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West Yellowstone Montana is the primary gateway to the first national park in the world and surrounded by equally outstanding forest service lands. The region has been set aside for human recreation and enjoyment, animal and environmental protection and restricted from most development. What an ideal location for a Celebration of the Earth. In 2010 the community recognized the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. Local business, non-profit organizations, environmental groups, park and forest service staff, school kids and inspired individuals came together to develop an annual event. It was fun! It was educational! It started something that bled into people’s day to day lives throughout the year.

More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities each year, making it the largest civic observance in the world. Earth Day is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth's natural environment. Here in West Yellowstone the celebration did just that and more.

 This year the Celebration opens on Friday April 26th at 5pm with a reception at the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone. This year the community has added an Earth Day Film Festival and the first two films will be shown at the reception. Presentations on successful environmental programs in the region are also on the agenda. The reception also acts as a regional environmental "trade show".

Anyone who has a story about their environmental and sustainable practices is offered the space and opportunity to tell it. It was fascinating to see what was happening behind the scenes of local organizations and businesses. Many people learned new things that they could do at work or home to make their lives a little "greener".

Saturday is filled with activities. Kids can learn about our ecosystem’s birds of prey and bear-safe garbage containers; how to visit wild areas without disturbing the environment; find out about recycling; make their own crafts from recycled materials, and enjoy Earth Day treats, face painting, movie shorts & cartoons while learning how each person can make our earth a better place.

The Earth Day Film Festival continues through the day and into the evening with a break for an interpretive campfire program. Sunday the Celebration goes on with a guided bike ride ( or snowshoe walk) into Yellowstone depending on the weather.

Earth Day Art Contest

To celebrate Earth Day, the West Yellowstone Public Library will host an Earth Day Art Contest in April. Budding artists from grades Pre-K through 12 are invited to enter the contest and share their creative and artistic flair!

Kids are encouraged to be bold and creative and let their imaginations run wild! From crayons to fabric to paint to natural materials to recycled paper, the art medium choices are limitless. It is completely up to you what to create, as long as your art reflects what Earth Day means to you.

To enter, hand in your artwork to the Library no later than 5:00 p.m. Tuesday April 23, 2013. Put your name, grade, and phone number on the back of your artwork. Or, mail your entry to: Earth Day Contest, c/o TBID, PO Box 1633, West Yellowstone, MT 59758.

Ribbons will be awarded in the following grade groups: Pre-Kindergarten–K; 1-2; 3-4; 5-6; 7-8; 9-10; and 11-12. Only one entry allowed per person. Winners will be based on creativity, so get started!

Assistance Needed for: Kid’s Fair (April 27th, 2013; 9:00 a.m. to 1:00PM)

We are looking for volunteers to spend 2-4 hours at one of the craft stations during the fair. You do not need any special skills to help out, just bring your love for kids and games.

Craft supplies needed:

Recyclable items needed:

ALL Recyclable Items should be dropped off at the Holiday Inn at your convenience by April 19th. Thanks for helping us make this year’s Celebration a great success. Contacts: Alice Harten (volunteer) OR Jennifer Schlucter; Coordinator, Holiday Inn; 646-7365 ext. 189;

Yellowstone's west entrance opens for the spring season on Friday, April 26th, 2013 and it's a fee free day! Combine Earth Day Weekend fun with a trip into Yellowstone to see the first baby bison.

Earth Day Weekend Schedule

All activities are free unless otherwise noted

Friday • April 26th 2013
Holiday Inn Conference Center 315 South Yellowstone Avenue

Opening Reception

Featuring the Earth Fair displays, special presenters, movies and learning booths. Snacks will be served throughout the opening reception.

6:00 PM Visit the science fair booths and vendor displays

6:15 PM Welcome and "Arbor Day" Talk

6:30 PM US Forest Service Presentation "30th Anniversary of Lee Metcalf Wildness Area"

7:00 PM Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center Presentation ‘Bear Safe Community Project’

7:30 PM Presentations of: West Yellowstone School Science Fair and Recycle Bin Winner, the West Yellowstone’s Annual Environmental Award and Scavenger Hunt Information.

8:00 PM Earth Day Film Fest
"A Fierce Green Fire: The Battle for a Living Planet"
The first big-picture exploration of the environmental movement - grassroots and global activism spanning fifty years from conservation to climate change. From halting dams in the Grand Canyon to battling 20,000 tons of toxic waste at Love Canal; from Greenpeace saving the whales to Chico Mendes and the rubbertappers saving the Amazon; from climate change to the promise of transforming our civilization... the film tells vivid stories about people fighting - and succeeding - against enormous odds.

