War in the Pacific National Historical Park drew more than 480,000 visits in 2016!

by Jim Richardson, War in the Pacific National Historical Park
Stripes Guam

HAGATNA, GUAM – War in the Pacific National Historical Park recorded 488,988 visits in 2016, the National Park Service’s centennial year.  "War in the Pacific National Historical Park welcomes visitors from across the country and around the world," said Superintendent Jim Richardson.  “We had a six percent increase in visitation in 2016 over 2015, which closely mirrors the increased tourist visitation to Guam.”  Visitation highlights at War in the Pacific National Historical Park:  488,988 visits in 2016 compared to 322,463 visits in 2015.

“Stunning,” Acting National Park Service Director Michael T. Reynolds said of the 331 million visits counted across the National Park System. “We expected more visitors in 2016 as the NPS celebrated its Centennial with special events and activities, but these numbers really show the depth of feeling people have for their national parks, especially considering that increased visitation was recorded not just at the biggest and best known parks but at smaller historical and cultural sites as well.”  Half of national park visitation happened in 26 parks, but visitation growth from 2015 to 2016 was greater, by 13 percent to 9 percent, in parks that see more modest annual visitation. “That shows the breadth of support for parks and, I think,” Reynolds said, “the Find Your Park/Encuentra Tu Parque campaign launched with the National Park Foundation reached new audiences but also highlighted what we might call lesser-known parks.”

Volunteers at War in the Pacific National Historical Park have worked for success in all aspects of park operations.  From the planting of flags which honor the sacrifice of the US Service Personnel and Chamorro deaths during World War II at our Memorial Day Flag event at Asan Beach, to the cleaning of our park in the Keep Guam Beautiful community events.  In 2016, War in the Pacific had over 1200 volunteers, and they have given over 5400 hours to the park.

In addition, during the 2016 school year the Every Kid in a Park initiative, through a  grant provided by the National Park Foundation, the park provided transportation to over 650 of the island’s 4th graders for field trips to learn about the unique historical and natural resources of the Park.  

War in the Pacific National Historical Park was established in 1978 to commemorate the bravery, courage, and sacrifice of those participating in the campaigns of the Pacific Theater of World War II.  At War in the Pacific National Historical Park, the former battlefields, gun emplacements, trenches, and historic structures all serve as silent reminders of the bloody World War II battles.

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