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Contact: Steve Riley, 505-536-9461
Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument Superintendent Steve Riley announced today an April kick-off of centennial celebrations.
On November 16, 1907, Teddy Roosevelt signed the proclamation that forever recognized the “group of cliff-dwellings known as the Gila Hot Springs Cliff-Houses” as a national monument being “of exceptional scientific and educational interest…as the best representative of the Cliff-Dwellers’ remains of that region.” Throughout 2007, Gila Cliff Dwellings’ theme Celebrating a Century of Storytelling will guide the special events and programs at the monument, leading up to the actual 100th anniversary on November 16, 2007.
The year 2007 not only marks the 100th anniversary of the establishment Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument, it also marks the 45th anniversary of an important addition to the original monument’s boundaries. On April 17, 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation that added approximately 375 acres containing additional archaeological sites “to round out the interpretive story of the Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.” As a special centennial event, one of these added sites -- an unexcavated surface pueblo referred to as the TJ Ruin -- will be open for a limited number of guided tours in April. Tours meet at the Gila Visitor Center at 2pm every Tuesday and Saturday, and every day during National Park Week, April 22nd – 29th. There will be no TJ tour on Saturday, April 28. Group size is limited to 20 people per tour and reservations are recommended. For more information and to make a tour reservation call 505-536-9461. Guided tours of the dwellings will continue to be held daily at noon.
April 28th National Junior Ranger Day
National Park Week April 22nd-29th takes its theme Your National Parks: Explore, Learn, and Protect from the Junior Ranger motto. As always, kids of all ages are encouraged to complete the Junior Ranger Book while they tour the dwellings to earn a badge and certificate. On National Junior Ranger Day there will be additional fun and educational activities for the whole family at the Gila Visitor Center from noon to 2pm. At 2:30pm, everyone is invited to attend a special ceremony where a National Park Service Ranger and the Forest Service’s Smokey Bear will ask all Junior Rangers in attendance to help assemble a time capsule (to be sealed on November 16th, 2007, and not opened before 2057) in honor of the Gila Cliff Dwellings Centennial.
All programs are free, however the dwellings entrance fee of $3 per person 16 year and older still applies. The trail through Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument is open 9:00am-4:00pm, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Guided tours of the dwellings are offered once daily at noon. Please allow 20-30 minutes to hike to the tour starting point. For more information contact the Gila Visitor Center 505-536-9561 or www.nps.gov/gicl.