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Contact: Karl Cordova, 520 723-3172
CASA GRANDE RUINS NATIONAL MONUMENT SELECTED AS 2012 NATIONAL PARK FOUNDATION AMERICA'S BEST IDEA GRANT RECIPIENT
COOLIDGE, AZ - Casa Grande Ruins National Monument has been selected to participate in the 2012 America's Best Idea program. This program is sponsored by the National Park Foundation and inspired by the critically-acclaimed Ken Burns documentary The National Parks: America's Best Idea. The America's Best Idea grant program funds park projects designed to connect diverse, under-engaged populations throughout the United States with their national parks in innovative and meaningful ways.
"We are proud to provide the much needed support to create unique opportunities for all Americans to personally connect with their national parks," said Neil Mulholland, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. "The America's Best Idea grants are often the catalyst for extraordinary experiences that develop into lifelong relationships with our national parks for the program participants." For a full listing of participating parks and program descriptions, and for more information on the National Park Foundation, please visit the National Park Foundation website, www.nationalparks.org.
Grant money from the National Park Foundation will provide the means for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument to develop a Native American Conservation Corp program. The program will employ a crew of six local Native American youth ages 15-18 for a period of six weeks. Crew members' will be working with monument staff to complete a variety of cultural and natural resource management tasks. The focus of these tasks will be preserving and protecting archeological sites and re-vegetating previously disturbed areas. The program will provide the monument with the workforce needed to complete much needed resource tasks while providing local youth with job opportunities and valuable Service-Learning experience in resource stewardship. As part of the program, youth will participate in five educational days which will focus on cultural and natural resource education and traditional practices.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the multi-story 'Great House' and the ruins of other ancient structures built by the people of the Sonoran Desert over 800 years ago. Established as the nation's first archeological reserve in 1892, the Ruins sparked the beginning of the archeological preservation movement in America. The Monument is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Additional information is available on the Monument's website, https://www.nps.gov/cagr, or you may call (520) 723-3172.
The National Park Foundation and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument wish to thank L.L. Bean, DISNEY, the Anschutz Foundation, and the Ahmanson Foundationfor their generous support of the America's Best Idea program.