The Hanford portion of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park should have its first park service manager on site this fall.
Becky Burghart has been named site manager for the Hanford portion of the park and could be in the Tri-Cities as soon as Sept. 24.
Burghart now is the chief of interpretation at White Sands National Monument in Alamogordo, N.M., which gives her some familiarity with Hanford.
The monument is adjacent to the White Sands Missile Range, where plutonium produced at the Hanford nuclear reservation’s B Reactor was used in the world’s first atomic explosion in July 1945, as the United States raced to produce an atomic bomb during World War II.
Burghart said the new position provides her “with a unique opportunity to draw on my interpretive background and community collaboration experience in the early development of one of the newest units of the National Park Service.”
She will be working with the team responsible for guiding the planning to tell the story of Hanford’s role in the WWII Manhattan Project.
“Becky comes to the (project) with a breadth of experience facilitating complicated dialogue and interpreting complex histories,” said Kris Kirby, superintendent of the Manhattan Project National Historical Park, which tells the story of the Manhattan Project at park sites at Hanford, New Mexico and Tennessee.
Burghart is expected to work closely with the Tri-Cities community as interpretive information for the park is developed and expanded.
B Reactor and other historical areas at Hanford became part of the national park system in November 2015.
Burghart was awarded the park service’s Intermountain Region Freeman Tilden Award for Excellence in Interpretation for management of the White Sands visitor center exhibits and orientation film project in 2011.
She also has worked at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado, Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Chamizal National Memorial in Texas.
She will be based at the visitor center for the Tri-Cities-area park at 2000 Logston Blvd., Richland.