Newsletter 2 Plain Text

Newsletter 2 - March 2017


Volunteer Opportunity

In order to assist in the preservation of Honouliuli’s cultural resources, NPS is seeking volunteers to help with vegetation clearing and sediment removal. This is a unique opportunity to visit, learn about, and care for the National Monument while planning is ongoing and the site is not open to the public.

Description of Duties:
The primary goal of the volunteer program is to clear vegetation and monitor overgrowth on and around key resources (including building foundations and a historic aqueduct system) as well as to cut back invasive grass along a historic road bed alignment to improve administrative and operational access. Following protocols established by NPS resource managers, work will involve the use of hand and power tools to clear vegetation in approved areas and could include shoveling sediment and/or hauling cut brush. Use of power tools includes weed whackers, leaf blowers, chainsaws (pending training), and hand tools such as shovels, rakes, hedge trimmers, trowels and brooms.

Work will take place outdoors and working conditions will be variable. Volunteers will need to dress appropriately for the work and weather, including work gloves, long pants, long sleeved shirts, eye protection and sturdy shoes or work boots. Work involves navigating through uneven, potentially rocky and/or wet, slippery terrain. Potential hazards include exposure to scratchy or thorny vegetation, biting or stinging insects, spiders, allergens and other hazards typical of outdoor work environments. Moderate to strenuous physical exertion should be anticipated. Volunteers should plan to bring and drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration, and protect against exposure to the elements (i.e. sunscreen, hat, protective clothing) and take as many breaks as needed. Work will involve crouching, bending over, and lifting (proper bending and lifting techniques should be practiced) and volunteer must perform all tasks in a safe manner using the appropriate tools for the task, and wearing necessary protective gear. Volunteers will be required to attend a pre-work orientation which will cover safe handling of tools (including maintaining a “safety circle”) and to learn about required protocols/ techniques to prevent resource damage.

Apply/Learn More:
If you’re interested in learning more about this opportunity, please send an email with ‘Volunteer’ in the subject line to:


Resource Assessments and Outcomes

From August to December of 2016, NPS coordinated a series of resource and grounds assessments at the Honouliuli National Monument in order to gauge threats or disturbance to any of the known, key resources, as well as to discuss the need for and feasibility of undertaking site maintenance.

Resource specialists included a historic architect, engineers, concrete preservation specialists, a fire management officer and integrated resource manager. Although the scope of each site visit varied, the overarching goals were to: assess deterioration of various components of a historic aqueduct system; determine how vegetation and erosion might be impacting a camp-era mess hall foundation and a few other prominent archeological features; gauge maintenance needs for access and evacuation routes; and determine whether vegetation clearing for fire risk reduction was feasible. Outcomes of these assessments considered short, intermediate and long-term needs. Below are some of the short-term results of these assessments which NPS has already acted on.

Rehabilitation of Mortared Stone Retaining Wall Amount requested: ca $305,000
Special Project Funding Request – submitted December 2016

Over time, tree roots have worked their way behind a section of a historic retaining wall creating voids where storm water can flow, degrading in situ soils, and resulting in pressure that has caused bulging and cracking in numerous locations. The submitted project proposal outlines baseline steps and funding which would be required to stabilize the wall while preserving the historic appearance. NPS will work with the State Historic Preservation Officer (SHPO) and agency resource specialists to mitigate any adverse impacts to the wall’s historic appearance and optimize use of original stones and materials.

Cyclic Maintenance: Interim Guidelines Document
Completed January 2017

This guidance document establishes guidelines for interim cyclic maintenance of key cultural resources and access routes into the Honouliuli gulch - and is intended to protect resources from substantial threats or disturbances. Measures outlined are intended to serve as a guide for NPS staff and volunteers who will be periodically clearing vegetation and removing sediment from resources, or working to clear vegetation in other areas where access is needed. The work protocol in this document has undergone review with NPS regional overseers, and is intended to eliminate or mitigate potential adverse impacts to resources as required under the National Historic Preservation Act.

