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Photograph of NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz
NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz

January 8, 2018

The National Park Foundation publishes a blog post, Interpreting the Legacy of the Manhattan Project, which features the Manhattan Project National Historical Park and the work of the Atomic Heritage Foundation to preserve and interpret the history of the Manhattan Project. 

November 20, 2017

D. Ray Smith, Y-12 National Security Complex historian, receives a U.S. Department of Energy Gold Medal Award for his role in helping to create the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. The award is presented to Smith by retired Lieutenant General Frank G. Klotz, DOE under secretary for nuclear security and administrator of the National Nuclear Security Administration.

November 15-18, 2017

Los Alamos hosts more than 75 museum professionals the New Mexico Association of Museums annual conference. Kris Kirby, superintendent for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, kicks off the conference with a keynote address that shares how the National Park Service and museums enable visitors to discover the nation’s cultural and natural resources.

October 19, 2017

DOE and UCOR, DOE's cleanup contractor in Oak Ridge, host a walk-through for the public, at the future home of the K-25 History Center. The center will be on the second floor of Oak Ridge's Fire Station Number 4 in East Tennessee Technology Park. According to Oak Ridge Today, the history center "will be 7,500 square feet, and it will include exhibits, a theater, oral histories, and a few hundred artifacts."

September 11, 2017

The Tri-City Herald reports that the Hanford portion of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park should have its first park service manager on site this fall. Becky Burghart has been named site manager for the Hanford portion of the park. Burghart brings a tremendous amount of experience as chief of interpretation at White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, N.M., which also gives her some familiarity with Hanford.

September 2017

Events at each of the park sites mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of the Manhattan Project this month. In Oak Ridge, renowned Manhattan Project photographer Ed Westcott opens a photo presentation, followed by a talk by Denise Kiernan, author of the bestselling book The Girls of Atomic City, while the city also breaks ground on the new International Friendship Bell Pavilion in A.K. Bissell Park. In Hanford, the sounds of the Mid-Columbia Mastersingers will once again fill Hanford's B Reactor, this time performing Annelies by composer James Whitbourn, a cantata based on Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. In Los Alamos, the Los Alamos Historical Society also host two special events in Fuller Lodge.

August 17, 2017

The Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) Peer Exchange meets in Hanford, Washington and Tracy Atkins, principal representative for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, speaks about the progress being made on the park’s implementation. ECA attendees include elected officials from Oak Ridge, Tennessee; Los Alamos, New Mexico; Hanford/Tri-Cities, Washington; and U.S. National Park Service staff.

July 25, 2017

The National Park Service and the Department of Energy join the Port of Benton for a ceremony dedicating the newly renovated Manhattan Project National Historical Park Interim Visitor Center, at 2000 Logston Blvd., in Richland, Washington. The Port of Benton spent over $100,000 on new exhibits and other improvements to enhance visitor experience at the center.

July 4, 2017

The Bradbury Science Museum in Los Alamos (supported by DOE and Los Alamos National Laboratory) opens three new Manhattan Project exhibits and releases a video as part of a new MAPR experience called “Manhattan on the Mesa,” helping visitors to the Manhattan Project National Historical Park experience the park properties at the laboratory that are not yet open to the public.

March 15-18, 2017

The "Legacies of the Manhattan Project: Reflections on 75 Years of a Nuclear World" conference is held in Richland, WA. Discussions about park implementation are featured throughout the conference.

January 2017

The National Park Service has completed an important step by publishing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park's (NHP) foundation document. As reported by the Atomic Heritage Foundation, "this document establishes a baseline for park planning and interpretive activities and provides basic guidance for planning and management decisions. As presented in the foundation document, NPS promises to engage visitors in learning about the “Secret Cities,” assessing the Manhattan Project’s scientific and engineering advances, and reflecting on the dawn of the nuclear age and its legacy for today. NPS will now begin the multiyear process of creating a general management plan that will guide the Manhattan Project NHP’s operations for twenty years."

