The National Park System is 101 years old. I don't know about you, but throughout my life, some of my best experiences have been in National Parks. I am asking for your help in saving America's most unique National Park.
Mesa Verde National Park is the only one of our nation's 59 National Parks that is dedicated to the works of man rather than the works of nature! That is special and unique, but it comes with its own set of challenges.
National Parks that are based around nature and beautiful surroundings are just that. Yellowstone can have fires, Yosemite can have avalanches, Glacier can have problems with grizzly bears and Acadia can have hurricanes. It's all part of nature.
Old Faithful is still going to spout, El Capitan is still going to be magnificent, the Rising to the Sun Highway is still going to give visitors a God's Eye view of two countries, and the sea is still going to forge its way into inlets in Maine.
At Mesa Verde, it's a different story. The park is built around the civilization previously known as the Anasazi (now politically correctly identified as Ancestral Puebloans (I'm staying out of that one!)
Hundreds of ruins and archeology sites exist within the Park. These ruins were crafted by an ancient people nearly 1,000 years ago. Cliff dwellings, kivas, and surface dwellings are part of over 600 prehistoric sites in the park. These were dwellings where people lived and worshiped and stored food. These cliff dwellings tell some of the oldest stories of community, hard work and survival in America.
Unlike other parks where nature simply changes nature, the ruins of the Anasazi are under constant threat. Like any dwelling built anywhere in the world, they are subject to wearing out. Nature will do that and the thousands of people that visit every year will, without meaning to, slowly tear down these archeological ruins.
The government does not appropriate enough money to protect and restore these national treasures. It is falling to private citizens.
The Mesa Verde Foundation was founded for the express purpose of preserving this park. One of its major fundraisers is an Art Exhibit and Sale that takes place at Saks Gallery in Denver in November. Some of the finest Western and American artists in the country visit the park as a group to paint, sketch and get ideas. Then they create special works that are sold at the show in Denver with proceeds going to the Foundation.
To put on and fund this event, the Foundation requires sponsors. For the past four years Toh-Atin Gallery has been a Bronze Sponsor for $1,000 a year. There are also sponsorships up to $10,000 and if you want to write a check for more than that, the Foundation would certainly appreciate it!
I'm asking those of you who are able to help to join us and become a supporter at any level that you can afford. You can find out more by visiting Mesa Verde Foundation or by calling their office at 303-321-3210.
Mesa Verde is an amazing American Treasure. Please help to ensure its survival for future generations.