Chris Person, Interpretive Park Ranger for he Manhattan Project National Historic Park office in Los Alamos. Photo by Brooke Davis
BY BROOKE DAVIS
Kiwanis Club of Los Alamos
Chris Person, the speaker at the October 4 meeting of the Los Alamos Kiwanis Club, holds an unusual and important position. He is the Interpretive Park Ranger at the relatively new Los Alamos Site, one of the three sites that make up the Manhattan Project National Historic Park. The other two sites are in Oak Ridge, Tenn. and Hanford, Wash.
The park was established in 2015 and commemorates the Manhattan Project, a massive, top-secret national mobilization of scientists, engineers, technicians, and military personnel charged with producing a deployable atomic weapon during World War II. Oak Ridge was its administrative headquarters and also produced the enriched uranium used in the project. The Hanford site produced the necessary plutonium and the Los Alamos site did the design and fabrication of the first nuclear weapons.
Person stated that although many of the park’s facilities are now in secured areas, the National Park Service and the DOE are working together to safely expand access in the future. He also said that it looks like the (former) Women’s Army Corps dormitory here in town will be refurbished as a visitor center for the park.
Despite the limits on areas that can be toured, it appears that the Los Alamos Site is doing well, receiving from 75 to 100 visitors on a good day. Person said he expects those numbers to go up after the release of the new movie, Oppenheimer, in July.