November 30, 2016

The Department of Energy and the National Park Service report considerable progress in their inaugural year managing the national park commemorating the Manhattan Project. Since the park’s inception, DOE and NPS have installed visitor contact stations in all three communities. DOE and NPS report they have also formed partnerships with organizations supporting the park, and the influx of thousands of park visitors benefits the local economies. This month, DOE also made its Office of Legacy Management responsible for park management. Legacy Management named Tracy Atkins its principal representative for the park.

       First-year accomplishments at the park units include:

       Hanford 

  • Eliminating the age requirement for all park facilities and increasing tour seats by 40 percent to 14,000.
  • Working with partners to enable recreational opportunities inside the park for the first time, including a full-scale choral concert and 20-mile bike ride.
  • Piloting an agreement with a riverboat cruise company to bring its own buses to B Reactor and hire Hanford trained guides, resulting in more visitors at no government cost.

       Oak Ridge

  • Expanding Oak Ridge Reservation facility access for park interpretive events, including the Secrecy, Security and Spies Education Program at the DOE Historical Gatehouses, Bike Tours on DOE Greenways and special tours for Girl Scouts and Girls, Inc. at the X-10 Graphite Reactor.
  • Doubling the days for bus tours to more than 120 days a year. 

       Los Alamos

  • Forming an agreement between NPS and the National Nuclear Security Administration for historic preservation work on park and park-eligible buildings.
  • Finalizing smartphone apps to support park interpretations at Los Alamos park properties.
  • Sampling for industrial hygiene at properties for worker access and historic preservation work in park and park-eligible buildings. 

November 10, 2016

The Manhattan Project National Historical Park celebrates its first anniversary. As part of the anniversary, the newly appointed Manhattan Project National Historical Park Superintendent Kris Kirby visited Hanford. According to the Tri-City Herald, Kirby spoke about increasing the public tour program at Hanford. She also visited the historic B Reactor, and described seeing the front face of the reactor as her "Wow!" moment.

September 2, 2016

The NPS announces the selection of Kris Kirby, a 20-year career NPS employee, as the new superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Ms. Kirby assumes her new duties October 16, 2016.

August 18-19, 2016

Energy Communities Alliance (ECA) members from the three local communities host a Peer Exchange on Implementing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park in Denver. The ECA members are joined by regional and national DOE and NPS officials to discuss the status of the Park and strategies moving forward.

August 17, 2016

Representatives from DOE and NPS participate in a strategic planning workshop in Denver, Colorado. The outcome will be an official strategic plan for the park, scheduled for public release in the coming months.

May 12, 2016

Senior officials from DOE and NPS sign a charter that sets forth the responsibilities of the Executive Management Committee (EMC), the Joint Park Management Team (JPMT), and the Working Groups. The mission of the Executive Management Committee for the Manhattan Project National Historical Park is to provide a mechanism for joint administration and oversight between the NPS and DOE, and to help ensure the Park is meeting the purpose for which it was established. The EMC will provide broad oversight and strategic direction for the Park, support problem solving between the NPS and the DOE, and coordinate on budget requests for the individual agencies. The JPMT facilitates communication and coordination on operational issues between the three locations and implementation of the strategic direction of the EMC. The EMC may also appoint working groups to research and make recommendations on issues to the EMC. 

February 11-12, 2016

NPS and DOE participants in the Foundation Workshops meet in Denver, Colorado, to assess the workshop findings, develop interpretive themes for the park, and discuss next steps.

February 1-9, 2016

The NPS in coordination with DOE holds successive two-day Foundation Workshops at the Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos sites. Workshop participants explore the purpose, significance, fundamental resources and values, and interpretive themes for the park, as well as assess planning and data needs. Local experts participate in the discussions, and an open meeting is held at each of the sites to allow for public input.

February 1, 2016

The NPS names Tracy Atkins as interim superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. Ms. Atkins has been the project manager for the new park.

