Thanks to the concentrated efforts of dedicated conservation partners, more than five million people get to experience the Grand Canyon each year.
These devoted conservationists deserve recognition for their continuing efforts to maintain the Grand Canyon as a safe, sustainable ecosystem for both its visitors and its natural inhabitants. Canyon Tours wants to thank three organizations for their ceaseless efforts to preserve the Grand Canyon: the Grand Canyon Association, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon chapter.
The Grand Canyon Association
The Grand Canyon Association was founded in 1932 as the Grand Canyon National History Association. Today, it’s the official non-profit partner of the Grand Canyon National Park. The GCA operates all the retail shops and visitor centers located within the Park, and also runs a wide variety of educational classes, hikes, and other events.
What does the Grand Canyon Association do?
The Association’s main goal is to protect and enhance the National Park using funds raised by the park stores and visitor centers. While the federal government supports the Park’s baseline operations and activities, the Association is responsible for wildlife research, trail preservation, and educational programs.
In addition to promoting arts and culture through events like the annual Celebration of Art, The Grand Canyon Association runs programs and educational events like guided tours, overnight backcountry treks, and other learning adventures through the Grand Canyon Field Institute.
How can you participate?
You can become a member of the Grand Canyon Association for as little as $35. Your membership includes:
- A subscription to the quarterly newsletter.
- 15% off at Grand Canyon Association stores inside the Park, as well as 10% off at certain Lodge gift shops within the Park.
- Early registration for Field Institute classes.
- Invitations to members-only events.
Canyon Tours is a member of the Grand Canyon Association! Join us.
The Grand Canyon Trust
Established in 1985, the Grand Canyon Trust works to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau, which stretches from western Colorado to northwestern New Mexico, southern and eastern Utah, and northern Arizona.
The Grand Canyon Trust pursues four main goals:
- Land: The Trust seeks to protect and restore the Colorado Plateau by limiting uranium mining, guiding future development, and ensuring the adoption of sustainable fire and grazing policies.
- Water: The Colorado Plateau’s future depends on the preservation and use of its water resources. By protecting spring habitats and species diversity, restoring the natural watershed through the reintroduction of the beaver, and by opposing water-intensive energy extraction, the Grand Canyon Trust aims to create a sustainable future for the Plateau’s most precious resource.
- Energy: The Grand Canyon Trust hopes to protect the Canyon from mining, prevent uranium contamination, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and find and advocate for climate solutions like solar and wind power.
- Native America: The Trust supports local tribal communities in their efforts to protect the Plateau’s natural and cultural resources, and contributes to the creation of economic development plans.
How can you participate?
There are a number of ways for you to get involved with the Grand Canyon Trust.
- Become a Member: With an annual donation of $50 or more, you can become a member of the Grand Canyon Trust. You’ll receive two special magazines each year, as well as the opportunity to participate in members-only trips and events.
- Volunteer: Help the Trust restore habitats and wetlands, collect data to improve grazing practices, prevent the spread of invasive species, work in partnership with Native American tribes, or even participate in citizen training programs. Learn more about volunteering with Grand Canyon Trust.
- Events: Attend volunteer trips, film screenings, and public meetings. See a full list of events here.
- Advocacy: The Trust provides a free Advocacy Toolkit to help you learn how to write letters to your elected official, or even host a letter writing party or write a blog post or op ed!
The Sierra Club, Grand Canyon Chapter
Formed in 1965, the Sierra Club is one of the oldest and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States. The Club’s Grand Canyon chapter was created with the goal of stopping the building of dams inside the Grand Canyon, but now aims to protect a wide range of Canyon assets, including parks, forests, wildlife and wildlife refuges, rivers, and streams.
The Grand Canyon chapter undertakes multiple activities aimed at preserving the Grand Canyon, such as:
- Monitoring water quality
- Sponsoring regular Canyon clean-ups
- Removing invasive plant species
- Assisting with wildlife research and habitat restoration
- Hiking programs
How can you participate?
You can become a member of the Sierra Club’s Grand Canyon chapter for as little as $15. You can also attend any of the chapter’s events, including hikes, committee meetings, activism events like Environmental Day at the Capitol, and social events like film screenings and picnics.
The Sierra Club is also one of the only voices for environmental protection at the Arizona Capitol. Join their legislative program and you’ll receive weekly updates and have the chance to participate in citizen lobby workshops.
Preserving the Grand Canyon
Without the dedicated efforts of these conservation groups, the Grand Canyon as it is known today might look very different. Thanks to these groups, we’re able to share the beauty and power of the Grand Canyon with millions of visitors each year.
Featured Image Source: Grand Canyon National Park via Flickr.