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Entry fee eliminated at Casa Grande Ruins National Monument

(National Park Service Photo)

PHOENIX – A central Arizona national monument has stopped charging entry fees.

It’s now free to visit the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge, about 55 miles southeast of downtown Phoenix.

The park features what’s left of a “Great House” and other parts of an 800-year farming community for ancient Sonoran Desert people.

The fee was eliminated March 7 after the service did a cost-benefit analysis, according to a press release.

“This decision is the right thing to do for both visitors and our staff members, who now can focus their time and talents on the core missions of the National Park Service and the monument,” Park Superintendent Alexandra Hernandez said in the release.

The park, which will still take donations to fund visitor programs, also stopped selling America the Beautiful passes that cover entry fees at a variety of national parks.

Padre Eusebio Francisco Kino first documented the ruins after he visited in 1694, according to the park’s website.

After several archaeological expeditions were conducted, President Benjamin Harrison created the first U.S. prehistoric and cultural reserve on a square mile surrounding the ruins in 1892, when Arizona was still a territory.

In 1918, management of the site was transferred to the National Park Service.

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