Saturday • April 27th 2013
9:00AM – 1:0PM
Holiday Inn Conference Center 315 South Yellowstone Avenue

Kid’s Earth Fair

Kids! Don't forget to bring a white t-shirt for the US Forest Service animal print booth!

9:00 AM Visit the science fair booths and vendor displays Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center Presentation

9:20 AM Visit the craft tables where you’ll build items from recycled materials. This year we will be making kazoos, colored-sand vases, bottled cap magnets, terrariums and toys. USFS will also have a booth. - Face Painting - Check out the music center made from household materials and the art gallery

10:00 AM US Forest Service Presentation "Living with Grizzly Bears" and meet Smokey the Bear

10:30 AM Continue visiting the craft tables, face painting booth, music center and art gallery.

11:00 AM Snack and Earth Day Film Fest
(appropriate for Kindergarten+)
"The Dingles!"
A warm animated adaptation by Les Drew of Helen Levchuk's book about a caring, grandmotherly figure, Doris Dingle, and her three delightful cats: Donna, DeeDee, and Dayoh. Suddenly a ferocious storm bursts violently into the family's idyllic life. Young children will marvel at the storm's intensity, then sigh with relief to see everybody safe and secure.

Stunningly photographed in Alaska, BEARS! shows the magnificent beauty of grizzly bears. We see a wild bear and her cubs rolling and playing on the grass, and then we see a huge male fishing at the river - bears in their natural habitat. With narration by a six-year- old boy, and music by Carolyn Saso, BEARS! shows young people what being a bear is all about.

11:30 AM Continue visiting the craft tables, face painting booth, music center and art gallery.

12:00 PM Bear spray demo by the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center

12:15 PM Continue visiting the craft tables, face painting booth, music center and art gallery

1:00 PM Earth Day Fair Wrap-up and Drawing for Prizes

9:00 – 12:30PM
Holiday Inn Conference Center 315 South Yellowstone Avenue

Earth Day Art Contest Gallery.

Kid’s Earth Day Art Contest entries will be on display. Visit the ‘gallery’ to see these fine works of art!
10:00 - 10:30 AM

Historical Hotel Tour

Take a tour of one of West Yellowstone's unique historical hotels constructed with sustainability and recycled history.

"Keeper Kids"

at the Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center.
Don’t miss the chance to be a “Keeper Kids!," where kids, along with a naturalist, learn about and hide food for the grizzlies. Admission fee charged for the GWDC (good for 2 days) and an additional $2.00 per child for the Keeper Kids program (includes a 'photo button' of their favorite GWDC animal). The program is limited to 30 kids and must pre-register by 1:30 PM.
2:00 - 2:30 PM


Winner of the Eco-Star award.
5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Rendezvous Ski Trail Building

Campfire Ranger Talk and S'mores

Come join us for the Ranger Campfire Program featuring corner of Geyser & Obsidian an interpretive program by a Yellowstone National Park ranger and a sing-along. There will be free fixings for S’mores to roast on the fire and hot chocolate to keep you warm. A grill will be available if you want to bring something to grill. Ketchup, Mustard and Chips will be provided. Sitting is limited so please bring a camp chair with you, if you can.
Weather dependent. Please check this webpage for latest schedule info/changes.
7:30 PM - 10:00 PM
Holiday Inn

Earth Day Film Fest continues (free)

7:30 PM "The City Dark"

This movie chronicles the disappearance of darkness. The film follows filmmaker (and amateur astronomer) Ian Cheney who moves to New York City from Maine and discovers an urban sky almost completely devoid of stars. He poses a deceptively simple question, "What do we lose, when we lose the night?". Exploring the threat of killer asteroids in Hawai'i, tracking disoriented hatching turtles along the Florida coast, and rescuing birds on Chicago streets injured by collisions with buildings, Cheney unravels the myriad implications of a globe glittering with lights--including increased breast cancer rates from exposure to light at night, and a generation of kids without a glimpse of the universe above.

9:00 PM Our Planet Earth (23 minutes)

Just four decades ago, human life first pierced the sky and stepped out into the unknown of space. Since then, just over three hundred people, out of billions, have made that transcendent journey. They represent not only their countries, but all humankind - indeed all of life.

From the vantage point of space, astronauts have given us a powerful new image of our earth; through their eyes we gain a perspective on our world that must be shared with new generations.

