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Grand Opening Next Week For New Canyon Visitor Education Center

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Date: August 17, 2006
Contact: Nash, (307) 344-2010
Contact: Vallie, (307) 344-2012

A man atop a ladder working on an exhibit that shows map of U.S.
Worker installing one of the many new exhibits in the Canyon Visitor Education Center which opens to the public August 25.
NPS Photo by Jim Peaco

Yellowstone National Park will open the doors to the new Canyon Visitor Education Center next week.

The grand opening will take place on Friday, August 25. It coincides with the 90th anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.

Superintendent Suzanne Lewis will host the ceremony, which begins at 10:00 a.m., in front of the new building. The doors to the visitor education center will open to the public for the first time at the conclusion of the event.

The grand opening of the new facility marks the first major visitor center development in the park in three decades. Its state-of-the-art, interactive exhibits will help visitors learn about and understand the geology of Yellowstone and the “Supervolcano” which lies beneath.

The exhibits will include a large, unique globe which rotates on a film of water showing the location of volcanic hot spots around the world, a room-sized, fiber optic and LED animated topographic relief map of the geologic history of park, and life-size dioramas of wildlife found in Hayden Valley.

A full day of activities is planned to celebrate the event including special ranger programs, a concert by western folk recording artist Bruce Anfinson and an evening lecture by University of Utah geophysicist Dr. Robert B. Smith.

The new Canyon Visitor Education Center will serve over 600,000 visitors a year. $8.6 million of the $10.5 million used to fund the project came from entrance fees collected from the 20 million people who visited the park between 1997 and 2005.

More than $1 million was donated by the Yellowstone Association. Other important contributors to the project include the Buffalo Bill Historical Center, National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the National Science Foundation and Canon U.S.A., Inc.

A publication-quality image of the buildings' exterior is available online.

Producers/Editors note: Details regarding logistics for coverage of the grand opening will be made available next week.

Did You Know?

Upper Geyser Basin Hydrothermal Features on a Winter Day.

Yellowstone contains approximately one-half of the world’s hydrothermal features. There are over 10,000 hydrothermal features, including over 300 geysers, in the park.