Grasshopper efficiency contributes to award-winning energy savings for school district
Feb 23, 2011
Maize USD 266 wins 2010 Clean Air and Sustainability Award
MOUNDRIDGE, Kan. – School districts across the country are seeking innovative ways to be more “green” without putting their budgets in the red. A school district in Maize, Kan., has done that in part due to their purchase of Grasshopper diesel mowers. Results of the district’s energy-saving initiatives were recognized with a 2010 Clean Air and Sustainability Award, presented by Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer during the Regional Energy Summit held in January 2011.
Maize USD 266, a district with more than 6,600 students in suburban Wichita, has made significant investments in green technology in the past seven years, including grounds maintenance equipment.
“After we purchased our first Grasshopper mower seven years ago, we were able to see how its efficiency could impact our overall green initiatives,” said James Baker, Maize assistant superintendent of operations.
“When combined with our other energy-saving steps – hiring a full-time energy manager and investing in a computer-controlled building energy monitoring system – we have saved more than $1.5 million during the last four years. Given cuts in other areas, these savings not only help the environment but also help us keep more funds in the classrooms.”
One of the strategic investments made by the district to reduce employee-hours, fuel consumption and overall emissions was the purchase of Grasshopper’s MaxTorque™ diesel mowers. The district’s leaders then witnessed the benefits of clean-diesel maintenance equipment: 50 percent more power, 2-to-1 fuel economy and fewer emissions of harmful particulates and key greenhouse gases than comparable gasoline-, propane- and natural-gas powered equipment.
The district now has five Grasshopper diesel mowers and is phasing out the gasoline-fueled mowers.
Ray Garvey, Grasshopper marketing coordinator, said, “We are proud to have played a role in helping Maize USD 266 meet energy-saving goals. Based on the dramatic reduction in energy consumption district wide – all their investments are paying big dividends.”
In addition to the fuel reduction, overall emissions related to landscape activities for the district took steep declines: a 43 percent reduction in non-methane hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, and a 99 percent reduction in carbon monoxide.
Award winners were selected by the City of Wichita and the Metro Air Quality Improvement Task Force based on efforts to improve air quality and incorporate sustainability measures in their organizational structures.
About Grasshopper The Grasshopper Company is a privately held corporation dedicated solely to the design and production of commercial and large-acreage mowing and grounds maintenance equipment. Grasshopper introduced the first zero-turn radius mower with dual swing-out levers in 1969, and other industry firsts include the first diesel-powered zero-turn radius mower in 1983 and the first electric-actuated fold-up mower deck in 2004. Based in Moundridge, Kan., the company distributes its products worldwide and is committed to lean and clean manufacturing practices reducing impact to the environment.