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Contact: Duane Hubbard, (928) 467-2241
Roosevelt, AZ - More than 160 sixth graders from Rim Country Middle School in Payson, Arizona will help Tonto National Monument staff plant a cultivar and pollinator garden March 2 and 3 in celebration of the National Park Service Centennial.
In partnership with professional permaculture designers and certified water harvesting practitioners from Watershed Management Group in Phoenix, Tonto staff will provide an educational trip for the students utilizing a National Park Foundation field trip grant that was awarded to Tonto NM in January.
The Median Centennial Project is part of the NPS Centennial Celebration that was developed by Monument staff to provide visitors a unique learning experience. The demonstration garden, which will be located in the center of the visitor center parking lot median, will enhance visitors' knowledge of the importance of cultivated crops and the challenges associated with growing food in a desert environment. In addition to interpreting cultivated crops 700 years ago, native plants growing in the median will provide an understanding of the various desert plants that were used for food or footwear, such as woven sandals.
In addition to the cultivar and pollinator garden, the students from Rim Country Middle School will also visit the Monument's museum and visit the Lower Cliff Dwelling, providing an overall experience of the ancient Salado people and how they survived in the Upper Sonoran Desert without the use of modern technology.