January 7, 2016

The NPS releases the Scholars' Forum Report from the roundtable discussion on the Manhattan Project held on November 9 and 10.

November 11-12, 2015

Oak Ridge, Hanford, and Los Alamos communities hold celebrations to mark the opening of the new park. The NPS launches its Manhattan Project National Historical park visitors page.

November 10, 2015

In a ceremony in the auditorium of the South Interior Building, Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz sign the MOA between the two agencies defining the respective roles in creating and managing the park. With the signing, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park officially is established, and the two secretaries ceremonially pass the baton to NPS Director Jonathan Jarvis. A reception is held following the signing.

November 9-10, 2015

The NPS hosts a Scholar’s Roundtable consisting of Manhattan Project experts to help identify the themes that will be used to tell the Manhattan Project story at the new Manhattan Project National Historical Park.

August 18-20, 2015

NPS officials accompanied by an interpretive team from the NPS Harpers Ferry Center tour the Oak Ridge properties and hold preliminary discussions with DOE headquarters and local officials on launching the park. DOE and NPS officials brief Oak Ridge community leaders.

July 28, 2015
 
The NPS posts for comment the draft Memorandum of Agreement between DOE and NPS on its Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) site. The Park Service also provides a list of Frequently Asked Questions and maps with the initial properties to be included in the park.

July 27, 2015

Secretary Ernest Moniz hosts National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis for a briefing on the status of implementation of the draft Memorandum of Agreement that, when signed by DOE and NPS, establishes the Manhattan Project National Historical Park. NPS Deputy Director Peggy O'Dell and Associate Director Vic Knox accompany Director Jarvis. DOE Under Secretary for Management and Performance David Klaus briefs them along with senior DOE officials and staff.

June 2-4, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets in Los Alamos for the last of the three site visits. The group is briefed at the Los Alamos National Laboratory’s Bradbury Science Museum and tours the lab’s Manhattan Project properties. The team does a walking tour of the town site and has several opportunities to meet with community groups and leaders. An open house is held at the historic Fuller Lodge. See Photo Album.

June 1, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team tours the Trinity Site on the White Sands Missile Range in southern New Mexico where the world's first nuclear explosion occurred on July 16, 1945. The team visits ground zero and the restored McDonald ranch house where the device's plutonium core was assembled. See Photo Album.

April 14-16, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets at the Hanford Site in the second of three site visits. The group tours the B Reactor, the T Plant reprocessing canyon, and the four Pre-Manhattan Project eligible areas. The group also talks with current and former workers, meets with community officials and the area’s National Park Advocacy Committee, hosts an open house for the public, and meets with area Tribes. See Photo Album.

March 24-26, 2015

The joint DOE/NPS team meets in Oak Ridge in the first of three site visits. The group does a day-long tour of the Oak Ridge Reservation’s three sites, visiting the “eligible areas” for inclusion in the park as cited in the Defense act. The team also has several opportunities to meet and get to know the community and its leaders. The park service members receive an especially warm and appreciative welcome as the first visible sign of the new park. See Photo Album.

February 12-13, 2015

A team composed of approximately two dozen field and headquarters representatives from both the Department of Energy (DOE) and the National Park Service (NPS) meet for the first time at DOE’s Forrestal headquarters building in Washington, DC. DOE field site representatives brief the group on wartime history at the sites and facilities, equipment, and artifacts that could be used for interpreting the Manhattan Project. The team also discusses development of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the two agencies, required by the Defense act, which will identify respective roles and responsibilities in creating and managing the park. Once the MOA is signed, no later than December 19, 2015, the Manhattan Project National Historical Park officially will be established. Finally, the team agrees on a schedule for visiting all three sites to evaluate the sites, develop a working relationship with the local communities, and draft the MOA to create the park.

December 19, 2014

President Obama signs the National Defense Authorization Act into law, authorizing the Manhattan Project National Historical Park.