Seattle Area NPS Superintendent Announces New Ranger

The National Park Service is thrilled to announce the appointment of its first permanent interpretive ranger for the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Exclusion Memorial, slated to begin on-site duties in 2024. This significant milestone marks a long-awaited achievement for the Memorial, which, until now, has relied on part-time, seasonal rangers during the summer months.

“Jenni Burbank will be the inaugural permanent ranger for the Memorial and will be stationed on Bainbridge Island,” according to Charles Beall, Superintendent of Seattle Area National Park Sites. Burbank is expected to be on-site from March to November annually, ensuring consistent support for visitors and enhancing the Memorial’s educational initiatives.

Fulfilling the Vision for the Memorial

This hiring aligns seamlessly with the upcoming construction of the Visitor Center, a pivotal element in the Memorial’s original vision. The Memorial stands as a testament to both honoring the Bainbridge Islanders who faced unjust exclusion during World War II and educating the public about this dark chapter in American history. The Memorial’s guiding principle, encapsulated in its motto “Nidoto Nai Yoni” (Let It Not Happen Again), conveys a timeless message of equity and inclusion, particularly pertinent in today’s world.

Burbank’s role bridges the gap between self-guided visits and private educational tours, which are typically led by volunteers from the Bainbridge Island Japanese American Community. As the new ranger, she will welcome walk-in visitors, assist them in exploring the Memorial’s outdoor features, and handle interpretive inquiries. Upon the anticipated opening of the Visitor Center in mid-2025, she will have a designated office space, further enhancing the visitor experience.

New Ranger Brings Wealth of NPS Experience

Jennifer Burbank, NPS

A resident of Kitsap County for 16 years and originally from Merced, California, Ranger Jennifer Burbank brings a wealth of experience to her role. She holds a degree in Recreation and Natural Resources from Humboldt State University and has served the National Park Service at Redwood National Park and the USS Arizona Memorial for seven years. Burbank’s enthusiasm for her work is palpable. “I loved my job at the Memorial, working with Pearl Harbor Survivors, sharing their stories, and connecting with people from all corners of the globe,” she reminisced. She also shared her deep sense of accomplishment in fulfilling the last wishes of USS Arizona survivors.

Burbank’s arrival brings an enhanced experience for the Memorial’s 10,000+ annual visitors, hailing from all around the world. Moreover, her presence will fortify the National Park Service’s outreach in the Seattle area. During the off-season, she will dedicate her time to preparing for her role at the Exclusion Memorial while supporting Seattle Area National Parks, which include the Klondike Gold Rush National Historical Park and the affiliated Wing Luke Museum in Seattle.

For inquiries or further information, please contact BIJAEMA at [email protected].