COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – In its 25th annual Earth Day Celebration, Garden of the Gods is celebrating people that live green, doing what they can to help the environment.
"We're bringing in local partners together and introducing and interacting. We've got a lot of happening. We've got great views, and it's good weather," said Bret Tennis, park operations administrator for Garden of the Gods.
The registered National Natural Landmark offers dramatic sights of 300-foot towering red sandstone rock formations with a backdrop of the snow-capped Pikes Peak.
On Saturday, Garden of the Gods is offering various family events while also educating on all things related to the environment. A volunteer clean-up will also be underway in the park.
Over the years, the park has grown to 1,367 acres, and it is estimated that about 6 million visitors enjoy the scenic wonderland each year.
"We have great wildlife viewing inside the park. Rocky Mountain Bighorn Sheep is the state animal for Colorado. And you're able to see those from time to time in the park. We've got mule deer and coyote and bobcats and lots of other wildlife able to see right here in city limits at this city park," Tennis said.
Charles Perkins, an American businessman and president of the Chicago, Burlington and Quincy Railroad, purchased 480 acres of Garden of the Gods land in 1879.
He never built on the land and left it in its natural state. When he passed in 1909, his family deeded the land to the city with the provision that it would be a free public park forever.
"There's always almost daily educational programs. We have special events throughout the year, and we're celebrating with Rock Ledge Ranch, the living history site, where you can really experience what life was like back in the day in this local area," Tennis said.
- 5-9 p.m. (Nov. 1 - April 30)
- 5-10 p.m. (May 1 – Oct. 31)
Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center hours:
- 9-5 p.m. in the winter months
- 9-6 p.m. from Memorial Day weekend - Labor Day weekend