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National Park Service wrapping up Emancipation Trail study and they want to hear your stories

The proposed Emancipation National Historic Trail would feature sites from Galveston to Houston.

HOUSTON — Time is running out for you to weigh in on a proposed Emancipation National Historic Trail which would highlight historic sites from Galveston to Houston.

The focus would be on those central to the migration of former slaves following news of their freedom.

Freedmen's Town in Houston's Fourth Ward, which recently became the City of Houston's first heritage site, is one of them.

"Once people received news of their emancipation, they migrated from Brazoria County and Galveston and all sorts of areas south of here," said Freedmen's Town Conservancy CEO Zion Escobar. "They migrated up towards Freedmen’s Town to live their liberated and free lives.”

The proposed trail would include points of interest in Galveston central to Juneteenth.

That's when slaves finally learned of their freedom.

Emancipation Park and Independence Heights are other locations in the Houston area.

"We are looking to get some stories people might have of immigration from Galveston to Houston,” said National Park Service National Trails Office planner Jill Jensen.

She's is in charge of a feasibility study for the Emancipation-focused trail.

It's a process initially sparked in 2020 by a bipartisan federal act.

"We’ve been working a lot of background research over the last couple of years and this is kind of our final push,” said Jensen.

There’s a special website where people can contribute stories or share data through the end of March.

And three virtual meetings are planned for February 25th and 26th.

Eventually, a final report will be submitted to Congress.

"You know, emancipation, Juneteenth, it’s a huge turning point for us as a nation, and culturally and politically," said Jensen. "So, obviously, it needs to be recognized in some way.”

Juneteenth was declared a federal holiday last year.

Details on upcoming meetings:

Friday, February 25, 9:00AM MST 


Zoom Meeting ID: 818 9782 5051

Zoom Passcode: study

Call-in number: 346-248-7799

Phone Password: 671949 

Saturday, February 26, 9:00AM MST 


Zoom Meeting ID: 872 1094 9979

Zoom Passcode: study

Call-in number: 346-248-7799

Phone Password: 870597

Saturday, February 26, 4:00PM MST 


Zoom Meeting ID: 894 7118 8995

Zoom Passcode: study

Call-in number: 346-248-7799

Phone Password: 430412

WATCH: Juneteenth: 1865-2021

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