The Friends of the Dunes are pleased to provide a free viewing of the PBS documentary, Heart of the World, before it debuts nationally on PBS stations. The documentary will air at Adams State University Carson Auditorium on Friday, April 1, 2016 at 7pm. This free event will offer a one-hour glimpse into the 3-hour documentary that highlights five spectacular National Park units in Colorado – Rocky Mountain National Park, Mesa Verde National Park, Black Canyon of the Gunnison, Colorado National Monument, and Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. The documentary is narrated by Grammy winning Country Music artist Kathy Mattea and includes aerial footage, ranger interviews, and perspectives from visitors and American Indian tribal members.

As part of the event, filmmaker, Chris Wheeler, will discuss how he captured some of the breathtaking footage for the film and be available for an informal question and answer session during a reception after the event.

The National Park Service is turning 100 on August 25, 2016 and Great Sand Dunes – along with more than 400 other park units – will be celebrating this momentous event throughout 2016. The screening of the documentary on April 1st will be the kick-off event for Great Sand Dunes Centennial celebrations. Great Sand Dunes sees this occasion as an opportunity to celebrate the San Luis Valley community that has supported “their national park” since it was established as a National Monument in 1932. Park Superintendent, Lisa Carrico, also states that “the Centennial is the perfect opportunity to reflect on the National Park Services’ contributions to conservation, education, and research since its establishment as an agency in 1916 while also looking towards and preparing for the next 100 years.”

 

Great Sand Dunes invites visitors to attend other Centennial events and programs including artist workshops in April, June, and October, ranger-led programs offered in the summer, and live bluegrass music on Saturday, August 27, 2016. The Friends of the Dunes and Great Sand Dunes encourage visitors to visit the park website at www.nps.gov/grsa to learn more about fun events and programs offered at Great Sand Dunes or within the San Luis Valley communities.

The Friends of the Dunes was founded in 1989 to provide a forum for citizen involvement at Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve. Since the formation of this non-profit organization, the Friends Group has provided much benefit to the park and its visitors. Donations that are received contribute directly to the park. The Friends have supported numerous projects in cooperation with park staff including the expansion of the park’s night sky program with the purchase of a large telescope, sponsoring events such as the Park Volunteer Work Day, and securing and managing research grants for major archaeological and scientific research. Membership fees and more information on this organization can be found at www.friendsofgreatsanddunes.org

For more information on the National Park Service Centennial, visit www.nps.gov/centennial

For more information on the documentary, visit the Heart of the World Facebook page at www.facebook.com/HeartoftheWorldColoradoNationalParks/