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Manzanar National Historic Site’s Public Archeology Program

September 2, 2022 - September 6, 2022

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Manzanar National Historic Site’s award-winning public archeology program is returning with three projects this year. On March 24-29, May 27-31, and September 2-6, volunteers will have the opportunity to assist the National Park Service in uncovering and preserving Manzanar’s Hospital area, the Children’s Village orphanage, and the Administration and Staff Housing area. 

Work at the Hospital will include rebuilding a collapsed rock wall, removing brush and dead trees, clearing flood deposits, resetting building footers, and excavating landscaping features. At Children’s Village, volunteers will rebuild rustic wood fences, expose building footers, and clear brush and downed trees. In the Staff Housing area, volunteers will help with a controlled surface collection of artifacts and making repairs to a soon-to-be returned staff apartment building.  

Volunteer positions are available to anyone age 15 and over who is physically able to work outdoors and participate in moderately strenuous activity. Volunteers will be digging with shovels and small hand tools, raking, hauling rocks, operating wheelbarrows, screening sediments to retrieve artifacts, and taking notes or filling out forms and labels. Previous archeological experience is helpful, but not necessary. Most of the work is physically demanding, but there will be a variety of tasks each day to suit different interests and energy levels. Volunteers simply need an interest in history and a willingness to get dirty.

The work will be conducted outdoors, regardless of weather. Volunteers will meet with Cultural Resources Manager Jeff Burton in the Manzanar Visitor Center parking lot each day for introductions and a safety briefing. Volunteers and staff will follow CDC and NPS COVID-19 protocols in place at the time of the project. Participants will be emailed additional information about a week before each project starts.

March 24-29 (Spring Break):  Hospital Area, 8am4pm
May 27-31 (Memorial Day Weekend): Children’s Village or Administration Area, 7:30am–3:30pm.
September 2-6 (Labor Day Weekend): TBD, 7:30am–3:30pm.

Volunteers may work any number of days or hours, but a full day or multiple days are preferred. Please bring water, lunch, snacks, work gloves, and be sure to wear sunscreen, a hat, and sturdy boots. Please also bring any necessary medications. Though no volunteers have ever been stung by bees, be sure to bring an EpiPen if you are allergic to them.  Advance sign-up is required as this project is limited to 30 participants per day.

For more information or to sign up, please email  

Manzanar National Historic Site is located at 5001 Highway 395, six miles south of Independence and nine miles north of Lone Pine, California. Learn more on our web site at or on our Facebook page at


September 2, 2022
September 6, 2022
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