Earth/Arbor Day events planned April 21, 22, 26

       Annual Earth Day and Arbor Day celebrations are coming together on the Westside, with free opportunities for entertainment, children's activities, tree planting and terrain improvements later this month.
       The busiest day will be Saturday, April 21, when the Garden of the Gods Visitor Center and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site coordinate on a variety of nature- oriented offerings for the second straight year.
       At Red Rock Canyon Open Space, there will be a workday Sunday, April 22 and an Arbor Day tree-planting event Thursday, April 26 that will start with a ceremony at 10:30 a.m. Volunteers are sought for April 22. The sign-up list is full for the 26th, but people are welcome to attend the ceremony, in which the city will receive two awards from the National Arbor Foundation.
       Sponsored by the Friends of Red Rock Canyon, the April 22 workday, going from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m., will involve the removal of dying or invasive elm trees and the closing of social trails that are causing drainage problems. Pre-registration is requested at 385-6520.
       People can also check for other volunteer opportunities at
       The April 21 Garden/ Ranch event will start off with two work opportunities. There will be an erosion-control workday by the Rocky Mountain Field Institute (RMFI) at the Garden's Spring Canyon (call 471-7736 to pre-register) starting at 8:30 a.m. and a litter-pickup effort, open to volunteers, at 9 (register at the Visitor Center after 8:30 a.m. that day).
       The center, 1805 N. 30th St., will continue with a variety of indoor and outdoor activities at the center until 3 p.m. These will include live wolves from the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, Birds of Prey, children's arts and crafts, guided nature walks, the Mr. Science chemical magic show (noon), the Peterson Air Force Base Fire Department, Air Force Academy falcons and the Sweetwater Indian Dancers. For specific times of activities, call the center at 219-0108.
       According to center director Bonnie Frum, there will be a free shuttle to take people back and forth from Rock Ledge Ranch, which is located at the southeast corner of 30th Street and Gateway Road (across the street from the Visitor Center).
       Rock Ledge activities will go from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Like last year, the 230-acre, 1880s-style ranch will have two tree-planting projects - one to put in more Toba Hawthorn trees by the trail at the southern entrance and a second to add fruit trees to the gradually growing orchard by the Rock Ledge House. Both endeavors are to start at 10 a.m., according to a Rock Ledge flyer.
       An additional element for the day will be an “Earth Day walk” by the Falcon Wanderers Volkssport Association, with signups at the Visitor Center from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Westside Pioneer article