The National Park Service’s National Mall and Memorial Parks (NAMA) complex in Washington is using alternative-fueled lawn mowers, thanks to a donation from the Washington-based Propane Education & Research Council (PERC). Each of the six propane-fueled Exmark Lazer Z S-Series lawn mowers will reduce greenhouse gas emissions on the Mall by 50 percent per mower, according to the PERC.

The deployment of alternative fuel mowers enables NAMA to join the list of national parks advancing the Green Parks Plan, a National Park Service initiative. The plan aims to reduce dependence on foreign oil, mitigate the effects of climate change, and conserve energy.

“We are always looking for ways to integrate sustainable practices into every part of our operation,” Bob Vogel, National Mall and Memorial Park superintendent, said. “The donation of propane mowers from PERC will help the National Mall meet its sustainability goals with a clean-burning, American-made fuel.”

The four 72-inch and two 60-inch Lazer Z S-Series propane-fueled zero-turn riders will comprise one-third of the Mall’s mower fleet and replace diesel-fueled mowers. NAMA is a first adopter of the Exmark model with Kohler Command Pro Propane EFI engine. The technology was developed and commercialized through PERC funding.

“PERC is proud to play a vital role in greening one of our nation’s favorite places to gather,” said Roy Willis, PERC president and CEO. “The National Mall is the first major adopter of this technology, and its commitment to clean-burning, American-made propane sets the standard for parks, municipalities, and landscape professionals across the country.”

Switching to propane mowers will lower carbon monoxide emissions by 80 percent compared with gasoline, reduce fuel spills, and save NAMA money on fuel and maintenance costs. Propane is a byproduct of domestic natural gas processing. The U.S. produces more than enough propane to meet current demand. The U.S. became a net exporter of propane fuel in 2011. The mowers will be refueled using a propane cylinder exchange system from Thompson Gas. For more information on PERC or propane-fueled lawn mowers, visit this site

In the video, see the Exmark Lazer Z S-Series zero-turn, ride-on mower in action.