"The Casa Grande 2004" by U.S. National Park Service , public domain
Casa Grande Ruins
National Monument - Arizona
Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in Coolidge, Arizona, just northeast of the city of Casa Grande, preserves a group of Ancient Pueblo Peoples Hohokam structures of the Pueblo III and Pueblo IV Eras.
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https://www.nps.gov/cagr/index.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casa_Grande_Ruins_National_Monument Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, in Coolidge, Arizona, just northeast of the city of Casa Grande, preserves a group of Ancient Pueblo Peoples Hohokam structures of the Pueblo III and Pueblo IV Eras. Explore the history and stories of an extended network of communities and irrigation canals. An Ancestral Sonoran Desert People's farming community and "Great House" are preserved at Casa Grande Ruins. Whether the Casa Grande was a gathering place for the Desert People or simply a waypoint marker in an extensive system of canals and trading partners is but part of the story of the Ruins. Transportation is by private vehicle. The park is in Coolidge, Arizona, about an hour-long drive from either Phoenix or Tucson. From Interstate 10 take the Coolidge exits and follow the signs to the park entrance. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Construction began in 1932 to create the current adobe visitor center. Funding was provided for only half of the open square building, final completion was delayed until 1956. Exhibits, restrooms, bookstore, and orientation movie are available in the current building. All park visitors enter the historic area by passing through the visitor center. Transportation is by private vehicle. The park is in Coolidge, Arizona, about an hour-long drive from either Phoenix or Tucson. From Interstate 10 take the Coolidge exits and follow the signs to the park entrance. The entrance road ends at the park visitor center and parking area. Great House eathern building under modern roof structure The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins has existed for over 600 years. Great House from the South earthern ruins including the Great House and other parts A highlight of Compound A is the Great House but it is not the only earthern building to intrigue visitors. Great House in the Sonoran Desert earthern Great House with its roof among desert plants The Great House at Casa Grande Ruins is a sentinel of the desert. Morning from the Northeast earthern Great House standing out in the Sonoran Desert plants The Great House at Casa Grande may have been an orientation point for travelers and traders. Historic Sign historic copper sign with Great House and saguaro flanking The park's historic copper sign was relocated with roadway changes, and now sits near the visitor center. Actors Recreating Jewelry child, adult female, adult male American Indian actors in costume making jewelry in movie shoot In this scene from the park movie, actors demonstrate jewelry making as done in ancestral times. Climate and Groundwater Monitoring at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, 2017 At Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, the Sonoran Desert Network monitors climate and groundwater. Understanding changes in these closely linked factors helps managers to make informed decisions affecting park flora and fauna, as well as key cultural resources. Learn about our recent findings in this desert park. Rainbow over Great House, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument It’s Alive! Biological Soil Crusts of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan Deserts It might come as a surprise to learn that in the sublime expanses of the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, some of the most interesting life around can be found in the dirt right in front of your feet! Biological soil crusts form a living groundcover that is the foundation of desert plant life. Soil crust at White Sands National Monument Saguaro Cactus: Sentinel of the Southwest The saguaro cactus is the largest cactus in the U.S., commonly reaching 40 feet in height. The saguaro provides both food and shelter for a variety of desert species and plays an integral role in the culture of the Tohono O’odham people. It has been written that the saguaro can be ecologically connected to nearly every other organism in its range, including humans. Saguaro cacti at Saguaro National Park Climate and Groundwater Monitoring at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument At Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, the Sonoran Desert Network monitors climate and groundwater. Understanding changes in these closely linked factors helps managers to make informed decisions affecting park flora and fauna, as well as key cultural resources. Learn about our findings for 2018 in this desert park. Photo of weather stations against a blue sky Monitoring Upland Vegetation and Soils in the Sonoran Desert and Chihuahuan Desert Networks Vegetation and soils are two of many natural resources monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Learning about vegetation dynamics helps us to better understand the integrity of ecological processes, productivity trends, and ecosystem interactions that can otherwise be difficult to monitor. