfitted with 30 EG Series solar LED lights. These dark-sky friendly systems keep the light on the path where it’s intended—no light pollution or wasted light.
Republican River Trail
A riverside trail that cut through Wray, Colorado, needed lights that could be installed where water levels, tree limbs, and cleanup would present challenges for on-grid, wired lights that require trenching. Solar lights offered the best solution for a dark-sky friendly, safer trail that could be used by people crossing town for work, school, or shopping. Approximately 10 years ago, 71 Sol GreenWay lights were installed—and today, these lights are operating with minimal maintenance: “Everything is still working,” says Lee Tufton, City of Wray Electrical Lineman Supervisor, who handles maintenance for city lighting. “It’s been quite a headache-free project. It’s saved me a lot of time on maintenance—I can go and do other projects around the city.”