Celebrate National Parks Week, Earth Day

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PEEC > Groundbreaking for new nature center is 4 p.m. April 22

By The Staff

In recognition of National Parks Week, Bandelier National Monument will waive entry fees on Saturday and Sunday. For the duration of National Parks Week — April 19-27 — Bandelier is offering several guided hikes. Both Bandelier and the County of Los Alamos will also celebrate Earth Day on April 22 with several events including the groundbreaking of the new Nature Center at Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC).
On April 19, Bandelier National Monument’s lead archaeologist will lead a 4-mile, three-hour guided hike along Burnt Mesa Trail. On April 20, a similar two-hour guided hike near Loop C in Juniper Campground will be offered. Both off-trail hikes will give hikers a glimpse at the earliest and latest mesa-top Ancestral Pueblo sites. Both hikes are moderate in skill level.
On Sunday, get a look at the areas impacted by fire and floods and see exposures of the Rabbit Hill volcanics during a “Fire and Flood Hike” from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The 10-mile hike from Ponderosa Campground to Upper Alamo crossing will be led by plant specialist Brian Jacobs and Elaine Jacobs.
Other guided hikes at Bandelier during National Parks Week include: hour-long hike to discuss historic and modern landscapes — which will be 10 a.m. April 21, 23 and 25. An hour-long, off-trail hikes at cavates (small rooms carved into the cliff face) in Frijoles Canyon on April 21; and 5-mile special backcountry hike with Dale Coker on April 26.  As with any hike, come equipped with water, sunscreen, hat, snacks and steady-hiking shoes.
Bandelier will showcase all submitted images for their 2015 Bandelier Pass Contest at 4 p.m. on April 26. Find out whose winning entry will be featured on the 2015 annual pass.
On Earth Day, April 22, Bandelier’s Green Team will provide fun, educational activities at the visitor center aimed at protecting the planet. Bandelier’s hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily. Visit nps.gov/band/index.htm for fees and hiking information.
In Los Alamos on Earth Day at 4 p.m., the PEEC will break ground on a long awaited nature center, which will be located at 2600 Canyon Road. In attendance will be PEEC Board President Teralene Foxx along with County representatives, County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers and choir music students from Aspen Elementary and Barranca Elementary schools.
Once the Nature Center is completed, the building will house a children’s discovery area, planetarium room for films and talks, wildlife viewing room, live animals, butterfly and xeric gardens, kids’ vegetable garden, nature play area, and nature trail connecting to county trails, among other exhibits and features. Visit pajaritoeec.org for more information.
Fuller Lodge will offer an earth-day related Master Gardener training course from 6-9 p.m. on April 22, where anyone can learn about gardening in New Mexico’s high desert. The class covers plant selection, xeriscaping, turf, pest management, and vegetable and fruit production. Cost is $150 per person. Call Carlos Valdez at 505-662-2656 for more information.
Now through April 26, Fuller Lodge Art Center continues to feature 80 works of art by 47 artists whose interpretations of the word “green” are on display in a juried exhibition titled, “It’s Not Easy Being Green.” Artistic conceptualizations of everything that green embodies — from greenhouses to good luck; jealousy to the outdoors are displayed at the gallery. For more information, visit fullerlodgeartcenter.com.
Visit fyilosalamos.com for complete information on National Park Week and Earth Day.