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Our Campaigns

Recharge Where You Recharge

Coloradans should not have to choose between having an electric vehicle and visiting the parks they love. We need to make it easy to recharge our cars where we recharge our souls.

From the mountains to the prairies, Colorado is blessed with beautiful landscapes and abundant wildlife.

Our state and national parks are the places where Coloradans go to get into nature, whether on the back of a horse or a bike, or carried by their own two feet. These refuges are where Coloradans go to recharge their spirits. As John Muir said, “Thousands of tired, nerve-shaken, over-civilized people are beginning to find out that going to the mountains is going home; that wildness is a necessity.”

Transportation emissions are the largest source of air pollution
Smog over the Denver metro, credit: KUSA

For so many of us, our parks are what make our state so special. But right now, they’re being harmed by air pollution and a rapidly changing climate. This past year, Colorado experienced some of the worst forest fires in recent memory. With fire season being 78 days longer on average than in 1970, global warming has made wildfires more frequent and is a threat to our favorite landscapes.

To ensure our communities and wild places stay protected, we need cleaner air and a stable climate. That will require us to address transportation — right now, the way we get around is our largest source of global warming emissions, in Colorado and the U.S.

Though electric cars are growing in popularity, consumers are still concerned about finding a place to charge. Colorado has made a commitment to expanding the use of electric vehicles with a goal of nearly 1 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030 — a great step in the right direction. But we as a state are falling behind on meeting our charging needs, as EV sales far outpace the installation of charging stations.

Some of the places where we’re not seeing nearly enough charging stations are the very parks and public lands that electric vehicles would help protect. Since people charge their electric vehicles when they are parked, a lack of infrastructure near hiking trails means many folks suffer from range anxiety — the fear that they’ll run out of juice on the way back from a day on our public lands.

We need more charging stations where we go to enjoy nature
EV Charger in Catoctin Mountain Park, Maryland, Credit: NPS Photo

Coloradans should not have to choose between having an electric vehicle and visiting the parks they love. We need to have charging infrastructure in the same places we escape to for relief.

Environment Colorado is calling for every state park and national park to install electric car chargers and make it easy for visitors to recharge their cars while they recharge their souls in nature.

It shouldn’t be difficult for Coloradans to drive an EV to their favorite public lands. We need to make getting to our parks in an EV easier so outdoors-loving Coloradans do not forgo switching to EVs at all. We must electrify the way we travel to prevent pollution and a warming climate — and to protect the lands we cherish.

Good News: Electric vehicle charging stations are coming online
EV Charger at St. Vrain State Park, Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife photo

This past March, we won our Recharge Where You Recharge campaign. Colorado Parks & Wildlife (CPW) are now set to install electric vehicle (EV) chargers at all of our state parks starting this summer. This is exciting because millions of people visit our state parks, especially since the pandemic began in 2020, and they will now be able to use cleaner electric transportation to get out and enjoy nature. 

The EV company Rivian will install at least two charging stations at 50 CPW locations, and will pay for their installation and maintenance for up to 25 years, coming at no cost to the taxpayer.

However, compared to our national park system, our state park system is small potatoes. That’s why we’re taking our Recharge campaign to the next level. We need to make both the National Park Service (NPS), and the hundreds of millions of visits they received each year, emission free.

How do we electrify our national parks and forests?

With all the support at the state level for our Recharge Where You Recharge campaign, we’re now calling on Sen. Michael Bennet and Sen. John Hickenlooper, as well as our House Representatives, to push for EV charging infrastructure and vehicles for the National Park and Forest Services. The agencies charged with preserving “America’s Best Idea” for current and future generations should be leaders in our fight against pollution.

Every national park, national forest and any other piece of federal public land used for recreation should have EV chargers available in their existing parking lots. 

There is a bill called the Green Spaces, Green Vehicles Act which would electrify the National Park and Forest Services’ fleets, as well as install EV charging stations at existing facilities for recreation. It would also make funding available for charger installation for local public lands at the municipal or county level that have access to larger parcels of federal public land.

We need to electrify our transportation system as soon as possible to both protect our favorite public lands and make our visits there truly a breath of fresh air. To do that, we’ll be calling on our federal representatives to put the pedal to the metal to electrify the way we visit our favorite places.

Tell your Senators: Support electric vehicle charging in our national parks and forests

We need to be able to access public lands without contributing to their destruction. We can do this by installing EV chargers in all of our National Parks and Forests. Expanding the state's EV charging infrastructure not only helps us reduce our global warming emissions, it also ensures that Coloradans can travel to their favorite park without worrying about how far their car can go.