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19th annual Earth Day April 16 at Garden of the Gods, Rock Ledge Ranch

       Free, family-designed activities are scheduled Saturday, April 16 for the 19th annual Earth Day celebration at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
       The event will be from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
       Because of the likelihood of large attendance (up to 4,000 is typical), people are asked to park in the larger lot outside Rock Ledge Ranch, according to
In a scene from last summer, a group of Segway riders travel along a paved trail just west of 30th Street and the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center. Segway demonstrations will be among the activities at the April 16 Earth Day event at the center and Rock Ledge Ranch.
Westside Pioneer photo
Bret Tennis, the operations administrator for the Garden of the Gods City Park.
       The center and ranch are on either side of North 30th Street at Gateway Road. A shuttle bus will run every 20 minutes, carrying people between the two attractions, Tennis said.
       The celebration will include many of the same activities as in past years, he elaborated, with an addition this year being a live wolf, presented by the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Foundation.
       Unlike last year, when a major remodel limited the space inside the Visitor Center, all that work is done now, including added exhibits.
       The day will start off with a cleanup of the Garden. Registration will be at the center, 1850 N. 30 St., with signups from 8:30 to 9 a.m. All volunteers will receive a free lunch, a press release states. Also starting at 8:30, with signups at the center, will be a volksmarch of five kilometers or more, offered by the Falcon Wanderers Volkssport Club.
       From 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., guided nature walks will be offered on the hour, leaving from the Perkins Central Garden Trailhead (at the parking lot off Juniper Loop Way).
       Starting at 9:30, Rock Ledge Ranch staff, with the help of any willing volunteers, will plant five trees, according to ranch manager Andy Morris. One of them will be a blue spruce, in the memory of Gene Smith, the first ranch manager (1977-2009), who died in 2014.
       Here is the rest of the Earth Day schedule (all at the Garden):
       - 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m., Youth Seed Planting, upstairs in the café.
       - 9:30-10 a.m., Chemical Magic Show, outside in the white tent.
       - 10 a.m.-noon, Air Force Academy's Falcons, second floor, Red Rocks Room.
       - 10:15-10:45 a.m., Chemical Magic Show, outside in the white tent.
       - 11-11:30, peformance by American Indian Dancers, outside in the white tent.
       - 11:30-noon, peformance by American Indian Dancers, outside in the white tent.
       - Noon-12:30 p.m., peformance by American Indian Dancers, outside in the white tent.
       - 12:45-1:15, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo presentation, outside in the white tent.
       - 12:30-2 p.m., Birds of Prey from Nature's Educators, second floor, Red Rocks Room.
       - 2-3:30 p.m., 4th Infantry Division Dixieland Band, outside.
       Also offered at the Visitor Center will be wildlife touch tables, arts and crafts, llamas, educational exhibits and demonstrations of segway vehicles and rock climbing.
       Rock Ledge, a historically-styled working ranch which normally has an admission fee, will allow free access to its historic houses, blacksmith shop, barn and other features.
       For more information, call the Visitor Center at 219-0108 or go to gardenofgods.com.

Westside Pioneer article
(Posted 4/5/16; Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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