Arizona State Parks Director takes Historic and Archaeological Preservation Series on the road

[Source: Verde Independent] – Arizona State Parks Director Bryan Martyn is coordinating public meetings and will travel across the state in a new program called “The Director’s Historic and Archaeological Preservation Series,” which will focus on Arizona‘s historic and cultural treasures.

The Arizona State Parks department not only manages all 27 State Parks, but also the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO), which has various roles in 90 communities across the State. Martyn will engage local leaders, residents, museum leaders and other preservation enthusiasts in discussions about Arizona‘s important historic and archaeological resources.

SHPO manages the nationally acclaimed Site Steward program that protects archaeological resources throughout Arizona. The program has more than 1,000 volunteers to oversee millions of acres of state/federal and tribal land. (Watch video: Harrison Ford www.AZStateparks.com/SHPO/index.html). The SHPO also reviews properties for the National Register of Historic Places, reviews actions that might affect historic properties, provides technical assistance to historic property owners and Certified Local Governments, and oversees historic matching grants.

“I am planning meetings about our important historic and archaeological resources that need to be preserved and promoted for tourism, such as the historic State Parks. But I also am interested in supporting the “Main Street Program” which is now managed by the State Historic Preservation Office. I hope to start a dialogue about how we can work together to protect resources and re-adapt or re-use historic resources and focus on how these resources provide economic benefits for the communities. My goal is to bring attention to critical historic structures and how they could be protected through adaptive re-use.”

A schedule of each town visited will be posted on AZStateParks.com (Director’s Series) and the public is welcome to contact him about issues in their communities as they relate to historic and cultural resources and talk with him while he is there. Follow the series on Twitter and Facebook at AZStateParks. If you would like to contact the director, email pio@azstateparks.gov. (Below are preliminary sites to visit with a final schedule posted on the website weekly.)

For more information about the Director’s Historic and Archaeological Preservation Series or for information about all of the Arizona State Parks visit AZStateParks.com or call (602) 542-4174.

Agreement to operate the Riordan Mansion in Flagstaff is renegotiated

[Source: Riordan Action Network] – For a few months now, Arizona State Parks (ASP) administration and the Arizona Historical Society (AHS) administration have been renegotiating the Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) which governs the running of the park to correspond with changes in operations which have occurred since the original IGA was signed in May of 2010.

According to management at the Riordan Mansion, the only major change to the IGA is that “mansion” staff members are now AHS employees rather than ASP employees.  That explains why staff members are now attired in street clothes rather than ranger uniforms.  Their name badges have also changed to reflect the change in their employer.  Volunteers are still ASP volunteers with the same duties, privileges and awards as they have had in the past.  Visitors are not going to see any changes in their experiences at the Riordan Mansion due to the IGA changes.

The signing of the renegotiated IGA on September 23, 2011 does not change the term of the original agreement which was for three years with future terms of three years possible, if agreed to by both ASP and AHS.  Therefore, the IGA is still in effect until May of 2013.   With continued hard work on the part of staff, volunteers and RAN and support and donations from the public, we’re hopeful that the “mansion” will continue to be open to the public far beyond 2013!

Despite budget cuts, Tombstone refuses to let its state park die

[Source:  Maria Polletta, Cronkite News Service, AZCapitolTimes.com] –It’s around 90 degrees outside and Mary Evans is buttoned up in a long-sleeved, high-collared white blouse that’s fastened at the neck with a black cameo. A black wool skirt, worn over bloomers, skims the top of her black boots. It looks uncomfortable, but Evans doesn’t seem to mind.

After six years of volunteer work at the Tombstone Courthouse State Historic Park, Evans says she still gets caught up every time she browses the cases of wedding dresses, children’s shoes, dolls and toys. “Everything in the courthouse is special,” Evans said.

Evans couldn’t imagine losing the iconic building when budget cuts threatened funding for 19 of the state’s 28 parks, including the courthouse, earlier this year. Neither could leaders of this former silver-mining town, which draws tourists from all over the world with attractions like the OK Corral and Boothill Graveyard.

Under an arrangement with Arizona State Parks, the city of Tombstone officially took over the courthouse April 1. A professional service agreement allows the Tombstone Chamber of Commerce to oversee park operations for at least three years, with two more two-year terms possible. Since the courthouse changed hands, park hours have been extended from five to seven days a week, and volunteers have traded in state parks uniforms for period wear, said Patricia Moreno, the park’s manager. Staff and volunteers have also been working to create “living history,” such as trial re-enactments in the courthouse’s upstairs courtroom [to read full article click here].

Yuma Quartermaster Depot turned over to city

[Source: Joyce Lobeck, YumaSun.com 10-28-2009] – A new chapter for the Yuma Quartermaster Depot began Wednesday morning when Gov. Jan Brewer presented the key for the historic park to the city of Yuma. The ceremony launched an agreement to have the city operate the state park temporarily to ensure the historic attraction remains open for residents and visitors alike until the state recovers financially.

The park is seen as a critical element in the city’s efforts to redevelop the riverfront and downtown area, said Charles Flynn, who heads up that effort. He noted the effort began 10 years ago and has involved a tremendous outlay of time, effort and funding, with the state continuously being an important partner. Flynn said efforts to date include the restoration of the East and West Wetlands and opening of the Hilton Garden Inn and companion conference center. Plans ultimately call for residential, retail, dining and entertainment development along the Colorado River [to read the full article click here].