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor vegetation and soils using the scientific protocol described here. Quadrat used for biological soil crust sampling Status and Trends of Vegetation and Soils at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, 2008–2016 Every landscape tells a story. Sonoran Desert Network ecologists return to the same landscapes over time to find out what that story is, and how it is changing. Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is rich in archeological sites but surprisingly low in plant diversity. The reasons why may lie in the area’s recent—and ancient—history. Results of recent vegetation and soils monitoring help explain. Green shrub next to adobe ruin Module Conducts Wildland-Urban Interface Projects Throughout the Intermountain Region In 2013, the Saguaro Wildland Fire Module (WFM) managed multiple projects simultaneously in AZ, TX, and NM. WFMs are highly skilled and versatile fire crews that provide expertise in long-term planning, ignitions, holding, prescribed fire preparation and implementation support, hazardous fuels reduction, and fire effects monitoring. With their help, fire fulfills its natural or historic role to meet resource and management objectives and create fire-adapted communities. National Park Getaway: Casa Grande Ruins National Monument Located halfway between Phoenix and Tucson, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument is a small yet powerful site to explore when visiting Arizona. Hundreds of years ago the Ancestral Sonoran Desert People at Casa Grande Ruins built communities, raised families, hunted and gathered food, and eventually turned to agriculture to sustain the growing Hohokam Culture. Two-story adobe ruins covered by an overhang at sunset Native Peoples of the Sonoran Desert: The O'odham The O'odham people (also known as the Pima) occupied a region spanning hundreds of square miles of what is now Arizona and Sonora. group photo of O'odham people standing in front of mission church Early Custodians of Tumacácori Early leadership at Tumacácori during the New Deal period of the 1930s made some of the most lasting and significant decisions in the park's history. sepia-toned photo of Louis Caywood in ranger hat Southwest River Environments In the arid Southwest, water means life, and prehistorically, rivers were the lifelines of the people. The Colorado River flowing through a canyon Southern Basin and Range The Southern Basin and Range is an extension of the Basin and Range Province centered on Nevada and the Great Basin and extending from southern Oregon to western Texas, and into northwest Mexico. Mountains and Desert in Guadalupe Mountains National Park Climate Monitoring in the Southern Plains, Sonoran Desert, and Chihuahuan Desert Climate is one of many ecological indicators monitored by the National Park Service (NPS) Division of Inventory & Monitoring (I&M). Climate data help scientists to understand ecosystem processes and help to explain many of the patterns and trends observed in other natural-resource monitoring. In NPS units of the American Southwest, three I&M networks monitor climate using the scientific protocol described here. Kayaking across a fl ooded parking lot, Chickasaw NRA, July 2007. Saguaro Cactus Growth The saguaro cactus is the signature plant of the Sonoran Desert. This stately giant is not only unique in appearance, it is also unique in its biology and ecological niche. blooming saguaro Eusebio Francisco Kino Padre Kino was a unique man and very much a part of the history of the American Southwest. His missionary work, maps, and explorations documented many cultures and wonders of the New World. statue of mane on a horse NPS Geodiversity Atlas—Casa Grande Ruins National Monument, Arizona Each park-specific page in the NPS Geodiversity Atlas provides basic information on the significant geologic features and processes occurring in the park. [Site Under Development] casa grande ruins Series: The New Deal at Tumacácori The grounds of Tumacácori protect a map of treasures made by men and women during the New Deal era of the 1930's. Will you find them all? black and white photo of young men and truck in walled courtyard garden Series: National Park Service Geodiversity Atlas The servicewide Geodiversity Atlas provides information on <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geoheritage-conservation.htm">geoheritage</a> and <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/geodiversity.htm">geodiversity</a> resources and values all across the National Park System to support science-based management and education. The <a href="https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1088/index.htm">NPS Geologic Resources Division</a> and many parks work with National and International <a href="https://www.nps.gov/subjects/geology/park-geology.htm">geoconservation</a> communities to ensure that NPS abiotic resources are managed using the highest standards and best practices available. park scene mountains Series: Defining the Southwest The Southwest has a special place in the American imagination – one filled with canyon lands, cacti, roadrunners, perpetual desert heat, a glaring sun, and the unfolding of history in places like Tombstone and Santa Fe. In the American mind, the Southwest is a place without boundaries – a land with its own style and its own pace – a land that ultimately defies a single definition. Maize agriculture is one component of a general cultural definition of the Southwest. Series: Native Peoples of the Sonoran Desert Who were the original inhabitants of the Sonoran desert and how did they adapt to the world-changing arrival of Spanish colonists? folklórico dancers with a series of different flags including Arizona and Tohono O'odham Women Who Were There No comprehensive data has been compiled about women government employees working in national parks before the NPS was founded on August 25, 1916. Their numbers are undoubtedly few but perhaps not as small as we might imagine. The four early NPS women featured here were exceptional in their own ways, but they are also proxies for the names we no longer remember and the stories we can no longer tell. Una Lee Roberts, 1933.