Climate changes to cool weather for a day; Earth Day still popular at GoG Visitor Center, Rock Ledge Ranch
The center, owned and operated by a nonprofit that contributes a share of its gift-shop earnings to the Garden, is across the street from Rock Ledge, a city-owned, historically styled working ranch. The two facilities coordinate for the annual Earth Day, a five-hour event that includes hands-on activities, exhibits, presentations and volunteer opportunities.
“Our Earth Day celebration went great,” said Bret Tennis, park operations administrator at the Visitor Center. “We had an estimated 2,850 people attend and 93 volunteers help with our park cleanup. We did have fewer people than in previous years, but we were very happy to be able to provide some more one-on-one-type education and interactions."
Rock Ledge waived its normal admission fee to let the public stroll the grounds and visit attractions such as the two historic houses and the blacksmith shop. Planting trees at the ranch has become a regular Earth Day volunteer activity, and that tradition continued this year with five new fruit trees and a toba hawthorne by the chapel. Ranch manager Andy Morris estimated that about 500 people dropped by. “The weather did not seem to affect attendance,” he said. “I was in the blacksmith shop, and there was a steady flow of people the entire day.”
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