Learning about the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail
by Denise Louie, National Park Service Pacific West Regional Office Natural Resources Assistant Team Lead
Staff from the National Park Service Pacific West Region HQ left their skyscraper office and took a learning tour of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail through the San Francisco Bay Area on April 25, 2016.
Anza Trail rangers organized the day as an employee development opportunity in honor of the National Park Service Centennial. The 1,200-mile Anza Trail connects history, culture, and outdoor recreation from Nogales, Arizona, to the San Francisco Bay Area. While the National Historic Trail’s story commemorates the Spanish colonization of California in 1776, the park also seeks the perspectives of indigenous peoples from the past to present impacted by Spanish colonialism along the route.
The morning began in San Jose at an NPS-sponsored naturalization ceremony. Our country’s newest citizens took their oath in front of a Spanish colonial-era adobe, one of the oldest buildings in Silicon Valley.
Volunteers from the Trails and Rails program then shared about their work on board Amtrak. More than 30 Trails and Rails volunteers spend the summer riding between San Jose and Santa Barbara, interpreting California history for rail passengers.
Other sites on the tour included Mission San Jose, a trailhead in Fremont and a historic home in Oakland. The outing was a great opportunity for regional office staff to connect both with other professional disciplines and to see firsthand the interesting programs and dedicated staff and volunteers of the Juan Bautista de Anza NHT.