GRAND CANYON, Ariz. - On April 22, Grand Canyon National Park will celebrate the 42nd anniversary of Earth Day with demonstrations, games, information on local and national environmental initiatives, and much more. All 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 are encouraged to 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; and like national park units around the country, Grand Canyon will recognize National Park Week by waiving entrance fees April 21 - 29, 2012.
"America's national parks have something for everyone," said National Park Service Director Jon Jarvis. "And, since admission is free to all 397 parks, all week long, National Park Week is a great time to get up, get out, and explore a park."
Visitors 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.
For additional information on Grand Canyon's Earth Day celebration, please 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 www.nps.gov/grca. And, for more information on National Park Week, please visit www.nps.gov/npweek or www.nationalparkweek.org.