Tourists pose for a selfie in Grand Canyon National Park. (Photo by Sophia Kunthara, Cronkite News)
Grand Canyon kicks off year-long centennial celebration
Grand Canyon Conservancy, the official nonprofit partner of Grand Canyon National Park, kicked off a yearlong calendar of free events and learning opportunities on Founder’s Day, to commemorate a century of National Park status.
The Grand Canyon was designated as a national park on February 26, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson after 35 years of dedicated efforts to protect this impressive landscape.
The commemoration ceremony was attended by Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobbs who read an official commendation at Grand Canyon’s Visitor Center and presented a special plaque to the park in honor of the milestone celebration.
“This 100-year anniversary is not only a time to pause and admire the Grand Canyon or to appreciate its significant positive impact on the local economy, it is also a time for Arizona to reflect on the gift that we have been given,” said Hobbs. “Today, as we look forward to the next 100 years of Grand Canyon National Park, I’m confident that working together, all of us will carry on the tradition of those who came before us to preserve the canyon’s magnificence for generations to come. “
Other commemoration events that took place today at Grand Canyon’s Visitor Center and near the South Rim included concerts by Flagstaff’s Sechrist and Knoles Elementary school choirs, signing of the park’s official birthday card and cultural demonstrations and family activities. Entrance fees were waived to members of the public and well-wishers who attended the day’s happenings.
“We look forward to commemorating 100 years of the National Park Service at Grand Canyon, while inspiring future generations to experience, connect with and protect the canyon’s unique resources,” said Susan Schroeder, CEO of Grand Canyon Conservancy. “The Centennial events are a wonderful way to build awareness of the vital conservation, restoration and education efforts supported by Grand Canyon Conservancy donors.”
As the park’s official nonprofit partner, Grand Canyon Conservancy’s mission is to inspire people to protect and enhance Grand Canyon National Park for present and future generations.
Today’s events kick off a yearlong celebration at Grand Canyon and throughout Arizona. All centennial activities are a joint effort between Grand Canyon Conservancy and Grand Canyon National Park to engage with the next generation of park stewards. Arizona Public Service, Bank of America and Teva are the official Centennial sponsors.
For a full list of centennial events please visit, https://go.nps.gov/2019_events.