Celebrate Earth Day at the Grand Canyon

Kathleen Reeder | Grand Canyon


Earth Day is right around the corner (April 22 is the big day), and if you don’t already have plans to celebrate Mother Earth, why not visit the Grand Canyon? Starting April 19, Grand Canyon National Park is kicking off National Park Week with Earth-friendly activities over the weekend and waived entrance fees all week long.

Check it out:

Grand Canyon National Park will kick off National Park Week with a weekend of Earth Day activities and then will join national park units around the country in waiving entrance fees on April 22 – 26, 2013.

The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 19, with a free screening of the film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center theater.  On Saturday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m. at the Shrine of the Ages, Grand Canyon’s Green Team will host environmental author Mary Ellen Hannibal, who will explore the critical nature of wildlife corridors and review the history of America’s native wildlife habitats, which include natural habitats found within national parks, and share what scientists are doing to combat the gradual loss of these important lands along the spine of the continent.  On Sunday, April 21, an open-house style Earth Day celebration will be held at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center plaza from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will include educational activities, demonstrations and games, samples, and information on local and national environmental initiatives.  The day will conclude with a walk and trash pick-up along the rim at 2:30 p.m., volunteers are welcome.  All of the weekend’s activities are family friendly and free of charge.

The fee-free celebration of National Park Week begins the next day.  Visitors who arrive at the Grand Canyon April 22 – 26 will be allowed to enter the park free of charge.  Those who plan to spend time in the park beyond April 26 will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.

“This year’s National Park Week theme, ‘Did you know…’, provides a fun way to discover the wonders of America’s national parks,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.

According to Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga, “Oh, there are some wonderful ‘Did you knows…’ at Grand Canyon!  For instance, did you know the oldest rocks at Grand Canyon are estimated to be about 1.8 billion years old?  Did you know Grand Canyon was once a designated forest reserve, and then a game preserve?  Did you know that the oldest human artifact found at Grand Canyon is about 12,000 years old?  The staff here at Grand Canyon National Park encourage everyone to take advantage of National Park Week to visit one of their national parks free of charge and see what ‘Did you knows…’ they can discover.”

Park visitors are reminded that the fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours or use of concessions.  Park entrance stations will have Interagency Senior and Annual Passes available for those who wish to purchase them.

To learn more about Grand Canyon’s Earth Day celebrations, please contact Green Team member Marty Martell at 928-638-7834.  For more on National Park Week, please visit www.nps.gov/npweek or www.nationalparkweek.org. And to learn about the year’s remaining national park fee-free days, please visit: www.nps.gov/findapar/feefreeparks.htm.

1 Comment

Filed under Mother Nature, Things to Do

One response to “Celebrate Earth Day at the Grand Canyon

  1. S Mullarkey

    Day-hiking into the Grand Canyon is on many people’s bucket list but kicking the bucket while hiking there usually isn’t! People die in the Canyon each year for a variety of reasons; one of them being that some hikers are unprepared for the experiences they encounter there. Sure, a lot of people hike there almost every day of the year but there are still those hikers who get lost and either barely or don’t make it out alive. Read Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart (Amazon) before you hit the trail for a day-hike. Learn trail ethics like how to share the trail and how to properly poop in the park! Learn what to pack, what to do if you get lost, how to get rescued, and survival packing just incase you end up unexpectedly spending the night in the Canyon. Learn how to navigate your way by paying attention to your surroundings and knowing how to use a compass. A compass doesn’t need satellites, a signal, or batteries and works in all types of weather but you need to know how to use it and this book makes learning how to use a compass easy. Your Grand Canyon adventure should be the thrill of a lifetime! Make it more enjoyable by hiking smart and having the essentials with you! Felix! the Sugar Glider Be Safe Hike Smart is available on Amazon.com

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