CASA GRANDE, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The National Park Service is turning 101 years old on August 25 and Casa Grande Ruins National Monument wants to invite you to celebrate – free admission!
The usual entrance fee of $5 will be waived for all visitors on August 25.
"Birthdays are a time to celebrate and we want everyone to join the celebration," said Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Superintendent Karl Pierce, in a recent news release. "August 25, 2016 is a truly special date for the National Park Service. At Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, we are honored to share in celebrating this annual event, and as one of the oldest units of the National Park System, I invite you to visit. I hope everyone will partake of the free admission and join us in this celebration. Come and learn about the wonderful history and pre-history preserved here, as well as the living descendants of the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People who built the Great House."
On Aug. 25, 1916, President Woodrow Wilson signed legislation to create the National Park Service. Today, there are more than 400 national park sites throughout the country and each one tells an important part of the American story. Some commemorate notable people and achievements, others conserve magnificent landscapes and natural wonders, and all provide a place to have fun and learn. On August 25, all national parks will offer free entrance for everyone.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument was established in 1892 as America's first pre-historic reserve, and was placed under the National Park Service's protection in 1918 as Casa Grande Ruins National Monument. Last year, 75,752 park visitors enjoyed the site, and added 6.3 million dollars to the local economy while supporting 68 area jobs.
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects the multi-story Great House (Casa Grande) and the remnants of other ancient structures built by the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People 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 a.m. to 4 p.m. May through September and from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. October through April except for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Independence Days.
Directions and additional information are available on the Monument's website, http://www.nps.gov/cagr. Call (520) 723-3172, or follow them on Facebook by searching for Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.