Honouliuli Foundation Document
Local NPS staff were notified in June of 2016 that Unit Management Plan (UMP) funding had been granted to Honouliuli in order to proceed with foundational planning for the new monument. Accordingly, coordination and preliminary work for the creation of a Foundation Document - the most fundamental planning guidance for any park unit under NPS management - has commenced!

A Foundation Document is meant to serve as underlying guidance for all planning and management decisions for a national park unit by creating a unified understanding of the unit’s purpose, significance, key interpretive themes, and fundamental resources and values. A second part of the Foundation Document defines the issues a national park unit is facing, and identifies planning and data needs to address those issues. Especially because Honouliuli is a new unit of NPS, a primary benefit of the Foundation Document is the opportunity to coordinate all levels of future planning and management from a unified understanding of what is most important about the site.

NPS staff will be engaging with subject matter experts and partners in an upcoming workshop to begin gathering content, perspectives and information which will feed into the production of a Foundation Document for Honouliuli this year. Whereas only a small group of subject matter experts and partners have been invited to the workshop, a questionnaire will be circulated to a broader base of participants with knowledge about the site to ensure that an array of input is obtained. The planning process has just started, with the workshop and subsequent document drafting and review to follow.

Base Funding Update
Base Funding includes the annual amount given to NPS for reoccurring expenses: staff, equipment, operations, etc.

As covered in Newsletter 1, management requested an increase of $137,000 in base funding to expand administrative, planning and interpretive work and to support additional staff members. Although we had anticipated finding out whether this increase was granted in December of 2016, the congressional session did not pass a budget for 2017, meaning that NPS and other federal agencies are operating on a Continuing Resolution until the next session (late April, 2017). A Continuing Resolution is a type of legislation that continues pre-existing appropriations at the same level of the previous year. Within the context of Honouliuli, a Continuing Resolution means that NPS is only authorized to spend up to a certain percentage of the existing base budget until a budget is passed in the next legislative session.

Special Project Funding
Each year the NPS issues something called a Servicewide Comprehensive Call (SCC). This is a time when individual park units are called upon to assess current and foreseeable needs and enter detailed proposals into a centralized project management information system. Proposals are subsequently reviewed by regional and national offices who determine whether funding can be appropriated. Project approvals are subject to the availability of funding and assigned priority levels. Approved projects typically receive funding within two years. In addition to the rehabilitation project of the retaining wall (see Resource Assessments and Outcomes),

Honouliuli project proposals submitted for the 2017 SCC are summarized below:

Cultural Landscape Inventory
Amount requested: ca $63,000

Distinct from an archeological feature or artifact, a cultural landscape is defined as a geographic area, including both cultural and natural resources, which are associated with a historic event, activity or person, or exhibiting other cultural or aesthetic values. Cultural landscapes for Honouliuli could include site elements such as vegetation that is reflective of the original camp grounds, or the walls of the gulch which reinforced internee and POWs sense of isolation and imprisonment.

Before a site design for Honouliuli can be conceptualized, it is critical to identify, inventory, and spatially delineate the all resources at the site which are part and parcel of Honouliuli’s historic significance - including cultural landscapes. This will allow NPS managers and community stakeholders to envision, and ultimately create, the most authentic and meaningful visitor experience, as well as to better understand how the site should be maintained. It goes without saying that an inventory of cultural landscapes is legally mandated in various agency and federal directives; including, the Organic Act of 1916 and the National Historic Preservation Act.

Community Work Days
Amount requested: ca $15,000

This proposal would enable NPS to sponsor community workdays in partnership with a youth-serving non-profit organization. Funding would cover four annual workdays where participants would have an opportunity to learn about the history of Honouliuli, the importance of (and techniques for) managing archeological sites, and to work alongside NPS staff and project partners to undertake site maintenance projects. Dual objectives of this funding request include engaging local youth—inspiring them to become resource stewards, as well as fulfilling critical, unmet maintenance needs of the national monument.

