Cantwell leads bill to elevate B Reactor’s National Park status

By:  KNDU Staff
Source: KNDU

Senator Maria Cantwell is pushing for legislation that would preserve the Hanford B Reactor as a National Historic Park site.

By making it onto the list of National Historic Parks, it would create more exposure and put Tri-Cities on the map for important American landmarks you don't want to miss when planning your next vacation.

The Hanford B Reactor attracts thousands of visitors to the Tri-Cities every year and now Senator Maria Cantwell is working to draw more. Cantwell met with local business owners, visitors bureau representatives and B Reactor preservation advocates to talk about how making the attraction a National Historic Park would help our economy.

Cantwell says she wants to see the B Reactor on the National Historic Parks list.

"Millions of Americans every year decide vacations based on that site and where they want to go and what part of our country's history they want to educate their families about. So it's a big bonus for the Tri-Cities to be part of that system," says Cantwell.

Many local businesses have used Hanford's history to enhance their establishments and found it brings people in the door. Aaron Burks, owner of Atomic Brewpub and Eatery, says his customers enjoy the unique experience they have at his pub.

"Anytime that you can highlight the character of your local uniqueness, that creates a lot of local pride and its going to draw in visitors to spend money and benefit our local economy," says Burks.?@

Last week the park legislation was discussed for the first time at a Senate hearing.

"We got a good response from people involved with National Parks systems about moving forward. We wanted to make sure they're going to work with the community in creating a plan ongoing."

Representative Doc Hastings has also introduced a similar bill in the House to change the status of the B Reactor. Cantwell hopes the legislation will get a signature from President Obama by the end of the year.