Yellowstone and Montana gateway towns plan variety of Earth Day events

The Roosevelt Arch greets visitors at the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. (Flickr photo by Pete Zarria - click to enlarge)

The Roosevelt Arch greets visitors near the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park at Gardiner, Mont. (Flickr photo by Pete Zarria - click to enlarge)

From Staff Reports

MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, WYO. — Just as visitors have their first chance today to venture into the interior of Yellowstone National Park by auto this year, the Montana towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner are planning a series of Earth Day events for the weekend.

Starting at 8 a.m. today, autos may drive from Yellowstone’s north and west entrances to Old Faithful, Canyon, and Norris. Entry into Yellowstone is free starting Saturday and continuing through April 29 as part of National Park Week. Entrance to all national parks in the country is free during the week.

On Saturday, West Yellowstone will host a day of Earth Day events including demonstrations by the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and U.S. Forest Service, craft tables, face painting, and Earth Day snacks and drinks. Events run from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. at the Holiday Inn.

The celebration shifts to Gardiner on Sunday, with a free community electronics collection and recycling event from 11:00 a.m. – 2:00p.m.at the Yellowstone Association’s offices near the Roosevelt Arch.  Residents can bring in their outdated TVs, computers, cell phones and other electronics for recycling.

At the same time, visitors and residents can also drop off used or expired bear spray canisters and see the community’s new bear spray canister recycling machine.

After the recycling event, there will be a screening of the documentary “Tapped,” which explores the environmental, social, and economic effects of single-use disposable plastic water bottles.

Participants at both events will have a chance to win a variety of Earth Day prizes.

This weekend’s Earth Day events in Gardiner and West Yellowstone are sponsored by the Yellowstone Environmental Coordinating Committee (YECC). The group is made up of organizations that are involved in protecting the park and serving park visitors and residents, including: National Park Service, Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Delaware North, Medcor, Yellowstone Park Service Stations, Yellowstone Association and Yellowstone Park Foundation.

According to Yellowstone Park officials, the efforts of the YECC have helped the park make significant progress toward environmental sustainability in recent years.  For instance, through the work of YECC partners, Yellowstone was able to divert nearly 73 percent of its solid waste from entering the landfill last year, a total of 3,300 tons of material.

Contact Yellowstone Gate at 307-213-9818 or [email protected]

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