Save the Date: Farolito Walk and Las Posadas at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos, NM:– Join us this December for a two-night holiday event at Pecos National Historical Park. Together with the Friends of Pecos National Historical Park, St. Anthony’s Parish, and Western National Parks Association, the park will offer a Farolito Walk on Monday, December 16th and Las Posadas festivities on Tuesday, December 17th.  Both events are free.

Farolito Walk

Monday, December 16th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This laid-back evening will offer visitors the opportunity to leisurely take in the magic and ambiance of more than 3500 farolitos. Enjoy the peace and quiet of a winter’s evening as you follow the illuminated 1-mile trail to the Spanish Mission Church and pueblo. Start your visit at the event tent that will be located outside the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center.  There you will find refreshments, warming stations, and the trailhead.

Las PosadasLas Posadas - Pecos National Historical Park

Tuesday, December 17th

5:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.

This evening offers a more traditional Las Posadas experience.  Horse-drawn wagon rides will begin at 5:15 p.m.  The procession will begin at the remnants of the 18th century church and convento at 6:00 p.m. and wind down the trail to the visitor center with the group singing traditional hymns and holiday songs in both English and Spanish. More than 3,500 farolitos will illuminate the trail. Free hot beverages and biscochitos will be served at the event tent.

In Spanish, las posadas means “inns” or “shelters,” and represents the journey of Joseph and Mary to Bethlehem and their search for shelter. St. Anthony’s Parish in Pecos carries on this northern New Mexico tradition every December. Pecos National Historical Park will be just one stop during this novena, or nine-day event.

Please note, these events are almost entirely outdoors; appropriate winter clothing and flashlights are highly recommended.

The Western National Parks Association bookstore, which is located inside the Visitor Center will be open both evenings until 8:00 p.m.  The bookstore, which will be offering a holiday sale during both events, features arts and crafts from local artists, a large selection of books, and a new line of educational earth science games.

For more information, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco.

Glorieta Pass Battlefield Monument Clean Up

There have been many discussions between Park Superintendent Karl Cordova and Friends President, Bill Zunkel about how to improve the Battlefield monument site on NM 50.  It started with the contributions of the Friends Group to seek funding to erect a stone and bronze monument honoring the brave volunteers of New Mexico who fought in the Battle of Glorieta Pass.  Then discussions of ways to improve the aesthetics of the site, since it was previously surrounded by unmanaged dirt.  Bill Zunkel suggested that enhancing this site with youth would be a win-win activity.  Karl suggested that it would make an excellent Eagle Scout project for our local Boy Scout troop. Karl was able to talk Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Cordova to take on this project. It should be mentioned that he did a biographical report on Manuel Chaves and his role in the Battle while in the 5th grade, Ryan is now going into the 10th grade.  The original plan was to have Ryan and his fellow scouts complete this project in June or July, 2019.
In April, 2019, Pecos NHP was contacted by the National Park Trust asking us to consider hosting a “Kids in the Park” Day along with their Junior Ranger Ambassador, Brian Wilson on May 18.  The National Park Trust is a national 501(c)(3) charitable organization who supports the National Park Service mission in many different ways. One of their new programs is the Junior Ranger Ambassador program, where they select youth from across the country to advocate for kids becoming more involved with parks. Brian was selected due to his visits to over 160 NPS units and level of media attention that follows him and his blog site.  Brian elected to choose Pecos NHP as his first Ambassador program.  There are several requirements from the National Park Trust, and one of them includes Brian participating in a conservation project. At the time that we were asked to participate in Brian’s program, we only had one conservation project that was applicable to kids and this was the Civil War Monument site enhancement project. We had to quickly complete the required compliance and planning and develop a youth oriented conservation day, with Ryan’s help. Park staff assisted the project with procuring and installing a low rock wall and providing some supplies and material. Ryan organized and supervised the labor staff using scouts, leaders and Brian.  Ryan developed a site plan, list of materials and a labor plan to accomplish the project by 1 PM that day.  The goal was met with the hard work and dedication of youth and leaders.
Another requirement of the Junior Ranger Ambassador Day, is that the park and Brian must host fun and educational activities for local and visiting youth. With the cooperation of Brian and his family, the park suggested hosting a raptor education program to be conducted by the New Mexico Wildlife Center, and the New Mexico State Museum staff cooperated by providing a primitive hunting workshop, and traditional jewelry making demonstrations at the park visitor center. These were all accomplished with great success and with very little time for planning and coordinating.  Additionally, a television program “Travels with Darley” requested to capture the conservation project along with an interpretive/on camera ranger presentation to be an upcoming episode on her program. The “Travels with Darley” program airs on PBS and Amazon Prime.

