Free Admission To Tonto National Monument, Other Park Sites, On Public Lands Day, Sept. 26

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Tom Brossart/Roundup

Tonto National Monument along with other national parks and other public lands are celebrating National Public Lands Day by offering free admission and other special events.

All National Park Service sites, including Tonto National Monument, will offer free visitor admission on Sept. 26 for National Public Lands Day.

In addition to waiving entrance fees, national parks and other public lands will host special programs and volunteer work parties to commemorate the 16th annual event. At Tonto National Monument enjoy a special sneak peek of the Ken Burns new documentary: The National Parks: America’s Best Idea premiering on PBS Sept. 27.

Highlights of the Ken Burns’ film will be shown all day. Refreshments will also be served. As an added bonus, the Lower Cliff Dwelling trail will remain open to uphill hikers until 5 p.m. The Visitor Center and Western National Parks Bookstore will stay open until 6 p.m.

“We are excited about the opportunity to greet old friends and welcome new visitors to explain how Tonto National Monument is part of America’s Best Idea,” said Superintendent Terry Saunders.

“Making that best idea even better is our goal and one we can only accomplish with the support of our visitors, volunteers and partners. Everyone is encouraged to take advantage of this fee free day to explore a national park or lend a hand to help the land.”

All National Park Service sites, including the Flagstaff monuments, will offer free visitor admission on Saturday, in recognition of NPLD. Entrance fees and commercial tour fees will be waived on that day.

Fees on Sunday, Sept. 27, will also be waived at all three Flagstaff monuments as part of their Festival of Science open houses.

This year, the Flagstaff Area National Monuments will celebrate National Public Lands Day with the Festival of Science.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the parks will have hands-on exhibit at the Science in the Park at Wheeler Park.

• Walnut Canyon will have an open house on Saturday, Sept. 26 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Stephanie Lomatewama and Horace Kayquoptewa demonstrating basket weaving and Hopi Kachina carving.

• Sunset Crater Volcano will have an open house on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Ruby Chimerica demonstrating Hopi basket weaving.

• Wupatki will have an open house on Sunday, Sept. 27, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. with Rose Bighorse demonstrating dine weaving.

All three parks will offer interpretive programs as well. Please check the park’s Web site for more information on dates and times.

The staff at the Flagstaff Area National Monuments would like to encourage the monuments’ friends and neighbors to take advantage of this national “fee free” day by getting reacquainted with their local national parks.

Walnut Canyon National Monument is located 10 miles east of downtown Flagstaff via I-40 and can be reached at (928) 526-3367 and on the Web at www.nps.gov/waca.” Wupatki National Monument is 26 miles north of Flagstaff via Hwy. 89, and can be reached at (928) 679-2365 and www.nps.gov/wupa. Sunset Crater Volcano National Monument is located six miles east of down Flagstaff via Hwy. 89 and can be reached at(928) 526-0502.

One-third of the land in the United States has been set aside as open space. 600 million acres of parks, refuges, forests, wetlands, cultural sites, and other shared areas provide a variety of public resources.

National Public Lands Day is the only time that entrance fees are waived systematically on public lands throughout the country. Normally, 147 of the country’s 391 National Park Service sites charge entrance fees ranging from $3 to $25. The other 244 areas do not have entrance fees. U.S. veterans are admitted to national parks for free each year on Veterans Day. The other federal agencies not charging for admittance that day include the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the U.S. Forest Service.

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