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What it means if the George W. Bush childhood home becomes part of the National Parks system

The George W. Bush childhood home is a popular local fixture in Midland, but it may soon be getting national recognition.
Published: Jan. 14, 2021 at 7:39 PM CST
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MIDLAND, Texas (KOSA) - The George W. Bush childhood home is a popular local fixture in Midland, but it may soon be getting national recognition.

The National Parks Service recently completed a special resource study on the George W. Bush childhood home.

The study’s purpose was to determine if the area is eligible to become part of the national park system.

A home that gets designated as part of the national parks service means that NPS will permanently preserve the site and its local history.

The George W. Bush childhood home has already been converted into a museum, so what would it mean specifically for this site?

“They might update some of the exhibits a little bit and expand the historical interpretation in some of the rooms that have more photo exhibits than furniture. As far as the other facilities that are adjacent, yes I imagine they would do quite a bit to change those. Add some classroom space, maybe a gallery, a reading area, possibly a conference room...things like that”, said executive director Jaclyn Woolf.

Since the organization’s creation, it has been a goal of those involved to become a part of the national parks system.

Woolf says the designation would mean a lot to her personally, but it would also benefit Midland.

“I think it will bring a lot more attention to Midland. I mean a lot of people know it’s here and it is listed as an official presidential site. We do receive many, many out of town visitors. But being an official addition to the parks service would be a first for Midland and I think would bring a lot of new visitors”, said Woolf.

A positive finding from the special resource study does not mean that the home automatically becomes part of the national parks system.

The next step in the process is for NPS to present the results to Congress, which is tasked with deciding whether to take any action.

“We’re always surprised when we get a call. It’s like oh there’s something else happening or there’s progress being made because it’s been a slow process. We understand that it’s not going to be rushed and that it is probably still going to be a long process but we’re excited to see how it goes along the way,” said Woolf.

The study team will be holding a virtual public meeting on January 26th to explain the process and answer any questions.

For now, the museum is operating under regular business hours and providing tours to the public.

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