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Stars and Super Heroes in the ParkApril 16, 2014

The community activities, camp outs and school field trips have been keeping your park rangers and volunteers busy both in the park and in the city this Spring.

It’s a great time of year to get involved with community programs through volunteerism and be a shining El Paso star. With Earth Day programs scheduled throughout the city during the month of April, you can find numerous ways to participate. One way is by signing up as a volunteer with the Franklin Mountains State Park. For example, some of our veteran and brand new volunteers have partnered with the rangers in conducting outreach programs, manning booths at events and providing programs for elementary students visiting the park.

These are just a few of the ways you can have an impact in your community through park volunteerism; search for opportunities at any of the three Texas State Parks in El Paso by visiting the following website: http://ec.volunteernow.com/recruiter/index.phpclass=VolunteerNavigation&recruiterID=1353&act=CONTROL:OPP_SEARCH_LINK

If you are looking for an alternative way to be a hero, join us for our Super Hero Hike on Saturday, April 19th as we take to the trails donning capes, masks or other super hero accoutrements and hike with us to the top of North Franklin Peak, an 8 mile round-trip/6 hour hike. This hike, as well as the Super Hero Dog hike, are in honor of April 28th being “National Super Hero Day”. The N. Franklin Peak hike is not for the faint of heart, though, so please check out the details at https://edit-www.tpwd.state.tx.us/state-parks/franklin-mountains/park_events.
At the end of last month, we introduced a new program that ultimately was a huge success – “Yoga on the Rocks”. The wonderful ladies from Hot Box Yoga came out to lead the program – about 30 participants enjoyed an opening yoga session at the trailhead before heading up to the Aztec Caves for a very cool yoga experience, reconnecting with nature in the caves themselves. Canyon Wrens and White-throated Swifts sang their songs in and around the caves, their calls echoing and bouncing off of the walls and they even seemed to enjoy some of the OM chanting. We are very excited to offer this Yoga on the Rocks with Hot Box Yoga again this month and look forward to seeing you all then!

The following are upcoming events for the duration of April and into May – new activities to look forward to are Women Only Bike Workshops and Astronomy Programs. Please make your reservations by calling (915) 566-6441:

JUNE
Sat, April 19: Peak Fitness – N. Franklin – 7:00 a.m.
Sun, April 20: Easter Tours – West Cottonwood Mine Tours – 8 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.
Sun, April 27: Bark in the Park hike – Agave Loop – 8:00 a.m.
Sun, April 27: Yoga on the Rocks – 12:00 p.m.

MAY
Sat., May 3 : 7:00 p.m. International Astronomy Day Program
Sun., May 4: 8:00 a.m. ”Bark in the Park” and Picnic
Sat., May 10: 9:00 a.m. Mother’s Day Hike
Sat., May 10: 12:00 p.m. Mother’s Day “Yoga on the Rocks”
Sun., May 11: 8:00 a.m. Mother’s Day Beginner’s Mtn Bike Ride
Sat., May 17: 9:00 a.m. 4th Annual National Kids to Parks Day
Sun., May 18: 8:00 a.m. Guided Beginner’s Mtn. Bike Ride
Sun., May 31: 8:00 p.m. Women’s Beginner’s Mtn. Bike Workshop

April has seen more blooms and critter action around the mountains – until next time, check out these great photos and we look forward to seeing you out in the park soon!


Last Minute LocalApril 15, 2014

Easter Egg Hunts with El Paso Parks and Recreation
https://home.elpasotexas.gov/parks/documents/event3.pdf?1397599250

The City of El Paso Parks and Recreation Department will be hosting several Easter Egg Hunts and Easter activities
at Recreation Centers throughout the city during Easter Week. Each center will have age-specific events with fun fitness obstacles to get eggs and various age groups for individuals 17 years old and younger.