Vegetation Survey
Amount requested: ca $23,000

Dense vegetation at Honouliuli will be one of the primary challenges to overcome as monument planning moves forward. Spatial and qualitative data generated through a survey would provide critical, baseline information on the scope and condition of natural resources in the gulch, enabling park managers, project partners and stakeholders to better understand implications associated with the future siting and development of visitor facilities. Data would also help NPS assess and prioritize immediate and long-term maintenance needs, while reconciling potential conflicts between significant landscape features and vegetation removal for access and wildfire risk reduction. Data collected would also lay the groundwork for the creation of a future vegetation management plan and provide supporting data for a cultural landscape inventory.

Meet Honouliuli’s New Volunteer Coordinator!


I would like to take a few moments to introduce myself. My name is Jo Fuller and I will be the Volunteer in Parks (VIP) Coordinator for Honouliuli. I have been involved with Honouliuli for the past 2 years in a variety of ways: participating in the 2015 Blessing Ceremony and a teacher workshop on internment hosted by Valor; working with Cyark students on a 2015 resource documentation project; and more recently, by providing in-field assistance to the University of Hawai‘i West O‘ahu’s (UHWO) archeological field school at Honouliuli (2016).
I graduated from UHWO in May 2015 with a Bachelors of Humanities and concentration in American History, and started working with NPS through an internship with PHP. Initially, I interned in Valor’s Education Department, where I remained until October 2016 when I accepted the part-time VIP Coordinator position at Honouliuli. In addition to my work at Honouliuli, I also continue to work part-time as a Cultural Resource Technician and Special Programs Assistant at Valor.

I am very happy to be a part of the Honouliuli National Monument team and excited to get the volunteer program, which I’ve come to refer to as “Dirt, Blades, and History,” started.
I look forward to working with you!


People, Places and Power: A Teacher Workshop hosted by WWII Valor in the Pacific National Monument

Kenneth Mitchell (“Mitch”) - member of the Education Department at Valor - writes about a recent teacher workshop focusing on power dynamics, civic action and how to be inclusive of the minority experience.

When one recalls the Pearl Harbor story, the narrative is typically a micro-historic approach encompassing the major players or individuals directly involved with the attack itself. The narratives are also typically confined to minute variables such as military logistics: strategy, tactics, guns, bombs, missiles, torpedoes, ships and aircraft etc. However, behind every event or phenomenon lies a series of variables and causations which are directly linked to individual or collective (states, gender, race, religion, etc.) decision-making processes. Although contemporary historiography typically points to specific events such as the US oil embargo on Japan as the breaking point which led to the attack on Pearl Harbor, further interdisciplinary analysis brings to light patterns of behavior that provide a more definitive and compelling answer. What started as basic discourse on social issues between me and three colleagues (Frank Middleton, Delores Guttman & Pancy Yarbough) transcended into moments of euphoric intellectual epiphany. We concluded that throughout history, power has been and continues to be at the epicenter of nature and dominates all areas of social activity - whether humanistic or non-humanistic. This conclusion inspired me and my colleagues (Frank Middleton & Lau Sualevai) to administer a teacher workshop and create a document analysis program that investigates the Pearl Harbor attack as a whole, including the minority experience which has been either minimized or altogether ignored. Our intention was to provide a learning program that challenges students to critically investigate events and associated historical context using a holistic approach.

How did power influence the attack on Pearl Harbor? This was the essential question posed to teacher participants in our “People, Places, Power” workshop last October. We partnered with the Hawai‘i Department of Education Social Studies Curriculum (Rosanna Fukuda & Karen Nakasone), the African-American Diversity Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (Delores Guttman) and the Japanese Cultural Center Hawai‘i (Jane Kurahara & Betsy Young). We also received support from Ben Acohido, who briefed participants on the Filipino-American perspective, Jimmy Lee (Chinese-American perspective), Ernest Golden (African-American perspective), and the late Herbert Weatherwax (Hawaiian-American perspective), all of whom represented a panel for teacher participants to engage with through questions and dialogue.

