Canyonlands National Park will celebrate its 50th anniversary on September 12, 2014.

The planning has begun for a variety of park and community events to help recognize the special occasion.

The non-profit Friends of Arches and Canyonlands Parks and the National Park Service (NPS) have been working with officials from Grand County and San Juan counties, retired park rangers and the Canyonlands Natural History Association to plan the celebration.

Initial planning efforts included a contest for NPS employees to create an anniversary theme. Neal Herbert is the winner by offering the theme “50 years of Inspiration, Solitude and Adventure.”

A nationwide contest was then conducted for an official anniversary logo.

Sue Jasper, a graphic designer from Las Vegas and a regular visitor to Canyonlands, won that contest. The theme and logo will be used for events and materials associated with the official anniversary celebration.

An anniversary website will be launched soon.

Several events will occur throughout 2014 including a rededication ceremony taking place on Friday, Sept. 12 in the Needles District of Canyonlands National Park. More information on upcoming events and programs will be available on the anniversary website.

The Friends of Arches and Canyonalands Parks was founded by family members of Bates Wilson, who was instrumental in the establishment of Canyonlands and served as its first superintendent from 1964 until his retirement in 1972.

Bates dedicated countless hours exploring and mapping Canyonlands diverse geology, and his famous camping trips and cowboy cookouts helped persuade the country’s decision makers that Canyonlands was worthy of national park status. On September 12, 1964, President Lyndon Johnson signed legislation creating Canyonlands National Park.