Last Minute LocalApril 11, 2014

FRIDAY

The Film: UTEP Get Reel Film Series
http://sa.utep.edu/union/reel/

Housed in the UTEP Union Cinema, Get Reel (previously Cinema Novo) presents independent and educational films as well as blockbuster movies for only $1. Movies are shown, each semester twice a week starting at 7:00p.m. Get Reel offers top name movies and quality films at an unbeatable price. All Films Are Friday & Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

$1.00 for UTEP Students, Faculty Staff & Alumni Members (With Valid Miner Gold Card) | $2.00 for the General Public

$5.00 Movie Combo, includes Hot Dog, Small Soda, and Popcorn

Tonight’s Film: Instructions Not Included

Valentin is Acapulco’s resident playboy, until a former fling leaves a baby on his doorstep and takes off without a trace. Leaving Mexico for Los Angeles to find the baby’s mother, Valentin ends up finding a new home for himself and his newfound daughter, Maggie. An unlikely father figure, Valentin raises Maggie for six years, while also establishing himself as one of Hollywood’s top stuntmen to pay the bills, with Maggie acting as his on-set coach. As Valentin raises Maggie, she forces him to grow up too. But their unique and offbeat family is threatened when Maggie’s birth mom shows up out of the blue, and Valentin realizes he’s in danger of losing his daughter – and his best friend.

SATURDAY

The Market: Ardovinos Farmers Market
http://www.ardovinos.com/farmersmarket.html

Enjoy an ever-increasing selection of fall and winter organic and pesticide-free produce, beef, pork, lamb and goat, fresh-baked breads and salsas. Enjoy a fair trade cup of coffee, house-made pastries and fresh-squeezed juices, along with Brunch in the restaurant.

The Show: El Paso RV & Travel Show
http://www.gsevents.com/shows/display.cfm?showid=41

Say goodbye to winter and start thinking about summer adventures as you shop hundreds of 2014 travel trailers, fifth-wheels, truck campers, and folding campers, as well as see the latest in camping accessories, information on an array of campgrounds and travel destinations, and daily seminars and entertainment!

The Party: Party for the Planet
http://www.elpasozoo.org/Event-Calendar.php

Come celebrate our amazing planet at the El Paso Zoo! We will have several opportunities for you to see how the El Paso Zoo party’s animal style, all while learning how you can help to protect all life on Earth. This is the 9th year the El Paso Zoo has been a part of the largest combined Earth Day event in North America.

The festivities include backyard biologist, airborne adventure inflatable, local conservation organizations, and special animal programs!


Earth Day is every day at the El Paso ZooApril 8, 2014

Every year during the month of April, the El Paso Zoo joins other members of the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) from across the country in hosting “Party for the Planet™,” the largest combined Earth Day celebration in North America. We celebrate Earth Day at this time of year in joining others around the world in helping people to better understand how we all can make a difference in protecting wildlife and our shared ecosystem. The event is a reminder to our guests and the residents of our community of the Zoo’s mission – to provide opportunities for encountering wildlife to our local community, schools, and visitors so they can have fun celebrating animals, conservation, and their own connection to nature.
Party for Planet™ this year will be held on Saturday and Sunday, April 12 -13, 2014 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Come celebrate our amazing planet at the El Paso Zoo! We will have several opportunities for you to see how the El Paso Zoo parties animal style, all while learning how you can help protect life on Earth. This is the 9th year the El Paso Zoo has been a part of the largest combined Earth Day event in North America. The festivities include: Backyard Biologist, Airborne Adventure inflatable, local conservation organizations and special animal programs! Thank you to our Supporting Sponsor: One Source Federal Credit Union and our Children’s Activity Sponsor Richard Teschner.

Many organizations and other city departments are also sponsoring special events in April including Environmental Services, Museums and Cultural Affairs and the Library. A special webpage was created at www.epearthmonth.com providing more information on each event and how the city is working to increase awareness and the need to be more environmentally conscious.

Currently the Zoo is supporting a wide variety of conservation efforts, many of which have been highlighted in recent posts to this blog. One conservation challenge that we plan to spend more effort on in the coming year concerns the threat of climate change. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2), as well as other greenhouse gases, is causing changes to the earth’s climate. These changes are impacting wildlife in the oceans and on every continent. In calling attention to this threat to life on earth on March 31, 2014 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) launched its latest report dealing with the risk to society due to climate change and how to manage this risk. The main conclusion from the report is that climate change is already having sweeping effects on every continent and throughout the world’s oceans. Scientists warn that the problems will grow substantially worse unless greenhouse emissions are brought under control.