(Courtesy of the Oklahoma Hall of Fame, Gaylord-Pickens Museum) Two for the Price of One Companion, assistant, confidant, ambassador, host, nurse, cook, secretary, editor, field technician, wildlife wrangler, diplomat, and social director are some of the many roles that people who marry into the NPS perform in support of their spouses and the NPS mission. Although the wives and daughters of park rangers were some of the earliest women rangers in the NPS, many more women served as “park wives” in the 1920s–1940s. Three members of a family Substitute Rangers As the 1940s dawned, the United States was still dealing with the economic woes of the Great Depression and trying not to get drawn in WWII. Even as it continued to manage New Deal Program work in national and state parks, the NPS remained understaffed as a government bureau. The emergency relief workers and about 15 percent of NPS staff enlisted or were drafted during the first couple of years of WWII. Winifred Tada, 1940. (Courtesy of the Honolulu Star-Bulletin) The Heliograph: 2020 Edition The Heliograph is the newsletter of the Sonoran Desert Network and Desert Research Learning Center. This issue features stories on how we adapted our operations to minimize field work lost to the covid-19 pandemic, vegetation mapping at Saguaro NP, and communication improvements and opportunities for network parks. We also probe the minds of our interns and celebrate a high honor for our program manager. Person wearing hat and face covering sits near a stream with a bucket and net. Series: Intermountain Park Science 2021 Integrating Research and Resource Management in Intermountain National Parks Group of National Park Service staff and volunteers standing in front of a desert canyon. A New Way of Documenting and Imaging Cultural Resources In 2018, Casa Grande Ruins National Monument received a grant from the Western National Parks Association to better document its cultural resources. This grant included funding for a small project that involved conservation and cleaning of the interior walls of the Great House, a 14th century Hohokam multi-story earthen structure that is the centerpiece of the park, followed by reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) photography. image of historic structure protected by larger tented structure The Heliograph: Summer 2021 The Heliograph is the newsletter of the Sonoran Desert Network and Desert Research Learning Center. This issue shares predictive tools and planning processes that can help park managers make proactive decisions in the face of climate change. We also explore some explanations for this spring's highly unusual saguaro bloom, celebrate our staff members, and provide updates on our monitoring projects. Saguaro cactus with blooms all over its top Casa Grande and the Antiquities Act Although it was built close to 700 years ago, the Casa Grande remains one the tallest structures in the town of Coolidge, Arizona. The Casa Grande is probably the most significant surviving example of Hohokam building techniques and architecture made from caliche, a concrete-like mixture of sand, clay, and calcium carbonate (limestone). Changing Patterns of Water Availability May Change Vegetation Composition in US National Parks Across the US, changes in water availability are altering which plants grow where. These changes are evident at a broad scale. But not all areas experience the same climate in the same way, even within the boundaries of a single national park. A new dataset gives park managers a valuable tool for understanding why vegetation has changed and how it might change in the future under different climate-change scenarios. Green, orange, and dead grey junipers in red soil, mountains in background Staff Spotlight: Alexandra Hernandez Meet Alexandra Hernandez, who is the Regional Program Manager for the National Heritage Areas Program! Alex Hernandez at Cache la Poudre River National Heritage Area in Fort Collins, Colorado The Heliograph: Summer 2022 The Heliograph is the newsletter of the Sonoran Desert Network and Desert Research Learning Center. In this issue, find out how eDNA inventories may change what we thought we knew about SODN springs. Learn about the new technology that will improve our streams monitoring, and the lasting contributions of our IVIPs to projects across multiple networks. Get caught up on our latest reports and the status of ongoing projects, and find out what’s happening at the DRLC. Two men at the edge of a marsh. One crouches. The other holds a long metal rod with a disc on top. Staff Spotlight: Precious Vicente Meet Precious Vicente, a Park Ranger at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument! Precious Vicente in front of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument sign