ST. GEORGE — “National Parks Week” begins Saturday, running from April 18-26, with opening weekend’s Saturday and Sunday entrance fee free. In St. George, a national parks open house will be held at the Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, Monday, from 4-6 p.m.
The open house is sponsored by the Zion National Park Foundation and St. George Area Tourism Office. It is free and designed to help young and old earn more about the national parks in their own backyard.
The open house will include booths and information stations in the Dixie Center Garden Room featuring Zion National Park, as well as Cedar Breaks and Pipe Spring national monuments.
There will also be light refreshments and a silent auction of unique and meaningful items relating to the parks.
The event is designed to make it handy for people to stop by on their way home from work, or bring the whole family, Jill Burt, director of operations and development for the Zion National Park Foundation, said.
“It will be an informal, come and go, evening,” she said. “Folks will have a chance to personally meet the new superintendent of Zion National Park, Jeff Bradybaugh, as well as Superintendent Paul Roelandt of Cedar Breaks, and Superintendent John Hiscock of Pipe Spring.”
Park rangers, volunteers and partners will be on hand to share the latest activities and initiatives in the parks, including the Zion National Park Plein Air Artist Invitational, and Zion’s Youth Education Initiative which is touching the lives of thousands of area children. There will be information on how people can volunteer in the parks, and other ways to make a difference.
“As the entire nation celebrates the National Park System during the week of April 20, residents of Southern Utah will have a unique opportunity to form a closer tie to parks in their own backyard by attending this open house,” Burt said.
The focus of the event is to give local residents a chance to learn more about what’s happening in our nearby parks, Zion National Park Foundation Executive Director Lyman Hafen said, how they affect us, and how we can support them.
“There are many ways we as residents of this area can connect to the parks,” Hafen said, “and it starts by getting to know these places better, and becoming familiar with all they offer and the issues they face. We’re truly fortunate to live so close to three amazing units of the National Park system. In little more than an hour, we can be in Zion, Cedar Breaks, or Pipe Spring – places millions of people from all around the world visit each year. How much do we really know about what we have in our own backyard, and what are the ways we can help support or enhance these places that mean so much to us, not only scenically and culturally, but economically, as well?”
Event details and resources
- What: Celebrating the parks in your own backyard open house
- When: April 20, 4-6 p.m.
- Where: Dixie Center St. George, 1835 S. Convention Center Drive, St. George
- Dixie Center St. George website
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Ed. note: Corrected time of open house.