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Starry Nights and Intro to Night Photography at Pecos National Historical Park

Pecos, NM:– Join us for an evening under the wonderful Western sky on Saturday, May 4th at Pecos National Historical Park near the 18th century mission church.

Brass Band Music and Night Sky Viewing

7:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Kick off the evening with the Santa Fe Brass Quintet as they perform a star-themed 30-minute music session at 7:30! Afterward, park staff will bring out telescopes and binoculars to gaze at the stars and check out Venus, Jupiter, and other planets. Visitors are also invited to bring their own telescopes and spotting scopes to explore the night skies. This event is weather-dependent and red-bulb flashlights and appropriate clothing are strongly recommended. No reservations are required, but parking is limited to the first 40 vehicles for this event.

Introduction to Night Photography – Methods and Practice

6:30 p.m. – 10:30 p.m.

Park volunteer and former Pecos National Historical Park artist-in-residence, Stan Pecos Mission - Kiva night view - Stan FordFord, will lead an introductory night photography session for a limited number of participants. Participants should plan to bring their own manual mode-enabled cameras, tripods, red-bulb flashlights, and weather-appropriate clothing. Reservations are required and space is extremely limited; please call the visitor center at 505-757-7241 to make reservations. The class will cover basic methods of nighttime photography at the Pecos Room by the Visitor Center starting at 6:30 and will be followed by practice at the Church area around 7:30.

The park entrance gate will open at 6:00 p.m. and will shut at 8:00 p.m. Please note that after 8:00 no further entry will be permitted. 

You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or follow us on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

 

Pecos NHP and National Park Trust Host Kids to Parks Day Events

Pecos, NM: Pecos National Historical Park is honored to have been selected to host a Kids to Parks Day event in conjunction with National Park Trust and Buddy Bison Student Ambassador Bryan Wilson. Kids to Parks Day is a nationwide celebration of the great outdoors organized by National Park Trust and is designed to connect kids and families with their local, state, and national parks and public lands. Together, we invite you to help us celebrate at Pecos National Historical Park on Saturday, May 18th.

Schedule of Free Family Events:

 Junior Ranger Activity Books

12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Families and children of all ages are invited to earn their Junior Ranger badges, pins, and patches. Challenge yourself with the Junior Angler Book, Pecos Junior Ranger Book, the Not-So-Junior Ranger Activity Book, the Santa Fe Trail Junior Ranger Book, or the Wagon Master Junior Ranger. Junior Rangers will have fun rolling up their sleeves and trying their hands at fish printing and corn grinding with a mano and metate! Kids who complete any of the Junior Ranger Books will receive a free plush Buddy Bison from National Park Trust. (Supplies are limited and available on a first-come, first-served basis).  All kids are encouraged to enter the free raffle to win wonderful prizes courtesy of Western National Parks Association.

 

New Mexico Wildlife Center Presents: Wild New Mexico

1:00 p.m. – 1:45p.m.

Join us as we meet some unique animal ambassadors from the New Mexico Wildlife Center including snakes and raptors.

 

 

Yucca Sandal Making Workshop with Mary Weahkee

2:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Come learn how to make yucca sandals in the style of the Ancestral Puebloans with Archaeologist Mary Weahkee, who is a member of both Santa Clara Pueblo and the Comanche Nation and is an Assistant Archaeologist for New Mexico’s Office of Archaeological Studies.

 

 

About Junior Ranger Ambassador Bryan Wilson

In May of 2018, Bryan Wilson was named a Buddy Bison Student Ambassador for the National Park Trust, one of four in the country, to promote public lands and share what he learns. He represents National Park Trust by supporting its mission and programs. He is a steward of our parks and loves to discover different public lands and waters and share what he learns with other kids. On May 18th, he will kick off his Kids to Parks Day event by partnering with Santa Fe Boy Scout Troop 414 and local Eagle Scout candidate Ryan Cordova on a conservation service project related to the park’s three Civil War Monuments.

 About National Park Trust

National Park Trust (NPT) is a non-profit dedicated to preserving parks today and creating park stewards for tomorrow. NPT is the only land trust with a comprehensive mission of protecting national parks through land acquisition, and creating a pipeline of future park stewards by getting kids to parks. Since 1983, NPT has completed 70 land projects in 31 states, 1 US Territory, and Washington, DC. This school year, NPT will provide an estimated 25,000 under-served kids with park trips through their nationally recognized Buddy Bison Programs and Kids to Parks Day National School Contest, both of which support Title I schools. Learn more at www.parktrust.org.