Some of the main findings in the report were how climate change will result in (1) increased food insecurity due to more intense droughts, floods, and heat waves in a warmer world, especially for poorer countries, (2) increased water insecurity, due for example to shrinking of glaciers that act as key water resources for various regions around the world, and through changing precipitation patterns and (3) how the general risk of species extinctions will rise as the planet warms. The report also estimates that global surface warming of approximately 2°C above current temperatures may lead to global income losses of 0.2 to 2.0 percent.

Sun bears and their habitats in Indonesia are threatened by climate change where overall rainfall has decreased by 2-3% and the mean annual temperature has increased by about .3 degrees Celsius (.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

Sun bears and their habitats in Indonesia are threatened by climate change where overall rainfall has decreased by 2-3% and the mean annual temperature has increased by about .3 degrees Celsius (.6 degrees Fahrenheit).

What can we do to help lower our carbon footprint in El Paso? The Zoo recommends that everyone become aware of how their daily activities affect the increasing level of CO2 in the atmosphere. CO2 in the atmosphere acts like a blanket, trapping heat and warming the planet. As we burn fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas for energy, CO2 accumulates and overloads our atmosphere. Around half of the CO2 produced by humans since the industrial revolution has dissolved into the oceans resulting in changes to the ocean’s chemistry. These changes have slowed the growth of plankton, coral and other invertebrates that together form the backbone of the ocean food chain.

As a community we need to learn more about climate change and speak out at every opportunity. We need to cut down on our energy consumption and our carbon footprint by living more environmentally conscious lives. Take electricity for example. In 2013 electricity provided by El Paso Electric was generated by nuclear fuel (46%), natural gas (34%), coal (6%) and purchased power (14%) from a variety of solar resources. Compared to other parts of the world energy generated by the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station in western Arizona and solar panels is helping to lower our carbon footprint, but there is still much we can do to help lower our overall impact on the atmosphere. Turning off the lights in your house when you don’t need them on is one solution. How about the TV? Do some members of your family fall asleep with the TV on or have it on when they are not watching it?

Our gasoline consumption also has a major impact on our carbon footprint. Are we planning our grocery store visits so that we don’t make unnecessary trips? Are we looking for opportunities to car pool?

To learn more about climate change and how you and your family can make a difference visit www.epa.gov/climatechange

After your visit to the Zoo during Party for the Planet and throughout the year you can let the Zoo know how you are helping to lower your carbon footprint at home or at work by sending the Zoo a picture of your actions by email to zooeducation@elpasotexas.gov or by text message to 915-217-4233. Join the El Paso Zoo in making Earth Day everyday!

About the Author

Rick LoBello has worked in the field of conservation education since 1973 when he started his career as Zoological Curator at the Kansas City Museum of History and Science.  He has spent 25 years working as a park ranger and Executive Director at four national parks including Big Bend, Yellowstone, Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks.  Since coming to work at the El Paso Zoo in 2002 he has served as Education Curator and has been very active in conservation programs in the region working with organizations like the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition.   Over the years his efforts have been honored by Rotary International, the National Park Service and most recently by the Trans Pecos Audubon Society and The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2012 Environmental Summit.  In 2009 he wrote a guidebook for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International entitled Guide to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park: Home to Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas available on Amazon.com.

Rick LoBello has worked in the field of conservation education since 1973 when he started his career as Zoological Curator at the Kansas City Museum of History and Science. He has spent 25 years working as a park ranger and Executive Director at four national parks including Big Bend, Yellowstone, Guadalupe and Carlsbad Caverns National Parks. Since coming to work at the El Paso Zoo in 2002 he has served as Education Curator and has been very active in conservation programs in the region working with organizations like the Chihuahuan Desert Education Coalition and the Franklin Mountains Wilderness Coalition. Over the years his efforts have been honored by Rotary International, the National Park Service and most recently by the Trans Pecos Audubon Society and The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality 2012 Environmental Summit. In 2009 he wrote a guidebook for Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International entitled Guide to Rwanda’s Volcanoes National Park: Home to Critically Endangered Mountain Gorillas available on Amazon.com.


