Thursday, May 12, 6:30 p.m. at ‘Forty Acres’
National Park Service hearing on preserving key
Cesar Chavez historical sites in Delano and Keene
A hearing to solicit public comments on preserving major historical sites associated with Cesar Chavez and the farm worker movement will be conducted by the National Park Service at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, May 12, at the farm workers’ “Forty Acres” complex near Delano, corner of Garces Hwy. and Mettler Ave. about a mile and a half west of Delano. Focus of the hearing, one of eight being held during May in California and Arizona, will be historical locations in and around Delano and at movement headquarters in Keene.
The Delano hearing invites comments on Forty Acres facilities where Chavez fasted in 1968 for nonviolence, where Delano grape growers signed their first union contracts in 1970 and where elderly Filipino American farm workers lived in dignified retirement. It will also focus on Delano locations such as Filipino Hall where Latino and Filipino grape strikers met together in the 1960s, and at La Paz in Keene, where Chavez and hundreds of others lived, worked and strategized the last quarter century of his life.
Delano and La Paz are among sites rich in history that Congress instructed the park service to study. Last February, U.S. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and Jonathan Jarvis, director of the parks service, toured the Forty Acres when they helped dedicate it as a National Historic Landmark. That day, Jarvis visited the National Chavez Center at Keene and toured its Visitor Center, Memorial Gardens and Villa La Paz educational center. Salazar and Jarvis were so impressed they are moving quickly to preserve and maintain these and other locations central to telling the story of Chavez and the farm worker movement.
The National Park Service will use the study to evaluate a range of options for preservation and public visitation, and examine ways to use these sites to help tell important aspects of farm labor history. The study will also consider appropriate roles for the service to preserve these sites and tell these stories.
See the links below for more information on the park service’s Cesar Chavez Special Resource Study, on how people can share their thoughts and view dates of other public meetings.
In Spanish: http://www.nps.gov/pwro/chavez/boletinesinformativos.htm