GRAND CANYON, Ariz. – Grand Canyon National Park will kick off National Park Week with a weekend of Earth Day activities and then join national parks around the country in waiving entrance fees April 22 to 26.
The festivities will begin at 5:30 p.m. on Friday 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 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, 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 to attend. For more information Earth Day at Grand Canyon National Park, contact Marty Martell at 928-638-7834.
The fee-free celebration of National Park Week begins April 22. Visitors to the Grand Canyon (or any other national park in the country) will be allowed to enter the park without charge from April 22 to 26. 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,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said.
“Oh, there are some wonderful ‘Did you knows…’ at Grand Canyon!” Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said. “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.”
For more information on National Park Week:
Zion National Park – 435-772-3256
Bryce Canyon National Park – 435-834-5322
Grand Canyon National Park – 928-638-7888