ANTELOPE ISLAND -- Antelope Island is attracting some big-name international friends.
A 16-member delegation from the China Great Wall Society will visit Utah in November to sign a memorandum of understanding with the Division of Utah State Parks and Recreation.
The MOU is part of an international exchange program that will create a sister relationship between state parks, Antelope Island, and the Jinshanling section of the Great Wall of China.
A signing celebration will be at 12:30 p.m. Thursday at the island's visitor center.
Before the signing, as part of the exchange program, the state will host at 9 a.m. Chinese artists from the China Great Wall Academy of Painting and Calligraphy for a plein air painting excursion on the island.
"Antelope Island State Park is pleased to enter into this cooperative relationship with the China Great Wall Society," State Parks Director Fred Hayes said.
"We share the society's mission of protecting and showcasing natural landscapes for visitors, and providing hiking, photography and other recreation opportunities," Hayes said in a news release.
The Utah Office of Tourism, part of the Governor's Office of Economic Development, met with the society last spring in Beijing to initiate the exchange.
The society then visited Utah in June, selecting Antelope Island for its first MOU with an organization in the United States.