The National Park System in the US has expanded its list of natural parks and historic sites in 2024.

The newest national park is an important historical site due to events that happened there during World War II.

Amache National Historic Site is the Newest National Park

The Granada Relocation Center at Amache was one of the 10 sites established between 1942 and 1945 to detain Japanese and Japanese Americans during the Second World War. More than 10,000 people were detained during the war at Amache due to Executive Order 9066 by President Roosevelt and a total of around 120,000 people across the nation.

Amache was registered as a National Historic Landmark in 2006 and became part of the National Park Service system as the Amache National Historic Site in March of 2022 when President Biden assigned the area to the National Park System. The park was formally established with the upgraded designation as a national park in February of 2024.

Where is Amache, the Granada Relocation Center

The new national park is in the rural town of Granada in southeast Colorado. The site is about 4 hours from Denver and 16 and a half hours from central Idaho. There are 429 units managed by the National Park Service with 19 different naming designations, but commonly referred to generically as parks. 63 have the specific designation of National Park.

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While President Biden did assign the land to the National Park System in 2022, it took much longer for the town of Granada to acquire the land and then donate it to the NPS.

What is There to See at the Amache National Historic Site

The buildings at Amache were destroyed or removed when the camp closed in 1945, but the national park site does include a cemetery where more than 120 people who died while at the camp are buried. A guard tower and barracks have been reconstructed along with a water tank and recreation hall. A monument has also been erected and the foundations of buildings, the road network, and some rehabilitated structures remain for visitors to see.

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[WARNING: Under no circumstances should you enter private or abandoned property. By doing so you risk bodily harm and/or prosecution for trespassing.]

Gallery Credit: Sandi Hemmerlein

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