GoG Center, Rock Ledge join again for Earth Day

       Earth Day is back at the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site.
       As in recent years, the neighboring operations will put on a broad range of free outdoor activities for Earth Day Saturday, April 18 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. In recent years, this has meant turnouts of up to 4,000 people, according to Jeanne McElderry of the Visitor Center.
       Overflow parking will be in the Rock Ledge lot off Gateway Road at 30th Street.
       New this year will be two Mr. Science Chemical Magic Shows, because the one show in previous years has been so popular, and an appearance by the Colorado Springs Utilities Woodland Fire Team.
       Also included will be live music, animal and bird presentations, Indian dancing, hands-on kid activities, tree-planting, nature walks, free admission to Rock Ledge and a chance to clean up the Garden of the Gods City Park.
       The latter activity will actually start at 8:30 a.m., with registration at the Visitor Center, 1805 N. 30th St., and continue until 11 a.m.
       Another chance to pitch in physically will be at Rock Ledge at 10 a.m. Volunteers are welcome to join school groups, neighbors, the ranch's Living History Association members and City Parks crews in expanding the Toba Hawthorn grove as well as the apple and cherry orchards on the city-owned ranch property.
       Also, in a workday that has been filled up for weeks, volunteers with the Rocky Mountain Field Institute will be repairing erosion in a southerly part of the Garden of the Gods.
       Here is a schedule of events (times and activities 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 Utilities' Woodland Fire Team, the Peterson Air Force Fire Department and El Paso County Search and Rescue.
       9 a.m.-3 p.m., Visitor Center volunteer Kent Taylor displaying his two pet snakes on the second floor of the center.
       10 a.m., Mr. Science Chemical Magic Show in the center's theater.
       10 a.m., tree-planting at Rock Ledge.
       10 a.m., live banjo by John Cawood on the second floor of the center.
       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.
       10 a.m.-3 p.m., Rock Ledge free and open to the public, including living history demonstrations.
       11 a.m., Mr. Science Chemical Magic Show in the center's theater.
       11:30 a.m., Sweet Water Indian Dancers in the center parking lot, with shows approximately hourly after that (last is at 1:30 p.m.).
       Noon, live wolf presentation by the Wolf & Wildlife Center in the Visitor Center theater.
       Noon-2 p.m., birds of prey (from Greenway Nature Center in Pueblo), in the Red Rocks room at the center.
       Noon-3 p.m., youth activity - combine ingredients to make “slime” on the first floor of the Visitor Center.
       12:30 p.m., live wolf presentation by the Wolf & Wildlife Center in the center's theater.
       2:45 p.m., singing performance by Fort Carson's Harmony in Motion (inside or outside the center, depending on the weather).

Westside Pioneer/press release