National Public Lands Day offers fee-free park entry

VERDE VALLEY -- Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments will be joining national park units across the country in celebrating National Public Lands Day (NPLD) with fee free entry into the monuments.

National Public Lands Day began in 1994 and is intended to encourage shared stewardship of our nation's public lands. Today, NPLD is the nation's largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance federal, state, and local public lands.

This year, NPLD will be celebrated on Saturday, Sept. 24. Visitors who arrive on the 24th will be allowed to enter the monuments free of charge. With NPLD being on the same day as Verde River Days at Dead Horse Ranch State Park in Cottonwood, this would make for a great day to get out and visit multiple locations and enjoy your local public lands.

Park visitors are reminded that the fee-free designation applies to entrance fees only and does not affect fees for camping, reservations, tours, or use of concessions at those parks that have those facilities. Monument visitor centers will have Interagency Senior and Annual Passes available for those who wish to purchase them.

The final fee-free days in 2011 will include be the Veteran's Day weekend (Nov. 11-13.)

For more on what there is to see and do in Montezuma Castle and Tuzigoot National Monuments, please visit the park's web site at www.nps.gov/moca and www.nps.gov/tuzi .

To learn more about National Public Lands Day, please visit the NPLD web site at www.publiclandsday.org.

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