Wilderness Act’s 50th Anniversary Celebration in Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon National Park will have no shortage of celebrations on September 25th or 27th. Why the celebrations? Well, as luck would have it, Grand Canyon has two entirely separate reasons to celebrate on these days, and will be inviting the public to participate in the festivities free of charge.

The celebration on September 25th will be in honor of the Wilderness Act’s 50th anniversary, an act that has kept Grand Canyon National Park in its pristine state of beauty for the past half-century.

94% of Grand Canyon Park is eligible for “wilderness” designation, and as such is protected by this eco-conscious act. This act provides the highest level of public land protection in the United States.  Support for Thursday’s events will be provided by the NPS Wild50 Small Grants Program.

This first day of celebration will kick off at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center IMAX at 11:30 that morning, featuring the Grand Canyon School Band playing The Grand Canyon Suite by Ferde Grofé.

Included in these festivities will be a special wilderness presentation by former United States representative Paul “Pete” McCloskey and Flagstaff-based writer Scott Thybony. This special presentation will be held at 7:30 in the evening at the Shrine of the Ages auditorium. All are welcome to come visit the park and attend the special presentation free-of-charge on the 25th.

Rep. McCloskey has been very important in shaping America’s wilderness and parks on a national level. Not only did he serve in the United States House of Representatives from 1967 to 1983, but he coauthored the Endangered Species Act and was involved in the drafting of the National Environmental Policy Act. He’s a passionate and active advocate of American wilderness and was co-chair of the nation’s inaugural Earth Day.

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Mr. Thybony is a passionate expert on the Grand Canyon and its surrounding natural vistas. Bringing his passion for the natural world into his writing, he’s written the Official Guide to Hiking the Grand Canyon, Canyon de Chelly National Monument, and more.

September 27th comes with its very own set of unrelated festivities, and while the Grand Canyon National Park will be holding its own special events, you don’t have to take a road trip to enjoy the benefits of September 27th’s National Public Lands Day. All of America’s 401 national parks have free admission on this day, although park visitors should remember that camping, reservations, tours and concessions are still regular price.

Exclusive to the Grand Canyon National Park will be a special evening program hosted by filmmaker and photographer Peter McBride, courtesy of Grand Canyon’s Green Team, the Grand Canyon Association, and Xanterra South Rim. The presentation will also take place at 7:30 in the Shrine of the Ages Auditorium.

McBride has been studying the world through the lens of his camera for almost 20 years now, traveling to over 70 countries to snap pictures for the Smithsonian, the Society, Outside, Esquire, and other publications. Most recently, he’s been working intimately with the Colorado River, a subject close to both his heart and his hometown.

For more information on these festivities, you can contact…

  • Pamela Edwards (928) 638-7713
  • Marty Martell (928) 638-7834
  • Elysha Iversen (928) 638-7418