H.R. 1117

Rosie the Riveter National Historic Site Expansion Act

STATEMENT FOR THE RECORD, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE, U.S. DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR, BEFORE THE HOUSE NATURAL RESOURCES SUBCOMMITTEE ON NATIONAL PARKS, FORESTS, AND PUBLIC LANDS, CONCERNING H.R. 1117, A BILL TO AMEND THE ROSIE THE RIVETER/WORLD WAR II HOME FRONT NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK ESTABLISHMENT ACT OF 2000 TO PROVIDE FOR ADDITIONAL AREAS TO BE ADDED TO THE PARK, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.   

DECEMBER 7, 2021
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Chair Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to provide the Department of the Interior’s views on H.R. 1117, a bill to amend the Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park Establishment Act of 2000 to provide for additional areas to be added to the park, and for other purposes.

The Department supports H.R. 1117.

H.R. 1117 would include the Nystrom Elementary School in Richmond, California as part of Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park and would allow for other areas to be added to the park if deemed appropriate by the Secretary.  The bill directs the Secretary to update the park map to reflect new additions within 180 days after areas are added to the park.  H.R. 1117 also authorizes the Secretary to acquire lands, waters, and improvements within the boundaries of the National Historical Park.  These acquisitions may be made by donation, purchase, exchange or transfer, except for lands owned by the State of California and its subdivisions, which may only be acquired by donation.

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park was established in 2000 to recognize the important wartime contributions of workers and ordinary citizens, including women and people of color, who saved and sacrificed on the home front.  The park operates as a partnership park and cooperates with the owners of related historic properties to preserve and interpret the WWII home front story. 

Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historical Park’s enabling legislation (16 U.S.C. 410ggg) directed the National Park Service to determine whether there are additional representative sites that should be added to the park.  The park’s 2009 General Management Plan established guidelines for bringing additional properties into the park.  These criteria include that a property: be eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places; have a direct connection to the World War II home front themes in Richmond, California; and relate to the park’s purpose, significance, and interpretive themes.  The Nystrom Elementary School meets these guidelines for addition. 

The Nystrom Elementary School was built during World War II to accommodate the large influx of families that relocated to Richmond, California to work at the Kaiser Shipyards.  The school was constructed as part of a planned neighborhood development that includes the Maritime Child Development Center, which is already part of the park.

The West Contra Costa Unified School District owns and operates the Nystrom Elementary School and has followed the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Historic Preservation in the rehabilitation of the school.  The City of Richmond, a park partner and owner of several other park sites, has shown support for the inclusion of the Nystrom Elementary School.

Other sites, as deemed appropriate by the Secretary, would be evaluated for potential inclusion as part of Rosie the Riveter/World War II Home Front National Historic Park based on the guidelines developed in the park’s General Management Plan.

We recommend a technical amendment to the bill to update the short title to reflect the correct name of the park unit.

Chair Neguse, this concludes our statement.

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