Restoration Efforts on the Castle for Sinagua Indians

Montezuma Castle once served as housing for the Sinagua Indians. This NPF grant allowed students to learn about and help in the restoration efforts.

This five-story, 20-room cliff dwelling nestled into a limestone recess high above Beaver Creek served as a "high-rise apartment building" for prehistoric Sinagua Indians over 600 years ago. It is one of the best preserved cliff dwellings in North America.

With heightened concern over vandalism of fragile southwestern prehistoric sites, Montezuma Castle became a major factor in the nation's historic preservation movement with its proclamation as a national monument. The Castle was described in the December 1906 establishment proclamation as "of the greatest ethnological and scientific interest."

More than 1000 students had the opportunity to experience first-hand the challenges of habitat restoration, became a part of the habitat restoration process, and gained an increased sense of self. They grew and planted more than 800 plants, gained a sense of understanding and stewardship of the environment, while they expanded their knowledge of local ecosystems.