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City parks workers Mike Fields, left, and David May, right, prepare to attach a National Park Service sign to the entrance of the Waco Mammoth Site.

Staff photo— Rod Aydelotte

U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell will visit the Waco Mammoth National Monument to celebrate its recent designation as part of the national park system.

Jewell and National Park Service director Jon Jarvis will tour the site and participate in a 10 a.m. Monday dedication ceremony with local leaders, including Baylor University President Ken Starr, Mayor Malcolm Duncan Jr. and Waco Mammoth Foundation founder Gloria Young. The event is by invitation only.

President Barack Obama in July designated the site at 6220 Steinbeck Bend Drive as a national monument, capping a yearslong effort by local officials to win the designation. The Waco Mammoth Foundation raised $4.2 million to turn the mammoth dig site into an educational tourism attraction, built to National Park Service standards.

Since 1978, the remains of 24 Columbian mammoths have been discovered at the site, some dating back 65,000 years. Among them are the nation’s only known “nursery” herd of mammoths, thought to be buried in a cataclysmic flood.

Timeline: The Waco Mammoth National Monument story

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