Rep. Juan Vargas Introduces Legislation to Recognize Barrio Logan’s Chicano Park as an Affiliated Site of the National Park System
Washington, D.C. (January 29, 2019)— Congressman Juan Vargas (CA-51) introduced Chicano Park Preservation Act of 2019 (H.R. 486). This bill instructs the Secretary of the Interior to conduct a thorough study of Chicano Park to evaluate its national significance and determine the feasibility of the park becoming an Affiliated Site of the National Park System (NPS). As an Affiliated Site, the Park would continue to be managed outside of the NPS, but qualify as a National Historic Site for additional federal protections and aid.
“A testament to San Diego’s tradition of community building and activism, Chicano Park has been the center of cultural history for decades,” said Rep. Juan Vargas. “Adorned with vibrant murals, sculptures, and beautiful landscaping, the Park extends throughout seven acres, making it the largest collection of outdoor murals in the entire country.”
Chicano Park is located under the San Diego-Coronado Bridge in the historic Barrio Logan neighborhood, a predominantly Mexican-American community in San Diego. It was created after a group of dedicated residents came together to boycott the construction of a highway patrol station on the site of what is now Chicano Park.
In 1980, it was designated as an official historic site by the San Diego Historical Site Board. Since then, the Park has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named as a National Historical Landmark, thanks to its association with the local Chicano civil rights movement.
“Designating Chicano Park as an Affiliated Site will not only honor the resilient spirit of an entire community, it will cement its significance in American history for generations to come.”
Vargas represents California’s 51st Congressional District which includes the southern portion of San Diego County, all of Imperial County and California’s entire U.S.-Mexico border. Vargas was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2012 and is currently serving his fourth term in Congress. He serves on the House Financial Services Committee.