GRAND CONYON, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park’s Green Team is pleased to announce that Dr. Gary Paul Nabhan, award-winning author, conservation biologist, farmer, and “pioneer of the local food movement” as he has been called by Time magazine, Utne Reader, and Mother Earth News, will be presenting special programs at the park on July 21 and 22.
His first presentation, “National Parks, Food Security & Heritage Crops in a Time of Shifting Climates,” will be held on Saturday, July 21, at 8:30 p.m. at the McKee Amphitheater, located on the South Rim. It will focus on how national parks can contribute to food security and sustainable agriculture in a time of climate shifts, including record-breaking heat and drought.
“National parks harbor some of the rarest heirloom crop and livestock varieties–heritage seeds and breeds–left in North America,” Nabhan said. “These food resources have adaptations that can help us weather climatic changes and ever-increasing water scarcity. Parks also provide ecosystem services that help support and protect agriculture by providing pollinators and soil microbes needed to produce healthy yields.”
On Sunday, July 22, Nabhan will conduct a workshop at 10 a.m. at the McKee Amphitheater. His workshop, “Documenting Traditional Foods of Your Bioregion: Saving Memories, Recipes and Seeds,” will focus on how to document the heritage foods of your own home landscape from planting lore to recipes.
Nabhan holds the W.K. Kellogg Endowed Chair in Sustainable Agriculture at the University of Arizona and has served on the National Park System Advisory Board. His work is regularly featured on National Public Radio and in the New York Times. Active in the disciplines of conservation biology, biocultural geography, agro-ecology, and borderlands studies, Nabhan’s work and research focuses on the ecological, cultural, and economic significance and preservation of working landscapes along with the heritage foods that define them.
He has been honored by the Western National Parks Association with the Emil Haury Lifetime Achievement Award for his research, writing and conservation efforts. His many books have won both national and international awards.
Nabhan’s programs are being sponsored by the Grand Canyon Green Team in support of the park’s sustainability, Climate Friendly Parks and Healthy Parks Healthy People goals. His programs are being offered in an effort to help visitors and community members better understand the connections between cultural heritage and place-based foods, and to realize that even their food choices can have a significant environmental impact on many different levels.
The Grand Canyon Green Team is a collaborative group of employees representing the National Park Service, as well as park concessioners and partners that seeks to increase the level of environmental awareness and stewardship. The Grand Canyon Green Team is founded on the belief that everyone who lives and works in the canyon has a responsibility to carefully manage this remarkable landscape for future generations.
For additional information on Gary Nabhan’s special programs, please contact Concessions Management Specialist Pamela Walls at 928-638-7713. To learn more about Grand Canyon’s Green Team, please contact Environmental Protection Specialist Deirdre Hanners at 928-638-7627.