DENVER (CBS4) – Gov. Jared Polis threw his support behind an effort to designate a former Japanese internment camp in Colorado as a national park. Camp Amache is found near Grenada, in southeastern Colorado.

Polis sent a letter expressing his support to the National Park Service.

(credit: CBS)

Over the last several weeks, lawmakers representing Colorado are pushing for a bill to make the camp’s history more visible to the general public. U.S. Sens. Michael Bennet and John Hickenlooper and Reps. Ken Buck and Joe Neguse introduced the Amache National Historic Act to make sure the camp is more than a footnote in history.

About 7,500 Japanese Americans were forcibly removed from their homes in the 1940s, after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Two thirds of them were U.S. citizens.


The Amache site was one of 10 illegal internment camps created during World War II.

A social studies teacher at Granada High School hopes the lawmakers’ efforts are successful.

“You would be surprised how many people have no clue that there was the camp in the state of Colorado,” said John Hopper told CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd earlier this month.

“Preserving and protecting the Amache site presents a valuable opportunity to better our country, our state, our history and most importantly our future in the spirit of justice, equity and inclusion. It will allow us to interrogate our past, and understand a more complete story of our nation,” said Polis.

The National Park Service is hosting virtual public meetings about a special study for the proposed designation. The first one is this Saturday.

Danielle Chavira