National Parks Conservation Association Gives County Commissioners Preview of New Report about Harpers Ferry; High Scores Illustrate Importance of Community Support

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   February 11, 2009
Contact:   Andrea Keller Helsel, National Parks Conservation Association, 202.454.3332


National Parks Conservation Association Gives County Commissioners Preview of New Report about Harpers Ferry; High Scores Illustrate Importance of Community Support

WHAT:  
The National Parks Conservation Association to brief Jefferson County, West Virginia, Commission members about the findings of the organization’s new assessment of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park—and offer recommendations for its continued protection as a national treasure and local economic engine.

The National Parks Conservation Association presentation will be made on the 200th birthday of President Abraham Lincoln, who visited Harpers Ferry in 1862 to meet with Gen. George B. McClellan; while in town, he visited the engine house that John Brown and his men had used as a fort three years earlier. Today, that engine house is one of many cultural treasures preserved by the National Park Service as part of Harpers Ferry National Historical Park. 

WHO:   
National Parks Conservation Association West Virginia Field Manager Erin Haddix St. John

WHEN:  
Thursday, February 12, 2009, 10:30 AM

WHERE:  
County Commission Courtroom, 100 East Washington Street
Charles Town, West Virginia

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park preserves landscapes that include a Civil War battlefield and the historic Lower Town area; numerous historic structures, including the engine house that served as John Brown’s fort, and a variety of museum artifacts relating to the town’s early industrial period, John Brown’s raid, the Civil War, and the area’s civil rights history.

According to the new Center for State of the Parks assessment from the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association, Harpers Ferry National Historical Park’s cultural resources are in “good” condition, scoring an overall 83 out of 100. This is the highest score received by any of the nearly 60 national park sites that the Center for State of the Parks has assessed to date; just one other park assessed by the Center has received this same score for cultural resource conditions: Andrew Johnson National Historic Site in Tennessee.

Harpers Ferry’s natural resources scored an overall 75 out of 100 points or “fair” condition.

In her presentation, National Parks Conservation Association West Virginia Field Manager Erin Haddix St. John will attribute the park’s high scores to the innovative, dedicated work of the National Park Service, and the extraordinary long-term support from neighboring communities and counties, notably Jefferson County. This support is essential to the park’s bright future, as it continues to grapple with incompatible development proposals on adjacent lands, and chronic federal funding shortfalls.

The National Parks Conservation Association launched the landmark Center for State of the Parks program in 2000 to assess the resource conditions of national parks across the country.  To learn more, please click here.

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