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Contact: Peter Densmore
No celebration of Bryce Canyon’s centennial year would be complete without a special day for one of its keystone species. Utah Prairie Dog Day will return on Thursday, May 11 and feature ranger-led prairie dog viewing, family-friendly activity booths, and a special keynote presentation. For a detailed schedule of events, please visit go.nps.gov/UtahPrairieDogDay.
To help promote the event, the park is holding a Utah Prairie Dog art contest open to all students kindergarten through 12th grade in Garfield, Wayne, and Kane counties. Art contest submissions will be judged in three different grade categories, and the winner in each category will receive a $50 gift certificate to the Bryce Canyon Association Visitor Center bookstore. The grand prize winner will also be featured on the 2023 Utah Prairie Dog Day poster.
Entries must show the Utah Prairie Dog in its natural environment, measure 11 inches by 17 inches or smaller, and can be created using any artistic medium. Artists should include their name and grade level on the back of the artwork. Entries can be mailed to Bryce Canyon National Park at P.O. Box 640201, Bryce, Utah and should be postmarked by March 31st. Entries can also be scanned and emailed to the park at e-mail us. All submissions will be displayed at the Bryce Canyon National Park Visitor Center on Utah Prairie Dog Day, and any physical artwork will later be returned to the artists.
Teachers interested in attending Utah Prairie Dog Day with their classes can apply for free entrance to the park by following the instructions at the park’s Academic Fee Waiver page at go.nps.gov/BryceFeeWaivers. Live distance learning programs about the Utah Prairie Dog are also being offered for groups of 10 or more. To learn more and sign up, visit go.nps.gov/BryceDistanceLearning.
A year-round inhabitant of Bryce Canyon’s high plateau meadows, the Utah Prairie Dog is a critical part of the park’s ecosystem. Utah Prairie Dogs are considered a "keystone species" as they serve a variety of important functions in maintaining southern Utah's meadow ecosystem including aerating soil and promoting plant growth. Over 200 other species have been associated with prairie dog colonies, including wildlife that depend upon prairie dog activity for both food and habitat. More information on the Utah Prairie Dog can be found online at go.nps.gov/UtahPrairieDog.
For more information on the park, 2023 centennial events, or the Utah Prairie Dog festival please visit the park’s website at www.nps.gov/brca, or contact the park by e-mail at e-mail us, or phone at 435-834-5322.
Last updated: March 20, 2023