Earth Day activities at Garden, Rock Ledge Ranch

       The Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, which sit “catty-corner” at 30th Street and Gateway Road, will coordinate again for Earth Day Saturday, April 17.

The Sweetwater Indian Dancers, shown here leading a participatory dance at the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center's Earth Day in 2005, will be back at the center for this year's event April 17.
Westside Pioneer photo

       The free event will contain about the same activities as last year's, including two “magic” shows by Mr. Science, live animals and birds, Indian dancing, hands-on kid activities, tree-planting, information opportunities and nature walks.
       Most activities will occur between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m.
       A few thousand people typically attend. Overflow parking will be in the Rock Ledge lot south of Gateway Road just west of 30th Street. A shuttle service between the two sites will run regularly from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
       The tree-planting is planned to start at Rock Ledge at 10 a.m. Volunteers are welcome to join in expanding the Toba Hawthorn grove as well as the apple and cherry orchards on the city-owned ranch property.
       According to Rock Ledge Ranch Manager Andy Morris and Rock Ledge Living History Association President Ron Wright, 14 trees will be added this year, courtesy of donations - 2 Toba Hawthorns, 10 apple trees and 2 cherry trees.
       The apple trees will be replacements in part, as seven of those planted in previous years had their roots eaten away by gophers in the past year. However, Morris said he believes that problem will not reoccur.
       People who want to join a Garden of the Gods cleanup from 8:30 to 11 a.m. need to register at the Visitor Center, 1805 N. 30th St.
       Here is a schedule of events (subject to change):
       8:30 a.m., Garden of the Gods cleanup.
       9 a.m., first of the hourly nature walks from the Visitor Center (last is at 2 p.m.).
       9 a.m.-noon, youth activity - seed-planting on the first floor of the Visitor Center.
       9 a.m.-3 p.m., equipment displays and demonstrations outside the Visitor Center by the Peterson Air Force Fire Department and El Paso County Search and Rescue.
       9 a.m.-3 p.m., wildlife touch table in the center.
       10 a.m.-3 p.m., Rock Ledge Ranch open to the public, including houses and blacksmith shop.
       10 a.m., Mr. Science Chemical Magic Show in the center's theater.
       10 a.m., tree-planting at Rock Ledge (volunteers needed).
       10 a.m.-noon, Air Force falcons in the Red Rocks room at the center.
       10 a.m.-1 p.m., llamas in the center parking lot.
       11 a.m., Mr. Science.
       11:30 a.m., Sweetwater Indian Dancers in the center parking lot.
       Noon-2 p.m., birds of prey, in the Red Rocks room at the center.
       12:30 p.m., Indian Dancers.
       1 p.m., live wolf presentation by the Wolf & Wildlife Center in the Visitor Center theater.
       1:30 p.m., Indian Dancers.

Westside Pioneer/press release