A man shouts with joy with his children as they ride the carousel at Camp Christmas

Don’t Just Enjoy Camp Christmas, Feel Good About Local Sustainability

A night out on the town can be a blast, an extravagance even, a chance to put your worries aside and take in a show. When you head to Camp Christmas this season, you can also get the glow of appreciation for the sustainability efforts at the Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park.

People gather around a fire pit at Camp Christmas

Camp Christmas. Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography

How Camp Christmas is Sustainable

The sight of colorful holiday lights during the short days of winter can put a smile on your face and even provide a sense of inner warmth. Although traditional holiday lights can be a big energy user, artist and Camp Christmas creator, Lonnie Hanzon, looked for ways to make the huge display more modern and eco-friendly.

“The Hanzon Studios team builds the pieces of the show to be used year over year and loves getting creative with recycling and repurposing materials,” says Charlie Miller, Executive Director & Curator of DCPA Off-Center. “Most all of the lights used are energy efficient LEDs.”

A man shouts with joy with his children as they ride the carousel at Camp Christmas

Camp Christmas. Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography

Also, Camp Christmas is entirely solar powered. In 2021, Camp Christmas avoided 25,000 pounds of carbon emissions by using renewable energy, such as solar power. To put it in perspective, that’s like driving a car for 30,000 miles.

There are digital field guides for exploring Camp Christmas, as well as a limited number of paper guides available (given one to a group to keep waste down).

Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is Sustainable Year-round

The Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is part of the City of Lakewood’s “Powered by Renewable Energy” program, which is used to offset carbon emissions by using solar energy to power municipal facilities and operations. The solar electricity comes from an off-site Xcel Renewable Connect community solar garden, which is then allocated to various electricity meters throughout Lakewood.

A group of children run through a lighted archway at Camp Christmas

Camp Christmas. Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography

“The solar electricity generated for Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park through the Powered by Renewable Energy program is large enough to support the entire Camp Christmas event so that all the electricity used for the lights is 100% renewable,” says Jeff Wong, PE/LEED AP, Senior Sustainability Planner for Lakewood. “At the mayor’s tree lighting ceremony and Camp Christmas preview event, we were able to hand out 150 boxes of free LED bulb kits to help visitors save energy in their homes.”

In addition, Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park is also home to Lakewood’s annual Earth Day celebration, one of the largest earth day events in the Denver metro area, according to Wong. During event such as Earth Day celebrations, there are opportunities for compost, recycling and trash.

“The City recognizes that we need to be local leaders when tackling the impacts of climate change,” says Wong. “For us, that includes reducing our carbon emissions by increasing energy efficiency and incorporating more renewable energy into our daily operations, reducing waste by increasing composting and recycling opportunities, and limiting emissions from vehicles by supporting the use of alternative transportation and electric vehicle adoption.

A child sits on Santa's lap at Camp Christmas

Camp Christmas. Photo by Amanda Tipton Photography

Camp Christmas is a great opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to sustainability and also educate the community on how they can participate in a more sustainable lifestyle, which includes the use of renewable energy for their homes (whether that means installing solar or participating in a community solar garden).”

Doing Your Part

Now it’s your turn: how about taking a bus to see Camp Christmas? The RTD 11, 14, and 76 bus lines all stop at S. Wadsworth Blvd. & Ohio Ave., leaving visitors with a 3-minute walk to the park. The 76 bus connects to the W light rail line at the Lakewood-Wadsworth station. If you don’t mind a 7-minute walk from a bus stop to the park, the RTD 1, 3, and 9 bus lines can get you to Virginia Ave. and S. Wadsworth Blvd.

Camp Christmas
Now – Dec 24
Heritage Lakewood Belmar Park • 801 S. Yarrow St.