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Region offers variety of ways to get back to nature for Earth Day

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By Bennett Horne

Visitors to Bandelier National Monument will enjoy a fee-free day and the opening of an art exhibit at the park’s Fire Tower on Saturday.

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“We invite everyone to come out and take advantage of a fee-free day this Saturday and enjoy Bandelier before the busy summer season sets in,” said Joanie Budzileni, who is the chief of interpretation and visitor services for the park.

The fee-free day is in conjunction with Earth Day 2018.

The art exhibit is entitled “The Edge Effect: re-Imagining the East Jemez Landscape.” It is being shown in collaboration with the East Jemez Landscape Futures Project.

Installation of the exhibit is by Kathleen Brennan and Shawn Skabelund. It opens Saturday and closes May 6 and can be seen each day from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

Visitors will be able to record their stories of changes in the East Jemez for the oral history archives.

Kimberly DeVall, who is the chief of interpretation and education at Valles Caldera National Preserve, said the preserve is currently fee free and will be open to the public, but there are no special Earth Day activities planned at the preserve.

“We’ll be open this weekend for folks to come out and celebrate Earth Day at Valles Caldera,” she said, “and we’ll have staff at PEEC’s celebration (at the Los Alamos Nature Center), so you can stop by and learn more about the preserve.”

That celebration is the signature event of the Pajarito Environmental Education Center. Its annual Earth Day Festival will be held Saturday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Los Alamos Nature Center.

The festivities include food and demos of the Nature Center’s brand new planetarium projector as well as activities and entertainment.

The event will be filled with community booths. A naturalization ceremony will start at 10 a.m. followed by interactive entertainment by Recycle Man at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Wise Fool will perform at noon.

Food will be provided by Sirphey, Dave’s Dogs, the Los Alamos Coop Market and Kettle Corn.

The focus of this year’s festival will be on the “journey to zero waste.” Many of the activities will center on ways individuals can repurpose, reduce, reuse and recycle.

PEEC will also debut its new planetarium projector during the event. The planetarium will be open during the festival to show trailers of the full-dome films. Then, at 2 p.m., PEEC will show the premiere of National Parks Adventure on the new projector. CB Fox, Metzgers, the Delle Foundation and Manhattan Project Historic Park have made it possible to show the premier. Seating is limited and tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for children.

Festival attendees are encouraged to park at the Justice Center across from the library since there will be no parking available at the Nature Center. Atomic City Transit buses will shuttle individuals from the Justice Center to the Nature Center.