Nature Center groundbreaking, Earth Day festivities on tap

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By The Staff

Enter a raffle to “take wing” from Los Alamos Airport over the Jemez Mountains, Rio Grande Valley, Los Alamos and other points of interest for up to an hour with local pilot Robert Gibson.
The Pajarito Environmental Education Center will be selling raffle tickets through May 3, and proceeds of the raffle will help fund indoor and outdoor exhibits for the new Los Alamos County Nature Center.
PEEC will be holding the raffle between now and May 3, when the winning ticket will be drawn at the 14th Annual Earth Day Festival. The festival runs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at PEEC, 3540 Orange St.
Raffle tickets are currently being sold for $10 each and can be purchased at PEEC, online at PajaritoEEC.org, at the Los Alamos Co-op Market and at Fusion Multisport. There is no limit to how many tickets an individual can purchase.
The flight will be scheduled at a time that is mutually agreeable to the raffle winner and the pilot. The number of people that can go on the flight depends on a weight limit, but it typically includes two adults or one adult and two children.
The proceeds of the raffle will help to fund PEEC’s campaign of raising $1 million to purchase indoor and outdoor exhibits for the new Los Alamos County Nature Center. “The Take Wing Raffle is the signature event which will kick off our new series of Take Wing Events,” said PEEC Executive Director Katie Watson. “After the raffle is completed, we will announce a number of never-before offered, extremely exclusive, special events will be made available as thank-you gifts to those who donate at least $150 per person to PEEC’s capital campaign.”
Watson added that the exclusive events will include a tour of Abiquiu with Kirt Kempter, a secret slot canyon hike, a visit to the Hippie Hole (a.k.a. Sulphur Springs) in La Cueva, a birding weekend in Eastern New Mexico, special tours of the Valles Caldera with a meal in the Bond Cabin, a nature film and breakfast at the Reel Deal, a Buffalo Tour of private homestead houses, a SimTable demonstration and dinner, a private art show cocktail party, a behind-the-scenes tour of the New Mexico Museum of Natural History led by the museum director, and much more.
The full list of opportunities will be available to the public beginning at the Earth Day festival on May 3, and the tours will be spread throughout the year leading up to the grand opening of the new nature center.
The building for the new nature center is being built by Los Alamos County and will open in spring, 2015. PEEC has been awarded the contract to run the new center and as part of the agreement will outfit the center with professional exhibits. PEEC has already raised 75 percent of the $1 million for the exhibits, but there is still a long way to go, so please support this important new community resource by buying raffle tickets and/or making a donation.
The groundbreaking is 4 p.m. Tuesday at 2600 Canyon Road. Los Alamos County, PEEC and PEEC Board President Teralene Foxx and County Council Chair Geoff Rodgers, for the groundbreaking ceremony for the Los Alamos County Nature Center.
The Earth Day is a free community event for entertainment, food, activities, information booths and fun for all ages.
Clan Tynker, a world-renowned “Vaudeville” style Circus group out of Santa Fe, will perform at the Earth Day festival again this year. Also returning this year will be the Hill Stompers, an award-winning jazzy street band, whose musicians and dancers are colorful, creative, and in their own words, “just a little bit crazy.”
At the festival there will also be food vendors and many community booths with all kinds of activities and information to celebrate Earth Day.
This event is free and there is no advance registration required.
There will be no parking available at the event, however transportation from Sullivan Field will be provided free of charge by Atomic City Transit.