The National Park Service announced Wednesday it will undertake a reconnaissance survey to recognize the national significance of Barrio Logan's Chicano Park and its murals as an affiliated area of the National Park System.
This comes after a hearing on legislation by Rep. Juan Vargas, D-San Diego -- the Chicano Park Preservation Act of 2019 -- in front of the U.S. of House Representative's Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests, and Public Lands on Oct. 29, 2019.
The bill would require the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough study of San Diego's Chicano Park to evaluate its national significance.
At the hearing, NPS expressed their openness to conducting the necessary study through administrative action rather than needing passage of the bill. After the hearing, Rep. Vargas sent a follow-up letter to the NPS urging them to conduct the necessary study administratively.
"I'm very pleased to learn that the National Park Service will begin their preliminary assessment of Chicano Park early next year. The National Park Service affiliation will help protect the park's longevity and legacy," Vargas said.
NPS affiliation would allow Chicano Park to be recognized, preserved and protected as an American history landmark. The affiliation would also make Chicano Park eligible for technical or financial aid from NPS.
"Chicano Park is our spiritual home and represents a defining moment of victory for the Barrio Logan and Chicano community," said Rep. Vargas. "I will continue my work in Congress to ensure that Chicano Park is eligible and recognized as an affiliated site of the National Park System."
Chicano Park was created after a group of dedicated residents came together in 1970 to boycott the construction of a California Highway Patrol station on the site of what is now Chicano Park.