Moab Happenings Archive
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A.C.T. Camground: Science & Hospitality
By Linda Schmidt

From the moment you turn into the parking lot of the ACT Campground and Learning Center, you know that you are in no ordinary place. From solar panels to rain barrels, landscaping with local rock and native plants, purposeful shaping of the terrain, and a yurt, it is obvious that something special is going on here.

This is a realized dream of an environmental engineer and a people-loving educator. In March of 2015, Kim Sherwood and Cherie Major opened the A.C.T. Campground and Learning Center, a green-integrated camp park that models the ways in which commercial and residential properties can be environmentally friendly. This is their retirement, but both are busier than ever, providing a lovely and intriguing place to enhance the appreciation of visitors for “green” in action.

The campground has twenty-one full RV hook-ups with cable TV, nineteen tent sites, and in the main building, eight rooms that sleep up to five people and one that sleeps up to nine. A very inviting, airy communal kitchen, Australia and New Zealand style, is available to all. It opens onto an outdoor eating area with grills and even a pizza oven! Between this area and a giant sandbox for children is a handsome firepit.The toilet/shower rooms are spacious and sparkling clean. Designed and fabricated by a woman, the concrete sinks are literally works of art! Instead of tile and grout, the walls are sheathed with sheets of composite marble.

Natural gas, with a smaller carbon footprint that other heating materials, is used wherever solar power is not yet feasible. The dryers currently operate with gas, but there is a solar dryer outside—yes, a clothesline, cleverly designed to accommodate the height of every user. An electric car charging station has been built in, and at the back corner of the building, there is a fine dog, bicycle, and muddy child wash which waters a large tree after filtering out the mud. Solar lights provide exterior illumination along the drives and walkways.

To view something of the fascinating use of both recycled and renewable materials in the construction of the campground’s beautiful 5000 square foot building, just go into the office. In the walls you will find “truth windows” which reveal the structure of the walls: straw bale, SIP (Structural Insulated Panel) and ICF (Insulate Concrete Form), all of which are rated at R35-40. Radiant heating has been built into the concrete floors, and large window areas are designed for passive solar heat in the winter.

If you have the opportunity, ask Kim or Cherie to explain the environmentally efficient energy systems are used to provide heating, cooling and lighting. Solar power, waste recycling, and water conservation methods are being enlarged and integrated into this massive science project as rapidly as the park’s remarkably energetic owners can implement them. Kim is working on a mind-boggling system to utilize geothermal energy to heat and cool water. What a superb demonstration of sustainability in our high desert!

Lectures are given to groups upon request: the yurt is the setting for these meetings. Subject matter varies from the history of the universe to hermaphroditic lizards! Certain rock and plants have been labeled in the park landscaping so that merely walking around is a learning experience.

Augment your vacation in Moab with an expanded understanding of sustainability, and do it in style in this comfortable, healthy, and delightful camp park. A.C.T. Campground is located at the corner of Highway 191 and Mill Creek Drive, 2.5 miles south of the Moab city center on 191. Call for availability 435-355-0355, or email Enjoy your stay!

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