Last Minute LocalApril 4, 2014

FRIDAY

The Walk: First Friday ArtWalk
http://www.sanelizariohistoricartdistrict.com/

The First Friday of the Month Art Walk in Historic San Elizario. The free event features appetizers, refreshments and music. All of the art galleries are open in the evening for this once a month event. Art patrons are encouraged to come out and enjoy an evening of art and history. Other participating artists are: Amado Pena, Joe Arroyos, Al Borrego, G. Jacquez Calderon, Rob Mack, Alberto Escamilla, Bert Saldana, Sergio Acosta, Manuel Alvarado, Rob Mack, Robert Lichlyter, Sam Gutierrez, Robert Estrada and others. Enjoy Live Music at the El Bandido Restuarant & Cantina. Don’t miss the “Movie On The Wall” at sundown.

The Tour: San Elizario Ghost Tour
http://www.ghosts915.com/

Investigate with us on this tour of deep history. Art galleries come to life thru soft whispers and see why the Old County Jail (Billy the Kid jail) invites guests willing to talk to its eternal occupants. Guests have been reporting of being touched by unseen spirits on this tour. Meet us at the Golden Eagle Gallery by 9:30 p.m.

SATURDAY
The Run: Casa Vida de Salud 5K run & 1 Mile walk

http://www.raceadventuresunlimited.com/04-05-2014/Casa-Vida-De-Salud-5K-Run-1-Mile-Walk/981
Trophy’s will be awarded to the overall male and female winners. Refreshments available at finish line.

The Family Fun: Generation 2000

http://www.kprr.com/pages/generation2000.html
Now in its twenty-eighth year, Generation 2000 is a two day event that encourages children and parents to work together in over 100 specialty events, booths, games and interactive displays that are aimed at entertaining and educating children of all ages. This year’s Generation 2000 promises to be the biggest and best with a multitude of fun activities for the entire family. And this year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Child Crisis Center of El Paso. This year Generation 2000 will feature such events as the Family Fun Adventure: Prize Walk where kids have an opportunity to dance and participate in the walk to win great prizes. The Imagination Station is an arts and crafts area where parents and kids create their own special creations from a wide assortment of materials to take home. As in the past, Generation 2000 will still have Mini Golf, Live Entertainment on the Nerium Main Stage, Giant Bubbles, Adventures in Learning Science Area, Roller Races, Tiny Tots, Giant Sand Tables, Beading Area, and more fun stuff for the whole family. Kids Entertainment and several interactive games and rides.

The Film: UTEP Get Reel Film Series
http://sa.utep.edu/union/reel/

Housed in the UTEP Union Cinema, Get Reel (previously Cinema Novo) presents independent and educational films as well as blockbuster movies for only $1. Movies are shown, each semester twice a week starting at 7:00p.m. Get Reel offers top name movies and quality films at an unbeatable price. All Films Are Friday & Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

Tonight’s Film: Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2

Picking up precisely where its hit predecessor left off, Sony Pictures Animation’s Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs 2 finds Flint Lockwood (voice of Bill Hader) invited to join the Live Corp Company, and use his gift for invention for the good of mankind. Just as young Flint prepares to go to work for his hero Chester V (voice of Will Forte), however, the young genius learns that his water-to-food machine is not only still functional, but it’s also started cross-breeding animals with food. Now, in order to prevent a growing army of “foodimals” from escaping isolation on an island and wreaking havoc on the mainland, Flint and his loyal group of friends will have to do battle with such delicious, but deadly, hybrids as the ferocious tacodiles, slithering apple pie-thons, and vine-swinging shrimpanzees. Saving the world from these rampaging monstrosities won’t be easy, but if anyone is up to the task, it’s Flint and company. Cody Cameron and Kris Pearn takes the reins for this sequel also featuring vocal contributions by Anna Faris, James Caan, Kristen Schaal, Terry Crews, Andy Samberg, Neil Patrick Harris, and Benjamin Bratt.

SUNDAY

The Show: Paso Del Norte Gun Collectors “The Original” Gun Show
http://pasodelnorteguncollectors.com/

Guns and antiques for buy, sell, or trade.

The Concert: Dusty Low
http://www.zinvalle.com/zvb/ai1ec_event/free-live-music-dan-lambert-and-the-double-drum-trio-3/?instance_id=211
Come on out and enjoy the sounds of Dusty Low from 1:00 p.m to 4:00 p.m. Bring a picnic, your family and friends and enjoy the day at Zin Valle Vineyards. Salud!


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