 Many thanks to Eastern National Parks Association, Western National Parks Association, National Park Trust, New Mexico Wildlife Center, and Boy Scout Troop 414 for their invaluable assistance.

Park Offers Forked Lightning Ranch Open House

 Don’t miss your chance to visit one of northern New Mexico’s most iconic locations—the Forked Lightning Ranch.  On Saturday, May 11th, Pecos National Historical Park will open up the Ranch House from 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. for visitors to explore at their leisure.  The Forked Lightning Ranch, which overlooks a wild stretch of the Pecos River, is steeped in history.  Once home to such notable personalities as rodeo promoter Tex Austin and Hollywood actress Greer Garson, the ranch house transports you back to the formative years of dude ranching in the Southwest.  Rangers will be on site to help answer questions and to orient visitors to this architectural gem.

Please note, space is limited to a total of 50 vehicles.  Access to the ranch is down a 1.5 mile dirt road.  For safety reasons, parking reservations are required. For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

Park Offers Special Hikes to Backcountry Pueblos

Pecos, NM:– Pecos National Historical Park will offer two special backcountry hikes this April.

Arrowhead Pueblo

Arrowhead Pueblo hike - Park Ranger Susan describes the pueblo site
Arrowhead Pueblo hike – Park Ranger Susan describes the pueblo site

Join rangers for a free tour of the seldom-seen Arrowhead Pueblo on Saturday, April 27th. This one mile roundtrip visit to the 14th century pueblo will explore the historical, archeological, and cultural significance of this 100+ room ruin. Visitors interested in the tour are required to reserve a spot, as space is limited. Attendees will meet at the Visitor Center at 1:00 p.m. and caravan to the trailhead with the ranger.

Forked Lightning Pueblo

Forked Lightning Pueblo tourExplore the site of the Forked Lightning Pueblo on Sunday, April 28th. Along the two mile roundtrip backcountry hike to the remnants of this 13th century pueblo, you will explore the fascinating history of a large settlement that sits on the western bank of Glorieta Creek.  The pueblo, which housed hundreds of people primarily between 1225 and 1300 AD, was described and mapped by noted archaeologist A.V. Kidder in the late 1920s.  Much has been learned about this historical treasure since then—come see for yourself!

This 2.5 hour program is an off-trail hike along uneven terrain through areas frequented by snakes. There is at least one stream crossing, please plan to bring appropriate footwear. Visitors interested in the tour must reserve a spot, as space is limited to 20 participants. Attendees will meet at 8:30 a.m. in the Upper Parking Lot adjacent to the ruins of the mission church.

For more information and to make reservations, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241.

You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnps or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).

Pecos NHP Set to Rehabilitate Historic Trading Post

Trading post in Kozlowski’s day

Pecos, NM:  Pecos National Historical Park has been awarded funding to rehabilitate the historic Kozlowski’s Trading Post along Highway 63 in Pecos, NM.  The project, which begins in late February 2019, will transform the building into a visitor contact station, museum, and employee office space.  Weil Construction from Albuquerque, NM, is the General Contractor and is teamed with Avanyu General Contracting of Española and Pat Taylor Historic Preservation of Mesilla, NM, for the rehabilitation phase of the project.  No tax dollars will be used for this project, instead receipts from visitor entrance fees from parks around the country will fund the rehabilitation of this building.

Trading Post today

The Trading Post has a storied past.  A Polish immigrant named Martin Kozlowski originally constructed the Trading Post along the Santa Fe Trail in 1858.  It served as one of the last stage stops before trail-weary travelers arrived in Santa Fe after months on the dusty trail.  During the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, this building served as a Union hospital. In 1925, rodeo-promoter and entrepreneur Tex Austin purchased the building and turned it into ranch headquarters for his famous Forked Lightning Ranch.  In the 1940s, E.E. “Buddy” Fogelson bought the ranch and then brought his Hollywood actress wife, Oscar-winning Greer Garson, to the Forked Lightning Ranch.  Together, they worked the land as a hobby ranch and entertained many Hollywood guests.  In 1990, the National Park Service acquired the ranch and Trading Post and used it as office space, until 2006, when the building was deemed unfit for occupancy.

For more information about the park in general, contact Pecos NHP at (505) 757-7241 or visit our website at www.nps.gov/peco. You will also find our listings on the New Mexico True website (newmexico.org) and Tourism Santa Fe (santafe.org). Please like on us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/PecosNHPnpsor Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/pecos_nps).