Ukrainian Independence Park Act of 2022
STATEMENT OF JOY BEASLEY, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR FOR CULTURAL RESOURCES, PARTNERSHIPS AND SCIENCE, 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. 7075, A BILL TO DESIGNATE UKRAINIAN INDEPENDENCE PARK IN WASHINGTON, DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, AND FOR OTHER PURPOSES.
APRIL 28, 2022
Chairman Neguse, Ranking Member Fulcher, and members of the Subcommittee, thank you for the opportunity to appear before you to present the views of the Department of the Interior on H.R. 7075, the Ukrainian Independence Park Act of 2022. H.R. 7075 is a bill to designate the Ukrainian Independence Park in Washington, DC, and for other purposes.
The Department supports this legislation.
H.R. 7075 cites a location for the park in Washington, DC that is bound by the following streets: 22nd Street, NW, P Street, NW, and Florida Avenue, NW. This property is under the jurisdiction of the National Park Service. It is composed of Reservation 57D and the portion of Reservation 360 that contains the Taras Shevchenko Memorial.
The legislation requires that all official references to this location be changed to “Ukrainian Independence Park.” In addition, it authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to “post signs on or near Ukrainian Independence Park that include information on the importance of Ukraine’s independence, freedom, and sovereignty and the solidarity between the people of Ukraine and the United States.”
Since February 22, 2022, when Russia invaded Ukraine, President Biden and the American people have demonstrated their staunch support for the Ukrainian people’s right to a free and independent state. The United States has joined like-minded nations from around the world in unified condemnation of the invasion.
It is particularly appropriate for the Taras Shevchenko Memorial – dedicated in 1964 – to become the centerpiece of the proposed Ukrainian Independence Park. Shevchenko, a 19th Century Ukrainian poet and artist, spent many years imprisoned for his pro- Ukrainian independence activities in Tsarist Russia. He is revered for his literary works and self-sacrificing contributions to the people of Ukraine.
Finally, as a technical matter, we would like to work with the sponsor and Committee to verify the descriptive language defining the location and boundary of the park.
Mr. Chairman, this concludes my statement. I would be pleased to answer any questions you or other members of the Subcommittee may have.