OUR PLANET EARTH is a love poem to our home by those who have seen it from space. 17 astronauts and cosmonauts from 10 countries share their experiences and insights in hopes that all humanity will see the wonder and fragility of our planet, as they have, from beyond political and geographical boundaries.

They show us an utterly spectacular display of Earth's color and light. Continents pass in minutes; the sun rises and sets sixteen times a day...there are no dividing lines. Pollution travels freely through the common air that bathes the globe. Only a minute strip of atmosphere separates our delicate Earth from the vacuum of space. Our destructiveness, now a geological force, is as vast as our wondrous technology.

With powerful images and human words we can share the astronauts' perspective on our Earth, a vision that holds all future life in its gaze. It's a vision we must share with students and make a fundamental part of education. 

Sunday • April 28th, 2013

Ranger Hike

Join a Hebgen Lake District USFS ranger for a Woodsy World Scavenger Hunt & Walk (one hour). Meet at Baker's Hole Campground, three miles north of West Yellowstone on Highway 191.

"Keeper Kids"

at the Grizzly Wolf and Discovery Center.
Don’t miss the chance to be a “Keeper Kids!," where kids, along with a naturalist, learn about and hide food for the grizzlies. Admission fee charged for the GWDC (good for 2 days) and an additional $2.00 per child for the Keeper Kids program (includes a 'photo button' of their favorite GWDC animal). The program is limited to 30 kids and must pre-register by 1:30 PM.
1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
Holiday Inn

Earth Day Film Fest continues

Biophilic Design: The Architecture of Life (62 Minutes)

Biophilic Design is an innovative way of designing the places where we live, work, and learn. We need nature in a deep and fundamental fashion, but we have often designed our cities and suburbs in ways that both degrade the environment and alienate us from nature.

The recent trend in green architecture has decreased the environmental impact of the built environment, but it has accomplished little in the way of reconnecting us to the natural world, the missing piece in the puzzle of sustainable development.

Come on a journey from our evolutionary past and the origins of architecture to the world's most celebrated buildings in a search for the architecture of life. Together, we will encounter buildings that connect people and nature--hospitals where patients heal faster, schools where children's test scores are higher, offices where workers are more productive, and communities where people know more of their neighbors and families thrive. Featured are communities and buildings from Scandinavia, Germany, France and Britain to the Canadian and American northwest, American southwest, and New England. They include: California Academy of Sciences, Doernbecher Children's Hospital, Fallingwater, Viaduc des Arts, Google/YouTube Headquarters, Sahlgrenska Hospital (Psychiatric Department), High Point (Seattle Housing Authority), Johnson Wax Building, Sidwell Friends Middle School, Oxford Museum of Natural History, Village Homes (Davis, CA), and Kroon Hall (Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies).

Amongst those interviewed are: Edward O. Wilson, Bill McDonough, Judi Heerwagen, Jason McLennan, Tim Beatley, Bill Browning, Bert Gregory, Kent Bloomer, Claire Cooper Marcus, Michael Taylor, David Orr, Gus Speth, and Richard Louv. Biophilic Design points the way toward creating healthy and productive habitats for modern humans.

2:15pm Chasing Water

After spending a decade working abroad as a photojournalist, Colorado native Pete McBride, decided to focus on something closer to his home and his heart: the Colorado River which cuts through his backyard. Taking nearly three years, McBride followed the river source to sea on a personal journey to see exactly where the river goes and what becomes of the irrigation water that flows across his family's cattle ranch in central Colorado after it returns to the creek.

Recruiting his father, John, as his personal pilot McBride chose an aerial vantage to capture a unique and fresh view of the Colorado River Basin. He also partnered with Jon Waterman, an author who stayed stream level to paddle the entire length of the river. This short film takes the viewer on a 1,500 mile adventure downstream, from mountains and cities and through canyons and across shrinking reservoirs. For 6 million years the Colorado River flowed to the sea. Today it runs dry some 90 miles shy of its historic terminus at the Sea of Cortez.

This visual journey is both revealing and alarming as it highlights the state of the river and the Southwest's drying future. Featuring the photography of Pete McBride and music by Explosions In The Sky, This Will Destroy You, Jesse Cook, and Ludovico Einaudi.

No entrance fee to Yellowstone National Park, April 22-26th, 2013.

The Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center and Yellowstone IMAX Theater will be open all weekend (admission required). Pick up your discount coupons at the Earth Fair.

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