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Earth Day April 19: Big tent for Visitor Center; tree dedication at Rock Ledge

       With renovations this spring not quite finished at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center, people coming to its 17th annual Earth Day will have an enhanced outdoor experience Saturday, April 19.
       A 30-by-20-foot tent will cover numerous activities that typically have been indoors. These will include an American Indian dance group, the two “chemical magic” shows and presentations by the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo and the Wolf & Wildlife Center, according to Dolores Davis, community relations coordinator for the center.
       The initial phase of the renovations is planned for completion in mid-May (no longer late April, as previously announced), according to center director Linda Carter. The facility will then return to its normal daily schedule. Since January, it's been open only Fridays through Sundays. The project includes construction of a larger interior stairwell and a new exhibit center.
       Earth Day activities will be also be at the Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, catty-corner from the center at the southwest corner of Gateway Road and 30th Street. A special Rock Ledge event this year will be the Bill Poley Memorial Tree Dedication at 9 a.m., during which a Toba Hawthorn tree will be planted in honor of Poley, a 16-year ranch docent who recently passed away. Also, Doris Dillie will be signing copies of her book, "Rock Ledge Ranch As I Knew It: The White House Years," in the General Store.
       Earth Day attendees can park at either the center or the ranch, with a regular shuttle running between them.
       Everything is free, including admission to Rock Ledge, which will have its historic houses and blacksmith shop open.
       Most activities will be from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Before that, people are welcome to join a park cleanup, starting at 8:30 a.m. from the Visitor Center.
       Also starting early will be a Volksmarch by the Falcon Wanderers group, which will start taking registrations at Rock Ledge's Carriage House as early as 7:30 a.m.
       Scheduled activities (at the Visitor Center unless noted):
       - 7:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m., Volksmarch signups at Rock Ledge.
       - 8:30-9 a.m., signups for park cleanup.
       - 9 a.m., Bill Poley memorial tree dedication at Rock Ledge.
       - Hourly, 9 a.m.-2 p.m., guided nature walks.
       - 9:30 and 10:15 a.m., “chemical magic” show.
       - 10 a.m.-noon, llamas from Touch the Earth.
       - 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Air Force Academy falcons.
       - 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m., American Indian dance performances.
       - 12:45-1:15 p.m., live animals and presentation by Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.
       - 1:30, 2 p.m. and 2:30 p.m., live wolf program by Wolf & Wildlife Center.
       - 2-3:30 p.m., 4th Infantry Division Dixieland Band

Westside Pioneer/press release
(Posted 4/13/14; updated 4/15/14; Outdoors: Garden of the Gods)

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