For Immediate Release: 02/01/12
Interior Secretary Salazar Announces $4 Million For Land Preservation at Richmond National Battlefield Park
Civil War Trust applauds announcement to promote historic preservation and tourism during Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration
(Henrico County, Va.) – During a news conference on the Glendale Battlefield and following a State of the Union Town Hall meeting on parks and tourism, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar today announced a $4 million federal grant to benefit land preservation at Richmond National Battlefield Park. The Secretary was joined at the event by Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis, and preservation advocates from throughout Virginia.
Civil War Trust president James Lighthizer, who attended the afternoon ceremony, issued the following statement welcoming the news:
“The Civil War Trust could not be more pleased by Secretary Salazar’s decision to set aside $4 million for historic preservation at Richmond National Battlefield Park. Setting aside federal funds for battlefield preservation will create a lasting legacy of the Civil War sesquicentennial commemoration, one that will live on far beyond our lifetimes. Today’s announcement will ensure that some of the most hallowed ground in America is protected for future generations to visit, learn from and enjoy.
“There is no higher recognition of a battlefield's indelible link to our past than its inclusion within a national park. Today’s announcement from Interior Secretary Ken Salazar means that historic Civil War battlefields around Richmond will be fully integrated in Richmond National Battlefield Park, enhancing tourism and creating new jobs in time to commemorate the events that took place 150 years ago this spring and summer.”
“On behalf of the board and members of the Civil War Trust, I offer my profound thanks and appreciation to Secretary Salazar, Director Jarvis, Governor McDonnell, and all those whose conviction to the idea that America’s treasures should be protected forever have resulted in today’s announcement.”
Richmond National Battlefield Park (NBP), first established in 1936, contains 13 individual park units commemorating the numerous battles fought over the Virginia capital from 1862 through 1865. Although the park’s congressionally authorized boundary extends to 7,100 acres, only about 30 percent of that area is currently protected by the National Park Service.
During its 25-year history, the Civil War Trust has saved more than 2,000 acres at battlefield sites associated with Richmond NBP. Much of this land has been preserved in partnership with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources and the American Battlefield Protection Program (an arm of the National Park Service). Just recently, the Trust announced a $3.2 million fundraising campaign to preserve 285 acres of hallowed ground at Gaines’ Mill, another unit of Richmond NBP. If successful, preservation of this land will effectively quadruple the amount of land preserved at Gaines’ Mill.
The Civil War Trust also plans to soon unveil the latest title in its growing series of smartphone “battle apps” — this one focused on the Malvern Hill unit of Richmond NBP. These GPS-enabled, multimedia mobile battlefield tours are a remarkable way to marry 19th-century history with 21st-century technology, encouraging visitors of all ages to explore these historic shrines.
The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goal is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states, including more than 16,000 acres in Virginia. Learn more at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial.