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Rocky Mountain National Park celebrates 100 years with help of nonprofits

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Rocky Mountain National Park is readying to begin its year-long 100th anniversary celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 3, 2014. Several Colorado nonprofits will assist in the commemoration.

The Rocky Mountain Conservancy, the non-profit partner of Rocky Mountain National Park, offers a series of full, half and multiple-day field classes celebrating the park’s centennial.

Also, Colorado Mountain Club is sponsoring climbing, hiking and snowshoeing of 100 of the 125 named peaks in the park. The park calls the club instrumental in the formation of Rocky Mountain National Park 100 years ago. In 1914, club members organized a pack trip to give Arapaho names to area peaks and features. It was part of a successful effort to persuade Congress to establish Rocky Mountain National Park.

As part of its celebration, the club also offers hike packages totaling 100 miles in the park. It will offer wildflower hikes in 2015.

The YMCA of the Rockies is also leading hikes through Sept. 12. Its hikes leave for the park from the Sweet Memorial Building. YMCA of the Rockies is located 2515 Tunnel Rd. in Estes Park.

Rocky Mountain National Park will kick-off the year-long event with music, treats and appearances by special representatives of the park’s past, [resent and future. Anyone wanting to attend the events should take the shuttle bus at Kawuneeche Visitor Center, Beaver Meadows Visitor Center, or in the nearby towns of Grand Lake and Estes Park.

Attendees of the opening ceremonies Sept. 3 and 4 must ride the shuttle in order to participate.

On Wednesday, the kick-off ceremony will be 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at Hidden Valley in the park. Shuttle buses will run from the Fairgrounds Park-N-Ride at 1170 Manford Ave., Estes Park from noon until 5 p.m.

An ice cream social will be the treat on Thursday, Sept. 4. The event is 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the Holzwarth Historical Site in the park. Buses will run from the Grand Lake Town hall and the Kawuneeche Visitor Center from noon until 5 p.m.

The park service asks the public to help celebrate the centennial with individual stories: You can play a role in the event. Share your stories and pictures at the www.rmnp100.com website. The memories will become part of a virtual time capsule helping document the connections people have made with Rocky Mountain National Park over the years.

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