U.S. Rep. Ann Kirkpatrick, D-Ariz., has introduced bipartisan legislation to expand the boundaries of the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument in Coolidge. Her bill's original co-sponsors are Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar, Ed Pastor and Raul Grijalva.
The Casa Grande Ruins National Monument protects one of the finest architectural examples of 13th century Hohokam culture in the American Southwest -- it was known to early Spanish explorers as the "Great House." In 1892, it was proclaimed as our nation's first archeological preserve and called the Casa Grande Ruin Reservation. In 1918, it was redesignated as the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument.
Kirkpatrick's bill, HR 2497, would expand the boundaries around the Great House and its Hohokam village to protect and enhance the archeological experience for future generations to explore. The expansion would add roughly 10 acres to the National Monument.
Kirkpatrick said, "I've been listening to community leaders and residents across Pinal County, and they want to ensure these ruins are protected for their historic significance as well as their economic impact. This bill should help the Casa Grande Ruins National Monument remain a thriving destination for visitors to our great state."
Coolidge Mayor Tom Shope said, "The Casa Grande ruins attract about 70,000 visitors to Coolidge every year, and we are confident this legislation will enhance their experience and strengthen this national monument's position as a state and national treasure."
Casa Grande Mayor Bob Jackson said, "The people of Casa Grande not only appreciate the heritage of our region, we understand that preserving this history can be a job creator and an economic engine. We are very pleased this legislation has been introduced and we hope to see it signed into law."