Grand Canyon Celebrates Earth Day With Events, Free Admission

Sunday, April 15 2012 12:26   Grand Canyon
Need a place to celebrate Earth Day? Why not the Grand Canyon, where the oldest human artifacts found are nearly 12,000 years old, and you can walk into the past with the Trail of Time.

Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day on April 22, 2012 with demonstrations, games, information on local and national environmental initiatives, and much more.
grand_canyon_earthdayAll Earth Day activities are free of charge and will take place at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center near Mather Point between the hours of 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

There will also be a special showing of the film Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time on Saturday, April 21 at 7:30 p.m. in the Grand Canyon Visitor Center theatre. This film explores the life and legacy of famed conservationist Aldo Leopold and the many ways in which his land ethic and philosophy shaped conservation and the modern environmental movement.

Visitors to the park during Earth Day weekend should watch for restaurant specials, featuring local and/or sustainable ingredients. In addition, most retail outlets will be offering discounts on reusable water bottles to increase awareness about Grand Canyon's new water bottle filling stations and their "reduce, reuse, refill" initiative.

Grand Canyon's Earth Day festivities will kick off National Park Week in the park. Like national park units around the country, Grand Canyon will recognize National Park Week by waiving entrance fees April 21 - 29, 2012.

woven_from_plastic_bagsVisitors who arrive at the Grand Canyon during National Park Week will be allowed to enter the park free of charge. Those who plan to spend time in the park beyond April 29 will need to pay the regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.

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.

Grand Canyon National Park's 2012 Earth Day celebration is a collaborative effort between the National Park Service; Xanterra South Rim, L.L.C.; Grand Canyon Railway; Delaware North Companies; the City of Flagstaff; Northern Arizona University; Coconino National Forest; Flagstaff Area National Parks; Grand Canyon Trust; Arizona Lung Association; U.S. Soybean Board; Sierra Club; Clean Cities of Arizona; and the park's cooperating association and fundraising partner, Grand Canyon Association. All of these organizations will have representatives present at this year's event.

Oh, and what about walking into the past on the Trail of Time?

The Trail of Time is a 4.56 km (2.83 mile) long geologic timeline. Each meter walked on the timeline trail signifies one million years of Grand Canyon's geologic history.

trail_of_timeWalking the trail gives you a visceral appreciation for the magnitude of geologic time. Bronze markers mark your location in time; every tenth marker is labeled in millions of year! Along the timeline trail are a series of rocks and exhibits that explain how Grand Canyon and its rock formed.

Shuttle buses will take you to either end of the Trail of Time, at Yavapai Point and its geology museum or at Verkamps Visitor Center, which is located at the east end of the historic Grand Canyon Village. The start of the Trail of Time is at Yavapai Geology Museum, a half hour walk from Mather Point and the Canyon View Visitor Center.

For additional information on Grand Canyon's Earth Day celebration, contact Deirdre Hanners, Environmental Protection Specialist at (928) 638-7627. To learn more about visiting Grand Canyon National Park, visit the park's web site at .

For more information on National Park Week, visit


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