It will become "one of those places that everyone should visit," he said, "part of our shared cultural heritage."
The land includes property that was once Chavez's home, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places last year. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar called him "one of the heroes of the 20th century."
Paul F. Chavez, president of the Cesar Chavez Foundation, said at the time, "For my father, La Paz was a personal refuge from bitter struggles in agricultural valleys and big cities, a spiritual harbor where he recharged batteries, drew fresh inspiration and prepared for the battles ahead. It was a place where many dedicated people spent years of their lives working with Cesar Chavez for social justice, inspiring generations of Americans from all walks of life who never worked on a farm to social and political activism."
Ruben Navarrette, a CNN.com contributor, wrote a column last year noting that many sites around the country are named for Chavez, and suggesting that that "campaign" may have run its course.
Still, he wrote, Chavez "was a great American who helped bring fairness and dignity to the fields and the workers who toil there. Before Chavez and the union came along, there were no collective bargaining rights for farm workers, no toilets or clean drinking water in the fields, and little public awareness about pesticides and other dangers that workers must endure to put fruits and vegetables on our table. He helped change all that."