Every Day is Earth Day at Barona
by Jay Bart, Director of Safety, Health and Environment
Today, billions of people will commemorate Earth Day – the one day a year designated to inspire awareness and appreciation for the environment across the globe. There are fairs, walks and observances of all kinds and the impact has been inspirational. We’ve really taken the sustainable message to heart and are working hard to make every day Earth Day here at Barona Resort & Casino.
What, you may ask, does a casino resort known for its blackjack tables and slot machines know about the environment? As it turns out…quite a bit!
Barona Resort & Casino and the Barona Band of Mission Indians have long been committed to the environment.
Several years ago, this commitment was formalized as the Barona Valley Environmental Sustainability Program. The program includes a state-of-the-art water reclamation plant, innovative water recovery program, landscaping and wildlife preservation, golf course turf reduction, an environmental scholarship program, resort conservation efforts – carpooling, recycling and energy efficient practices – and community outreach to increase awareness of eco-friendly events and awards.
Of course, it’s all well and good for us to talk about how great these programs are but other organizations that we respect and admire talk about them too. And, we’ve even received awards for our environmental programs from the following groups: Audubon International; California Hotel & Lodging Association; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency; SANDAG Diamond Award; San Diego Earth Works; Golf Course Superintendents Association of America (GCSAA) / Golf Digest; and Energy Star: 2009 Energy Star for Superior Energy Efficiency by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
And just last week, we announced that Barona Resort & Casino achieved Gold certification from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) through their Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design for Existing Buildings (LEED™-EB) rating system. Barona is the first Tribal resort in the nation to earn the internationally recognized certification for the design and operation of high performance green buildings.
Adding to the accolades, the new government building, the site where all government-to-government relations are conducted by elected members of the Barona Tribe, was also just awarded LEED™-NC Silver level certification by the USGBC.
Coming back full circle, we are very proud of our environmental achievements here at Barona and hope to continue to lead the gaming industry in this area.
I’ll be back soon to share details about some of these key programs. In the meantime, I’d like to know how you celebrate Earth Day or what you do to live green. Maybe you’ll have even more ideas for us!