Historical monument honors 10 years of national park status recognition

National monument celebrating Cesar Chavez celebrates a decade of being included in the National Park System

KEENE, CALIF. – Travelers and adventure-seekers who frequent national parks can join the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument in their celebration of being a national park monument for a decade.

The Cesar E. Chavez National Monument is celebrating its 10th anniversary as a unit of the National Park System with a commemorative ceremony on Saturday, Oct. 8 at 10 a.m. The event is free to the public and will take place at the monument’s memorial garden located at 29700 Woodford-Tehachapi Road in Keene, California.

“[The monument] commemorates and is dedicated to the life work and legacy of Cesar Chavez,” Anne Stephan, superintendent of the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, said. “As well as the larger farm worker movement that he helped move forward.”

At the event, visitors will have an opportunity to experience new exhibits in the visitor center. One of the exhibits is the timeline exhibit, which was installed a couple of weeks ago and continues to expand, according to Stephan. The exhibit covers historical context and noteworthy events at various points in history relative to Cesar Chavez and the farmerworker’s movement.

The visitor center will also include Dia de los Muertos, Day of the Dead, altars as part of the annual cultural celebration of life, according to Stephan.

Visitors can also visit the newly restored exterior of the Chávez Residence. Additionally, they can get a special, commemorative cancellation stamp for their National Parks Passports. The passport is a small booklet with space for park stickers and cancellation stamps, or rubber-stamp ink markings, which signify someone’s visit to a national park with the name of the park and the date of the visit. According to Stephan, visitors can receive a special stamp for their passports that was created to commemorate the 10-year anniversary event.

“It’s a way for visitors of national parks to track their national park journeys and adventures,” Stephen said.

The event is being held in partnership with the Cesar Chavez Foundation, National Chavez Center and National Park Foundation. Stephan will be featured as a speaker at the event along with speakers Paul Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, and Frank Lands, regional director of the National Park Service.

The monument is open from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily year-round with an exception for holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Days. Those interested in the monument can visit the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument website for up-to-date information.

The César E. Chávez National Monument was established on Oct. 8, 2012 by former President Barack Obama through a presidential proclamation, which are announcements of policy, under the Antiquities Act of 1906. The Antiquities Act of 1906 gives a general form of legal protection of cultural and natural resources of historic or scientific interest on Federal lands. According to a press release from the Cesar E. Chavez National Monument, this was done to honor the life and work of César Chávez, specifically in his role as a 20th century Latino civil rights leader and acknowledge his passionate dedication to the American farm worker movement.

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