National Park Service News Release

For Immediate Release: December 8, 2023

Contact: [email protected] 


National Park Service initiates Dearfield Special Resource Study, invites public input


DENVER, Colo. — The National Park Service (NPS) is pleased to announce the launch of a special resource study (SRS) of the historic Dearfield Settlement, located approximately 25 miles east of Greeley in Weld County, Colorado. Established by entrepreneur Oliver Toussaint Jackson in 1910, Dearfield was the largest African American homesteading settlement in Colorado, reaching its peak in the late 1910s and early 1920s.

The NPS is preparing the SRS to evaluate Dearfield for potential inclusion in the National Park System. When conducting an SRS, a study team considers public input and evaluates a site according to four congressional criteria: 1) national significance, 2) suitability, 3) feasibility and 4) the need for NPS management. All four criteria must have positive findings for the study to identify a site or area as eligible for potential inclusion.

The NPS invites the public to attend any of the following informational meetings to ask questions and learn more about the Dearfield Special Resource Study process and framework.  

DENVER: Tuesday, January 16, 2024  
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. MST 
Blair-Caldwell African American Research Library | Cousins Gallery, Third Floor 
2401 Welton Street, Denver, CO 80205 

GREELEY: Wednesday, January 17, 2024  
5:00 – 7:00 p.m. MST 
Greeley History Museum  
714 8th Street, Greeley, CO 80631 

VIRTUAL: Friday, January 19, 2024  
10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. MST 
A link to the meeting is available via the project webpage under the ‘Meeting Notices’ tab.

For those who cannot attend in-person meetings or the live, online event, a video recording of the virtual meeting presentation will remain available via the meeting link on the project webpage

Members of the public with an interest in Dearfield are also encouraged to submit thoughts, ideas, and information to help inform the study. Public input helps the NPS better understand what is most important and unique about Dearfield, how much support exists for preservation and possible designation, and what the public envisions for Dearfield’s future. Comments also inform whether there are any issues or concerns which should be considered during the study process. Written input can be submitted during the open comment period from December 8, 2023, to February 23, 2024, in the following ways:

Online (preferred). Visit the study website and click on the “Open for Comment” tab to access the virtual comment portal.  

By Mail:
National Park Service   
Denver Service Center   
Attn: Dearfield SRS / Charles Lawson   
12795 West Alameda Pkwy   
Denver, CO 80228

The Dearfield Special Resource Study was authorized by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, signed into law by President Biden on December 29, 2022. When the study is complete, findings and any recommendations of the Secretary of the Interior will then be sent to Congress for consideration. Only Congress, through legislated action, or the President, through the use of the Antiquities Act of 1906, have the authority to designate new national park units.

More information about the study and upcoming public meetings can be found at:



About the National Park Service. More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America’s 428 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more at, and on FacebookInstagramTwitter, and YouTube.