The Phoenix-area national monument Papago Saguaro was designated by President Woodrow Wilson, who praised its “splendid examples of the giant and many other species of cacti and the yucca palm" and "numerous prehistoric pictographs of archaeologial and ethnological value."
The Sonoran Desert park was home to rock formations used by the Hohokam people to mark changing seasons, as a hole in the rock could be monitored like a sundial and created a natural calendar.
When the park was returned to the state of Arizona in 1930, Papago Saguaro became the first national park to be "abolished." The state took control in an effort to curb its deterioration; vandals were painting the rocks with graffiti and stealing saguaro cacti, and there was insufficient federal funding to fix the damage.
Today, the municipal Papago Park is one of Phoenix’s most popular parks, located just outside its city limits. Spanning across 1,200 acres, the park also houses the Phoenix Zoo, which – with more than 1,400 animals – is the largest privately-owned zoo in the country. It is owned and operated by the Maytag family, of appliance fame.