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Grand Canyon celebrates Earth Day with free entry April 20

Kids learn how clouds are formed and make their own clouds in a jar during the 2018 Earth Day celebration at Grand canyon National Park. (Erin Ford/WGCN)

Kids learn how clouds are formed and make their own clouds in a jar during the 2018 Earth Day celebration at Grand canyon National Park. (Erin Ford/WGCN)

GRAND CANYON, Ariz. — Grand Canyon National Park invites the public to celebrate the 49th anniversary of Earth Day during National Park Week with free entrance April 20.

All Earth Day activities are free and open to the public and will take place at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center Plaza on the South Rim between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.

This year's theme, Sustainability: Then and Now in concert with Grand Canyon National Park's 100th anniversary, features exhibits showcasing a rich history of sustainability within the park. Find the latest information about park history and initiatives affecting water conservation, recycling, zero-waste, composting, dark-sky protection, and eco-transportation. There will be healthy snacks and arts and crafts to boot.

Check out a special Subaru exhibit and see other vehicles on display throughout the plaza.

Participate in Grand Canyon Conservancy's scavenger hunt. Collect stamps on the plaza from various exhibits to win a prize;

Pick up some carrots and apples to share with the famous mule team at the Mule Barn in the historic village;

Catch a live leather-work demonstration and play Muleshoe Pitch to win a cool prize and

See an interpretive demonstration of the Grand Canyon Railway Steam Engine at the Train Depot between 11:30 am and 2 pm.

In addition to photo booth opportunities and cultural demonstrators, the Grand Canyon Green Team invites you to participate in Ribbons of Stewardship for a Healthy and Sustainable Park. Here you can write personal sentiments about what you treasure most about Grand Canyon National Park and place your ribbons on the branches of our 'tree'. Visitors will also have an opportunity to sign Grand Canyon's 100th anniversary birthday card.

Participating organizations include Grand Canyon Trust, Pink Jeep Tours, Sierra Club-Grand Canyon Chapter, National Weather Service, Roots Composting, Nucor Steel-Kingman, and Valley of the Sun Clean Cities Coalition. Joining this year's celebration is Subaru, The Azulita Project, Under Canvas, and the National Parks Conservation Association who is also celebrating their 100th anniversary.

Grand Canyon National Park's 2019 Earth Day Celebration is a collaborative effort between the National Park Service (NPS), Grand Canyon National Park Lodges-Xanterra Travel Collection, Grand Canyon Railway and Hotel, Delaware North, and the park's official non-profit partner Grand Canyon Conservancy. Grand Canyon's Green Team works collaboratively to increase awareness of environmental stewardship within the Grand Canyon South Rim community.

Free entry

Visitors who arrive at Grand Canyon National Park April 20 will be allowed to enter the park free of charge. The fee-free designation 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. Those who plan to spend time in the park beyond April 20 will need to pay regular entrance fee for the remainder of their stay.

The next fee-free days will be Aug. 25 for NPS Founder's Day, Sept. 28 for National Public Lands Day and Nov. 11 in honor of Veterans Day.

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