Participating teachers were walked through document analysis activities in three parts. Part I activities assumed a macro-historic approach, and included characterizing historical facts or chronology (US acquisition of Pearl Harbor and Japan’s expansion) from both American and Japanese perspectives. Once the “5 W’s” (who, what, when, where and why) had been determined, characteristics of civic power and patterns of behavior were examined through both American and Japanese perspectives. Part II activities focused on magnifying the event by investigating distinct perspectives represented in primary and secondary sources. Perspectives explored included US delegates and civilians, Japanese delegates and civilians, and the minority experience. The ongoing investigation of power and behavioral patterns was the continued focus of facilitated dialogue. Finally, Part III looked at the art or skill of application. Potential student activities were discussed, for example: writing a letter to an elected representative addressing a real world problem; creating a bill, addressing a real world or school-related problem; organizing a protest to a real world or school-related issue; creating a franchise addressing an economic need or solution in their neighborhood, town, state or country; and many more.

Although the history is important, the ultimate learning outcome is for students to become “power literate” with the ability to both read and write power.

Archeological Inventory and Documentation of Honouliuli
In October of 2016, an NPS-UHWO agreement was finalized which outlines a framework through which UHWO will help build an inventory and database of archeological resources at Honouliuli NM to assist in site management and planning. Although UHWO has carried out archeological field schools at Honouliuli in the past, research efforts were undertaken prior to the site’s designation as a National Monument, and therefore, were not conducted in a manner consistent with data management standards and protocols of the NPS Archeology Program. This has led to a situation where a lot of helpful information on resources at Honouliuli exists, but is not – in its current form – available in a format that is complete, or usable to NPS managers. With this in mind, the target of this agreement is twofold: (1) to collect, coalesce and (when needed) verify existing field data and translate this into a format for input into an NPS archive and database, and (2) to pursue further site documentation through a field school which applies a streamlined survey methodology.

Having an organized database of archeological features at Honouliuli is essential to site planning for several reasons. Nowhere is existing data from previous scientific investigations synthesized into a coherent whole for management use in resource stewardship. This project will result in an organized dataset which will guide park management in the stewardship of archaeological features, forging a baseline for future resource treatment and monitoring. Furthermore, this project will also help to expedite and reduce the cost of regulatory compliance by clearly identifying and evaluating known resources in advance of project design. It goes without saying that resource identification will also feed into ongoing and future historical research and interpretation.

In addition to the data collection and archive work which will lay the groundwork for this project, the six-week field school session scheduled to take place in summer of 2017 will include training and co-mentorship by NPS Archeologist and Integrated Resource Manager Dr. Jadelyn Moniz-Nakamura. Co-mentorship by an NPS archeologist will help orient students to agency data collection principles and standards, and provide in-field training and support. Furthermore, the agreement allows for the collection, retention and analysis of field artifacts – marking the inaugural NPS effort to establish a museum collection for Honouliuli and protect sensitive site artifacts. UHWO Professor and Archeologist Dr. William Belcher will serve as the Principle Investor (PI) for this undertaking. The production of a final field report and all associated data and records is scheduled for completion by March 2018.

Honouliuli Education Center Opens at the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i
On October 22, 2016, the Japanese Cultural Center of Hawai‘i (JCCH) officially opened the new Honouliuli National Monument – JCCH Education Center. Funded in part by Monsanto Hawai‘i, the center adjoins the permanent exhibition on the history of Japanese in Hawai‘i and features photos of the Honouliuli Camp, artifacts from the internees, oral history videos and virtual tours of the National Monument, which is currently closed to the public for planning purposes.

The grand opening event featured Shinto and Buddhist blessings and remarks from some of Hawai‘i’s elected officials, including US Senators Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, Mayor Kirk Caldwell and former US Representative Colleen Hanabusa, as well as NPS Superintendent of the Honouliuli National Monument, Jacqueline Ashwell.
Families of former Honouliuli internees were in attendance to witness the blessing and dedication.

During the opening ceremony, Monsanto presented a $20,000 donation to the JCCH to further ensure that the history of, and education on, Honouliuli is carried forward. In total, Monsanto Hawai‘i has committed $100,000 to the JCCH for the implementation of its Honouliuli Education Initiative.

Admission is to the Center is free and open to the public.
Hours of Operation:
Monday – Saturday
10:00am to 4:00pm

Last updated: December 20, 2017

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

National Park Service
Honouliuli National Monument
1845 Wasp Boulevard, Building #176

Honolulu, HI 96818


(808) 725-6149

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