GRAND CANYON NATIONAL PARK
Grand Canyon Renews Sister Park Agreement With Chinese Park
On Thursday, November 1st, Grand Canyon National Park hosted a signing ceremony to commemorate the renewal of its sister park relationship with China’s Yuntaishan World Geopark. The two parks signed their initial five-year sister park agreement in August of 2007.
Han Yueping, Yuntaishan’s director, Liu Xiaobo, the magistrate for Xiuwu County (the county where Yuntaishan World Geopark is located), and Wang Yanbing, Yuntaishan’s head of interpretation and public relations, traveled to Grand Canyon for the ceremony. The 2007 signing ceremony took place at Yuntaishan.
Grand Canyon National Park and Yuntaishan World Geopark share several similarities that make a collaborative relationship of sharing and learning a worthwhile endeavor for both parks. They both have rivers cutting through layered rocks to form deep canyons and gorges, both have significant cultural resources that give evidence of human presence dating back thousands of years, and both are visited by over four million people each year.
During the first five years of their sister park relationship, Grand Canyon staff traveled to China to present papers at professional conferences on interpretation and sustainable development, three Chinese geologists visited Grand Canyon for a three-day forum with Grand Canyon geologists, and staff members from both parks traveled to the other park to learn about their culture and to compare interpretive techniques and messaging.
The new sister park agreement will guide the relationship for the next five years. During that time, the parks hope to continue personnel exchanges, jointly sponsor a Chinese sister parks conference, and continue the exchange of technical expertise particularly in the areas of interpretation and education, search and rescue, fire, and operational leadership.