National Park Service Awards $2.2 Million to Protect Four Civil War Battlefields
Contributed By: National Park Service
WASHINGTON – National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis today announced more than $2.2 million in grants from the Land and Water Conservation Fund to help preserve land at four of America’s Civil War battlefields threatened with damage or destruction by urban and suburban development. The latest round of grants is helping to protect land at the Gettysburg Battlefield in Pennsylvania, and the Manassas, North Anna, and Rappahannock Station battlefields in Virginia.
“The Land and Water Conservation Fund help states and local communities safeguard and preserve Civil War battlefields without the expenditure of taxpayer dollars,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “Acquisition of these battlefields through the Fund will enable all Americans to better understand how military conflicts have impacted important social and political changes throughout our nation’s history.”
Preserving the land its place-based history is important not only for the national story and environmental impacts but also for local economies. Tourism is the top industry in Adams County, the home of Gettysburg Battlefield welcoming 3.8 million visitors a year. The land saved by these grants is otherwise at risk of disappearing under buildings, parking lots, and highways, if the land is lost along with it goes the educational opportunity of standing in the place where so many lives where sacrificed.
The grants are funded from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. President Obama has called for full permanent funding of the Land and Water Conservation Fund in his proposed budget, recognizing it as one of the nation’s most effective tools for protecting important water sources, expanding hunting and fishing, preserving historic battlefields, and creating ball fields and other places for kids to play and learn. The program has only been fully funded once in its 50-year history and is at risk of expiring without action from Congress.
The grants are administered by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program, one of more than a dozen programs administered by the NPS that provide states and local communities technical assistance, recognition, and funding to help preserve our shared history. Grants are awarded to state and local governments frequently in partnership with private and non-profit organizations. In this round partnerships include the Civil War Trust, the Land Conservancy of Adams County, PA, and the Virginia Board of Historic Resources. Consideration for the Civil War battlefield land acquisition grants is given to battlefields listed in the National Park Service’s Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields (CWSAC Report).
Complete guidelines for grant eligibility and application forms are available online at: http://www.nps.gov/abpp/. For further information, contact Elizabeth Vehmeyer, Grants Management Specialist, at 202-354-2215 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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