Teaching by Example
Pennsylvania’s Presque Isle State Park (PISP), located just minutes from down- town Erie, is a tourist attraction specializing in environmental education for all ages.
With more than 4 million visitors a year, the
3,200-acre park, which sits on a 7-mile sandspit
peninsula on Lake Erie, is not only a recreational
facility, but also a highly visible forum for teaching by example.
By MICK SAGRILLO and LISA DIFRANCISCO Photos by Lisa DiFrancisco, North Coast Energy Systems
School groups often visit Presque Isle State Park’s wind turbine, according to Environmental
Education Supervisor Ann Desarra and Superintendent Harry Leslie, above.
Mick Sagrillo, Sagrillo Power & Light, is a small-wind
consultant and educator. Contact him at msagrillo@
wizunwired.net. Lisa DiFrancisco, North Coast Energy
Systems, is a small-wind site assessor, installer and
educator. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Since 2004, PISP has been home to a 10-kilo-
watt (k W) wind turbine, which powers an interpretive center in the park. The turbine also serves
as a teaching tool for park-goers, school groups,
bird and bat enthusiasts and even wind installers. A powerful demonstration of the viability
of renewable energy, the project encountered a
few initial setbacks that taught their own lessons
along the way.