National Park Week 2016 Initiates Centennial Fee-Free Special Events at Verde Valley National Monuments

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Date: April 10, 2016
Contact: Caleb Kesler, 928-567-5276 x222

April 16th to April 24th, is a fee-free opportunity for the public to experience the country's largest celebration of national heritage. This annual observance is a presidentially-proclaimed celebration of American legacy.All National Parks are Fee-Free to the public during that time.

The National Park Service observes its' Centennial August 25, 2016 and staff and volunteers of Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot will host special events commemorating this historic occasion. We are launching a second century of engaging communities through recreation, conservation and historic preservation initiatives.

Celebrating Art in the Parks -Saturday, April 16th, at 11 a.m. Dr. Thomas Patin, director of the School of Art at Northern Arizona University and a professor of art history, is the editor of "Observation Points: The Visual Poetics of National Parks". His next book is titled "Nature's Masterpieces: Naturalizing Culture in the National Parks".

Dr. Patin will lead a discussion that will focus on how the country's national parks and monuments have helped visitors deepen their understanding of nature, American history, past cultures and environments, creating an American collective imagination and national identity. These visual landscapes, according to Dr. Patin, have aided in building community across America and have created emotional connections over many generations. NPS employees and volunteers will also present an informal art show of their works from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Junior Ranger Day- Saturday, April 16th, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. In the picnic area of Montezuma Castle, youth will engage in hands-on activities ranging from ancient technologies/survival skills, plants and wildlife, archaeology, astronomy, to leave no trace and recycling. Plan to spend at least an hour to earn a Junior Ranger Patch and Certificate.

New this year, are the Girl Scout Ranger and Boy Scout Ranger programs at Junior Ranger Day. Scouts will earn special certificates and patches, in addition to the Junior Ranger items.Please visit for more information. All activities are free and reservations are not required.

Book signing- Sunday, April 17th, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Author and illustrator Rod Timanus will sign copies of his book on Montezuma Castle in an event co-sponsored by Western National Parks Association.Mr. Timanus has published numerous books on the history of the American West and in 2014 he released his Acadia Publishing edition of "Montezuma Castle National Monument". The author will present a talk on this book starting at 11 a.m.

Tavasci Marsh Tour at Tuzigoot- April 17th at 9:30 a.m.Learn about the geological and human history of the area, the plants and animals that live in and around the marsh, and the current research projects that are being conducted here. Please come prepared to hike 3 miles through rocky areas and potentially muddy terrain. We suggest that participants bring water, sun protection, and wear good shoes or boots.

Bat Appreciation Day- Sunday, April 17th, 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Informational posters will be on display at Montezuma Well explaining current research of bats found at our monuments.Staff will also be available for questions.

What the Silent Stones Tell Us- Tuesday, April 19th at 11:00 a.m. A Ranger led program at Tuzigoot National Monument will focus on dating techniques for archaeological sites and a discussion about

Birding 101 Orientation and Tour- Wednesday, April 20th, at 10 a.m. At Montezuma Castle, beginner naturalists will be instructed on how to identify some of the most common birds sighted in the Verde Valley."Birding 101" will be taught by volunteer park interpreter John Moore of Sedona, a retired professor of history. Mr. Moore has studied birds and their behavior for over 40 years.Visitors will receive an overview of basic bird identification by Mr. Moore, and then the group will walk the trail while Mr. Moore outlines how to distinguish the many species found in the adjacent riparian areas.This informal, family-friendly event is geared to novice birders of all ages.

Full Moon Concert- Friday, April 22nd, starting at 6 p.m. Native American musician Allenroy Paquin will perform under a full moon at Montezuma Castle. This Earth Day celebration will feature storytelling, singing, and flute performances. Mr. Paquin is a member of the Jicarilla Apache and Zun᷉i Tribes of New Mexico and is also a silversmith.Visitors are encouraged to bring their own folding chairs as available park seating is limited.The trails and the park will close to the public at 8 p.m.

Instameet Event- Saturday, April 23, from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. Montezuma Castle, Montezuma Well and Tuzigoot National Monument staff and volunteers will host an Instameet event. Visitors will be challenged to take photos of certain things at all three parks and post their photos to social media sites using park hashtags.

The National Park Service celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2016. Over 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 410 national parks and monuments, creating close-to-home recreational and cultural opportunities.

Montezuma Castle National Monument is located three miles off Interstate 17, exit 289 east, 2800 Montezuma Castle Road, Camp Verde, AZ. Tuzigoot National Monument is located at 28 Tuzigoot Road, Clarkdale, AZ.The regular admission fee of $10 per adult for both sites is waived during National Park Week, and children age 15 and under are always free.Montezuma Well is a detached unit of Montezuma Castle National Monument and there is no charge all year long.

For further information, call 928-567-3322 x 0 or visit our pages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

Last updated: April 10, 2016

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P. O. Box 219
Camp Verde, AZ 86322


(928) 567-3322 x221

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