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Contact: Ed Cummins, 928-567-3322 x227
National Park ServiceNews Release
For Immediate Release – April 11, 2011
Ed Cummins, Chief Ranger, MOCA/TUZI, 928-567-3322 x227
National Park Service Celebrates National Park Week and Offers Free Entrance to all National Park Areas.
National Park Week is coming up—April 16-24—and entrance to all National Park Service areas is free. This includes Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments located here in the Verde Valley, along with the other 392 national parks, monuments, historical sites, battlefields, seashores, lakeshores, rivers, scenic trails, and recreation areas across the country.
"In these tough economic times, our fee-free days will give families many opportunities to enjoy our nation's heritage and natural beauty in meaningful and affordable ways," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said.“Many people have made resolutions to spend more quality time with loved ones and to get outdoors and unplug in 2011. There’s no better place than a national park to help keep those resolutions. Parks offer superb recreational opportunities, making them perfect places to enjoy our beautiful land, history, and culture, and nurture a healthy lifestyle.”
During National Park Week, Montezuma Castle National Monument in Camp Verde will be having a special celebration on Saturday, April 23, which is National Junior Ranger Day. The day is titled “Healthy Parks Healthy People - Junior Ranger Day 2011” and will have special activities for children and their families. Children will use their observational skills and creative thinking to engage with their natural environment and the resources within the park. Junior Rangers will be introduced to common animal tracks and reading wildlife sign to encourage outdoor recreation. Children can earn their Junior Ranger badge by completing activities including learning how to identify animals that inhabit the environment surrounding Montezuma Castle, exploring the many roles and “tools” of Park Rangers as stewards of America’s great outdoors, and a special “Beaver Creek Bingo” game! Junior Ranger Day activities will be held from 9:00am to 4:00pm at the picnic area at Montezuma Castle. Be sure to bring along water and sun protection. This is also a great opportunity to take photographs or bring along your binoculars to spot wildlife. There is no fee to attend Junior Ranger Day.
Superintendent Kathy Davis stated “I want to encourage all our local friends and neighbors to take advantage of these free days and invite them to come see just what the parks located in their back yards really are. These monuments protect and preserve the structures and other remains of the people known as the Sinagua, who inhabited this area nearly 1,000 years ago. There are also beautiful, peaceful, natural areas at all three units”.
The National Park Service will be offering five more nation-wide “fee-free” days this year: the first day of summer (June 21), National Public Lands Day (Sept. 24), and the weekend of Veterans Day (Nov. 11-13).
Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments are open 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week, except Christmas Day. From Memorial Day to Labor Day, the Monument hours are extended to 6pm. Normally, the Montezuma Castle unit and Tuzigoot have an entrance fee of $5 per person for those 16 years of age and over. Children 15 and under are free. A combined entrance pass for both units is $8. All entrance passes are good for 7 days. The Montezuma Well unit is free at all times. Also available, are three passes that allow free access for the pass holder and three adults to most federal recreation areas from a number of different agencies, including the National Park Service, the US Forest Service, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. The Interagency Annual Pass sells for $80, is available to anyone regardless of citizenship, and is good for 1 year. The Interagency Senior Pass is only available to US citizens, 62 and older, is a lifetime pass, and sells for only $10. The Interagency Access Pass is a lifetime pass that is available free to those US citizens who are permanently disabled. 80% of the fees from the sales of entrance passes and Interagency Passes sold at the Monuments stay in these Monuments to help support projects and other activities.