OverviewAmerican Memorial Park and adjacent ocean areas cover approximately 54 ha on the island of Saipan in the Northern Mariana Islands. The park was established in 1978 to commemorate those who lost their lives on the Mariana Islands in military campaigns during World War II. Designated as a “living memorial,” American Memorial Park protects several historical and cultural sites and provides recreational areas for the public.
American Memorial supports over 128 species of vascular plants including examples from coastal strand, mangrove/swamp, and woodland/forest communities. Much of the landscape has been severely altered and many non-native species dominate the park’s vegetation. However, remnant native mangrove forests persist and efforts are made to mitigate previous degradation. Woodlands are generally dominated by gagu, an indigenous tree that often grows with non-native trees or shrubs such as kamachile, royal poinciana or tangan-tangan. Introduced grasses, such as Australian beardgrass, Napier grass and Hilo grass, are common in semi-natural communities and manicured lawns. To better understand the distribution of the plant assemblages located on this site, the National Park Service, Pacific Island Network, Inventory and Monitoring Program started a vegetation inventory effort at American Memorial Park in 2009.