Amache National Historic Site Formally Established as America’s Newest National Park

Description: The reconstructed barracks, guard and water towers at the newly designated Amache National Park. NPS/Stuart West (National Park Service Press Release)

Published: 02/15/2024
Byline: SECO News

Amache National Historic Site Formally Established as America’s Newest National Park

WASHINGTON –  Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland today formally established Amache National Historic Site in Colorado, following the Town of Granada’s acquisition and donation of the land needed to establish the nation’s newest national park. Amache’s establishment comes as the nation prepares for the Day of Remembrance of Japanese Incarceration During World War II, recognized each year on February 19.

President Biden signed the Amache National Historic Site Act in March 2022, designating the Amache site as part of the National Park System. That designation, which was the first in the National Park System during the Biden-Harris administration, and today’s formal establishment will permanently protect the site for future generations and will help tell the history of Japanese American incarceration during World War II.

“As a nation, we must face the wrongs of our past in order to build a more just and equitable future. The Interior Department has the tremendous honor of stewarding America’s public lands and natural and cultural resources to tell a complete and honest story of our nation’s history,” said Secretary Haaland, who visited the Amache site in February 2022. “Today’s establishment of the Amache National Historic Site will help preserve and honor this important and painful chapter in our nation’s story for future generations.”

Amache, also known as the Granada Relocation Center, was one of 10 incarceration sites established by the War Relocation Authority during World War II to detain Japanese Americans forcibly removed from the West Coast of the United States under the terms of Executive Order 9066. More than 10,000 people were incarcerated at Amache from 1942-1945, which housed 7,310 incarcerees at its peak, two-thirds of whom were United States citizens. Today, Amache joins six other national parks already established that preserve and interpret this painful chapter of American history.

“Amache’s addition to the National Park System is a reminder that a complete account of the nation’s history must include our dark chapters of injustice,” National Park Service Director Chuck Sams said. “To heal and grow as a nation we need to reflect on past mistakes, make amends, and strive to form a more perfect union.”

Amache’s historic building foundations and road alignments are largely intact, preserved through the years by Amache survivors and their descendants, the Town of Granada, the Amache Preservation Society, and other individuals, institutions and organizations. Currently, the site consists of a historic cemetery, a monument, concrete building foundations, a road network, and several reconstructed and restored structures from the World War II era including a barrack, recreation hall, guard tower and water tank. Amache was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on May 18, 1994, and designated a National Historic Landmark on February 10, 2006.

The National Park Service will continue to work with the groups to preserve Amache and expand scholarship and public awareness of its history.

In addition to the now seven national parks that recount the unjust incarceration of Japanese Americans during WWII, the National Park Service administers the Japanese American Confinement (JACS) grant program. Since 2009, the National Park Service has provided more than $41 million through the grant program to private nonprofit organizations, educational institutions, state, local and Tribal governments, and other public entities to fund 302 projects throughout the country. The grant recipients leverage federal dollars with their own resources to develop partnerships that identify, preserve and interpret significant stories and sites.

The NPS extends its appreciation to the National Park Foundation, Town of Granada, Amache Alliance, and Amache Preservation Society for their support and contributions to achieving this milestone.

The Amache National Historic Site’s Foundation Document provides an overview of the park and its history. More information about the site and how to plan a visit is available at the NPS's website.

Related Content:

Amache National Historic Site Act Gains Presidential Approval

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