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NPS Is Accepting Applications for Confinement Sites Grant Program

By October 3, 2015October 6th, 2015No Comments

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Park Service is now accepting applications for $3 million in grants to preserve and interpret U.S. confinement sites and other locations where more than 120,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned during World War II. The deadline for applications is Tuesday, Nov. 10.

“Telling the difficult stories of our nation’s history, along with its successes, is an important responsibility of the National Park Service, and preserving the experiences of Japanese Americans imprisoned during World War II is one of those important but challenging stories that must be told,” NPS Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “These grants support projects that are vivid reminders of the continuing need to guard the constitutional rights of all Americans against injustice, prejudice and fear.”

Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites Grant Program in 2006 to preserve and explain the places where Japanese American men, women and children — most of them U.S. citizens — were incarcerated after Japan attacked Pearl Harbor in 1941. The grants are awarded to eligible groups and entities, including nonprofit organizations, educational institutions and state, local and tribal governments for work to preserve confinement sites and their histories.

In establishing the program, Congress authorized up to $38 million in grants that can be awarded over the life of the program, with funds appropriated annually. Grant money can be used to identify, research, evaluate, interpret, protect, restore, repair and acquire historic confinement sites. To date, the program has awarded more than $18 million in grants to 148 projects involving 19 states and the District of Columbia.

In fiscal year 2015 (Oct. 1, 2014-Sept. 30, 2015), the NPS distributed 20 grants totaling more than $2.8 million. The president’s budget for fiscal year 2016 seeks $3 million for the next round of program grants.

Grants can be used for a variety of efforts, including the design and construction of interpretive centers, trails, wayside exhibits and other facilities, oral histories and site-history research, school curricula and purchase of nonfederal land at authorized sites.

The program requires applicants to raise project funds from other sources to “match” the grant money, which is awarded after a competitive review of project proposals. Successful grantees must match $1 in nonfederal funds or “in-kind” contributions to every

$2 they receive in federal money. Matching funds can be raised and spent during the grant period and do not have to be “in the bank” when a group applies for a grant. Applicants can receive up to two grants a year.

More than 60 historic sites are eligible for grant-funded work. They include the 10 War Relocation Authority centers that were set up in 1942 in seven states: Granada (Amache), CO; Gila River and Poston, AZ; Heart Mountain, WY; Jerome and Rohwer, AR; Manzanar and Tule Lake, Calif.; Minidoka, Idaho; and Topaz, Utah. Also included are more than 40 other sites, including “assembly centers” and U.S. Army and Department of Justice detention and internment facilities.

For more information, including the 2016 application materials, visit