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Earth Day celebrated April 18 at GoG Visitor Center, Rock Ledge Ranch

       The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site will join again for Earth Day Saturday, April 18.
       The two Westside nature attractions' 18th annual event will offer various activities, presentations and/or entertainment indoors and out.
       The schedule will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. according to Bret Tennis, the city's parks operations administrator.
       Before that, people are welcome to join a cleanup of the Garden of the Gods, which is a city park. Registration starts at the center, 1850 N. 30 St., at 8:30 a.m.,
Llamas from the Touch the Earth ranch in Black Forest (shown outside the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center in 2012) will be back for Earth Day Saturday, April 18.
Westside Pioneer file photo
with work starting at 9 a.m. and continuing until 11. Last year's total of 233 volunteers set a record, according to Visitor Center officials.
       Earth Day is typically the biggest event of the year for the combined sites, attracting up to 4,000 people. It's a free event, including admission to Rock Ledge, which will have its historic houses and blacksmith shop open.
       Rock Ledge will also have its own volunteer opportunity, with multiple trees being planted, starting at 9 a.m., and digging assistance welcome (bring your own shovel).
       The center and the ranch are located across from each other at 30th Street and Gateway Road. People can park in either locale, with a regular shuttle running between them.
       For the second straight year, space at the Visitor Center will be a little more cramped than normal because of a major, ongoing renovation that's due for completion in mid-May.
       Most Earth Day activities will last all day. Those on a time schedule are the following (all at the Visitor Center, except where indicated).
       - 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., volksmarch, starting from Carriage House at Rockledge Ranch.
       - 9 a.m.-2 p.m. (on the hour), nature walks, starting from Central Garden Trailhead at north parking lot.
       - 9:30-10 a.m. and 10:15-10:45 a.m., “Chemical Magic” show.
       - 10 a.m.-noon, Air Force Academy falcon presentation.
       - 10 a.m.-noon, llamas (from Touch the Earth llama ranch in Black Forest).
       - 12:30-2 p.m.Birds of Prey (from Nature's Educators nonprofit wildlife organization in Aurora).
       - 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m., American Indian dancers.
       - 12:45-1:15 p.m., Cheyenne Mountain Zoo presentation with live animals.
       - 2-3:30 p.m., 4th Infantry Division Dixieland Band.
       All-day events will include a seed-planting and arts and crafts for kids, a wall-climbing display, Segway demonstrations, Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department's Smoke House and a wildlife touch table.
       For more information, call the Visitor Center at 219-0108 or go to gardenofgods.com.

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 4/5/15, updated 4/6/15; Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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