Special activities planned for the day include an electronic cave simulator, free National Caves and Karst Day posters and prizes hidden in the gemstones at the new sluice box.
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colorado (May 24, 2018) — For the second year in a row, the National Caves Association (NCA) is celebrating Wednesday, June 6, as the National Caves and Karst Day. The goal is to raise awareness of the crucial roles both play in our lives by encouraging people to get out and visit a cave this summer.
“Almost everyone knows about caves, but only a small percentage of people have even heard of karst,” said Steve Beckley, who owns Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park with his wife Jeanne. “Karst is terrain that’s typically characterized by sinkholes, caves, underground rivers and barren, rocky ground. Caves and karst are rich in resources, including 175 different minerals, a few of which have only been found in caves. Forty percent of the drinking water in the U.S. comes from karst aquifers. That’s just the tip of the iceberg of why it plays such a crucial role in our daily lives.”
There’s scientific research taking places in caves around the world. Universities partner with privately owned caves to learn about bacteria that can play a role in cancer treatment and the development of new antibiotics. Researchers collect broken formations to track historical weather trends dating back hundreds of thousands of years and take water samples to identify changes in mineral content. Astronauts train underground, and unique species are discovered inside caves along with fossils dating back to the Ice Age.
Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park has some special things planned on this day for its guests that are designed to pique their interest in caves and geology.
“This year, we will have an electronic cave simulator onsite that our guests can crawl through. The mobile CaveSim has 60 feet of passageway to explore that’s decorated with reproductions of real cave formations. Each formation has electronic sensors that count the number of times it gets hit so that the cavers can compare their scores and times,” Kathy Miller, manager of natural attractions for the Adventure Park, said. “It’s a lot of fun, even for experienced cavers, and is a great opportunity for kids too young to go on one of our Wild Tours to experience the fun of caving.”
The first 50 people to go through the CaveSim will receive a free, colorful National Caves and Karst Day poster. In addition, there will be prizes inside three gemstone bags at the new sluice box that can be exchanged for Funday Passes.
“The National Caves and Karst Day on June 6 is the perfect time for families to map out their cave visits for the summer,” Miller added. “In addition to Glenwood Caverns and the Historic Fairy Caves, there are public show caves throughout the Western U.S., including in Colorado Springs, Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and California.”
There are many benefits to spending time in a cave, no matter which one people choose. It’s quality family time, forming memories together during summer vacations or staycations near home. It can spark a child’s interest in science that could shape their future. Spending time in nature, as evidenced in many studies, can boost mental and physical well-being, improve concentration, increase energy, reduce stress and lower blood pressure and heart rates. Pair it with exercise, such as hiking to or in a cave, to maximize these results.
The NCA represents 90 show caves across the United States, Bermuda and Barbados. The 53rd Annual National Caves Association Convention will be held Sept. 24 – 28 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado.
More information about the park, including hours of operation and a list of which attractions are open, can be found at GlenwoodCaverns.com or by calling 800-530-1635 or 970-945-4228, ext. 0.
Mandy Gauldin | 970-379-5277 | [email protected]
About Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park
51000 Two Rivers Plaza Road, Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
glenwoodcaverns.com | 800-530-1635 | Facebook.com/GlenwoodCaverns | @GlenwoodCaverns | glenwoodcaverns.com/blog
Located in scenic Glenwood Springs, Colo., midway between Aspen and Vail, Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park offers a one-of-a-kind mountain-top adventure. The Adventure Park features a gondola ride, walking and wild tours of Glenwood Caverns and Historic Fairy Caves, dining, and year-round attractions including the new Haunted Mine Drop, Alpine Coaster, 4D Motion Theater and Laser Tag Arena. Seasonal offerings include the Giant Canyon Swing, Glenwood Canyon Flyer, Cliffhanger Roller Coaster, Wild West Express family coaster, a climbing wall, gemstone sluice box mining, a Ferris wheel ride and a holiday light display. Ideal setting for groups and birthday parties. Glenwood Caverns Adventure Park operates the new Iron Mountain Hot Springs now open on the bank of the Colorado River in Glenwood Springs.
About the National Caves Association
Founded in 1965 by a small group of private show cave owners from across the United States, the National Caves Association has been encouraging the public to discover the underground wonders of America’s show caves for 53 years. From a small group of about 30 show cave owners in 1965, the Association has grown over the years to a membership of more than 90 of the best show caves across the United States, Bermuda and Barbados. www.cavern.com
Karst Waters Institute (https://karstwaters.org/educational-resources/what-is-karst-and-why-is-it-important)
Encyclopaedia Britannica (https://www.britannica.com/science/karst-geology)