Pecos, NM: Pecos National Historical Park will host the annual Feast Day celebration at Pecos Pueblo on Sunday, August 11th. Join in a time honored tradition as community members from the Pueblo of Jemez and Pecos celebrate Feast Day mass inside the ruins of Our Lady of the Angels ofPorciúncula (NuestraSeñoradelosÁngelesdePorciúncula). Following the 9:30 a.m. mass, the Feast Day celebration continues with traditional dancers from the Pueblo of Jemez and fresh rolls from the horno. Dances are expected to begin late morning; photography is permitted.
Feast Day at Pecos Pueblo represents the fulfillment of a long-standing promise. Before leaving Pecos Pueblo in 1838, the last inhabitants of Pecos Pueblo entrusted a special painting to St. Anthony’s Parish. A symbol of the pueblo’s adoption of Christianity as another form of religion, this portrait depicts the patron saint bestowed upon the Mission of Pecos in the 1620s. Every August, Pecos village fulfills its promise to perpetually honor the saint by celebrating a feast day mass in the remains of her final church.
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.
Due to the lapse of appropriations and the subsequent shutdown of the federal government, Pecos National Historical Park and Fort Union National Monument is closed for the safety of visitors and park resources.
Many other national park sites across the country will remain as accessible as possible while still following all applicable laws and procedures.
Please visit www.nps.gov and select “Find a Park” for additional information about access to other parks and sites in this area. However, note that because of the federal government shutdown, NPS social media and websites are not being monitored or updated and may not reflect current conditions.
About the National Park Service: More than 20,000 NPS employees care for America’s 418 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at www.nps.gov.
Pecos National Historical Park is pleased to announce that it has received funding for new museum exhibits at the E.E. Fogelson Visitor Center. This project, which kicks off in January, is a three year project funded from the Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act (FLREA). FLREA funds come from the Recreation Fee revenues – entrance fees – and must be used directly for visitor enjoyment. The renovation will addres
s major accessibility and content deficiencies in the current museum exhibits, which were installed more than 30 years ago.
The new exhibits will provide visitors with a comprehensive overview of the many stories that the park preserves, including the history of the Ancestral Puebloans, Spanish missionaries, the Santa Fe Trail, the Civil War Battle of Glorieta Pass, the Upper Pecos Watershed, Route 66, dude ranching, Hispanic settlement, and Southwestern archaeology. The re-envisioned space will feature exhibits and interactive displays that appeal to park visitors of all ages and learning styles, and will meet all standards associated with the Americans with Disabilities Act.