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Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – During the week of May 2 – May 6, Grand Canyon National Park Environmental Educators will travel to Texas to participate in a week of educational programs intended to bring the Grand Canyon and our national parks to life for the students and residents of Fort Worth, Texas.
It is all part of a year-long initiative called America the Beautiful: Celebrating our National Parks, a first-time collaborative effort between Imagination Celebration Fort Worth and the National Park Service (NPS). The initiative is intended to bring together a host of educational programs, public exhibitions, lectures, and artistic performances related to national parks throughout the fall and spring of 2010/2011. In this it's inaugural year, America the Beautiful will focus on the geology, ecology and human history of Grand Canyon National Park, with plans to focus on other national parks in the future.
America the Beautiful culminates in May with six venues throughout Fort Worth hosting exhibits and activities throughout the month. Included amongst these will be an exhibit called Treasures of the Grand Canyon at the Fort Worth Community Art Center, featuring almost 50 pieces of art on loan from the National Park Service and the Grand Canyon Association (GCA), the NPS' cooperating and fundraising partner in Grand Canyon National Park. The Fort Worth Botanic Gardens will be hosting Grand Canyon's Green Heart, an NPS/GCA collaborative art and educational exhibit, focusing on the park's incredibly diverse plant communities, its rare plants, and the stewardship actions being taken to preserve and protect the park's vegetation. Other venues include the Fort Worth Central Public Library; the Fort Worth Museum of Science and History; the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame; and the Sid Richardson Museum.
Also featured during May will be special performances and exhibitions by past Grand Canyon Artists-in-Residence photographer Adam Schallau and cellist Rhonda Rider.
During the week of May 2 – 6, the focus will be Grand Canyon student education programs presented by Grand Canyon Environmental Education Rangers. These programs will bring the Grand Canyon to life through hands-on activities focusing on the geology, ecology, and human history of this iconic place. Students will also participate in workshops with a Navajo weaver, a Hopi basket maker, and Havasupai dancers, all Native American Tribes that consider Grand Canyon a sacred place. The activities and presentations are expected to reach over 5,000 students in the Fort Worth area.
Says Jacob Fillion, Grand Canyon's Branch Chief of Environmental Education, "We are taking Grand Canyon to the school children of Fort Worth, most of whom may never have the opportunity to visit the park in person. We are transforming Fort Worth into the Grand Canyon through art and educational activities. It is very exciting and hopefully this will serve as a model for other parks and other cities."
Ginger Head, Executive Director of Imagination Celebration Fort Worth adds "This is such an exciting event for the city of Fort Worth. Thousands of our school children will have a thrill of a life time learning directly from National Park Rangers and Native Americans; and so many of our citizens will experience the Grand Canyon through the art it has inspired from the early Native American inhabitants, to master painter Thomas Moran and contemporary artists like the photographer Adam Schallau."
For specific times and venues of featured events, please visit American the Beautiful: A Celebration of Our National Parks on line at http://www.icfw.org/Grand_Canyon.htm. To learn more about Grand Canyon National Park's environmental education programs, please go to http://www.nps.gov/grca/forteachers/index.htm or call Environmental Education Branch Chief Jacob Fillion at 928-638-7762. And for more on Imagination Celebration Fort Worth, please visit www.icfw.org.