Parks Group Praises Bush, Congress for Creation of New African American National Historical Park in D.C.

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   December 23, 2003
Contact:   Andrea Keller, NPCA, 202-454-3332


Parks Group Praises Bush, Congress for Creation of New African American National Historical Park in D.C.

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The nonpartisan National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) today praised President Bush and the Congress for passing legislation to make the home of African American scholar Carter G. Woodson part of the National Park System.

“A national park site honoring Carter G. Woodson is a significant addition to the National Park System,” said NPCA President Thomas C. Kiernan. “Restoring the Woodson home restores a part of our shared history that has long been neglected.”

First introduced in 2001 by Washington, D.C., Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton and signed into law December 19, 2003, by the president, H.R. 1012 authorizes the National Park Service to take ownership of Dr. Woodson’s Washington, D.C., home at 1538 Ninth Street, N.W., and redesignates the national historic landmark as the Carter G. Woodson Home National Historic Site. The son of formerly enslaved Africans and the “father of black history,” Dr. Woodson lived at this home in the District of Columbia from 1915 to 1950.

Carter G. Woodson’s home is only the 13th site within the 389-unit National Park System expressly dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of African American history. Abandoned for a decade, the home has fallen into severe disrepair.

“With the passage of this bill, we encourage Congress and the administration to take the next step and allocate the necessary funding to preserve Dr. Woodson’s legacy and all of our national parks for future generations,” Kiernan added.

Extensive research reveals that on average, America’s national parks are operating with only two-thirds of the needed funding — an annual shortfall of more than $600 million. As a result, national park rangers are reduced in number, plant and wildlife species are dwindling, important archaeological sites are not being protected, public education programs are limited, and irreplaceable historic structures are crumbling.

NPCA's Americans for National Parks campaign is working with Congress and the administration to address this shortfall and is seeking an increase of $240 million in the fiscal year 2005 operating budget of the national parks.

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