Oak Ridge Attempts to Secure National Park Funding

On Thursday evening, the Oak Ridge Heritage & Preservation Association will meet to discuss plans to build a national park in Oak Ridge in order to honor efforts made there during the Manhattan Project.

Three years ago, Congress asked the National Park Service to consider building Manhattan Project parks at four separate locations—in Oak Ridge, Los Alamos, Hanford, and Dayton. The NPS responded, "But that's too haaaard!" So instead, it's thinking maybe just one park at Los Alamos will do the job. Not surprisingly, some in Oak Ridge, including ORHPA, think differently.

The NPS report leaves the door open for Oak Ridge to work out a way to still get some park, such as relocating its security boundaries to make more historic structures available to the public. But what it really comes down to, like everything else, is money, and Congress will determine whether there's any left for Oak Ridge's park dreams.

The meeting takes place at 7 p.m. at the Midtown Community Center, 102 Robertsville Road, in Oak Ridge. Y-12 and Oak Ridge City historians will be on hand to explain what Oak Ridge's chances are.