New Studies Find Revolutionary War Parks Require Additional Funding To Preserve America's Heritage

 
PRESS RELEASE
  FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date:   June 29, 2010
Contact:   Alison Zemanski, Media Relations Manager, National Parks Conservation Association P: 202.454.3332 C: 202.384.8762


New Studies Find Revolutionary War Parks Require Additional Funding To Preserve America's Heritage

Local national park sites offer family-friendly educational opportunities year-round

Knoxville, Tenn. -- As we celebrate our nation’s Independence this July 4, the nation’s leading voice for the national parks, the nonprofit National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA), today released new assessments of three South Carolina Revolutionary War parks—Kings Mountain National Military Park, Cowpens National Battlefield, and Ninety Six National Historic Site. The reports find that additional funding is needed to maintain these historic sites that bring American history to life and offer a wealth of family-friendly educational and recreational opportunities year-round.

“We must ensure our Revolutionary War parks continue to receive the funding and staffing they need to provide family-friendly recreational activities and educational opportunities for our children and grandchildren to enjoy,” said Don Barger, Southeast Regional Director for NPCA.

According to the new assessments by NPCA’s Center for State of the Parks, each of the three Revolutionary War parks is in need of additional staffing and funding in order for the Park Service to conduct research, prepare planning documents that guide park activities, protect historic structures that tell Revolutionary War stories, restore the landscapes to their Revolutionary War-era appearance, and provide sufficient visitor facilities and services.

For example, at Kings Mountain National Military Park landscape restoration, which includes the removal of invasive non-native plants, is a top priority for the park in order to restore the landscape to its Revolutionary War-era appearance. The park is also in need of archaeological research and documentation for historic structures. At Cowpens National Battlefield the park is understaffed and needs several key staff positions to fully research, protect, and interpret Revolutionary War artifacts.  And Ninety Six National Historic Site requires additional funding for a new visitor center to adequately serve park visitors and provide needed work space for park staff.

“Many of our Revolutionary War parks suffer from funding shortfalls, which limits the staff’s ability to adequately preserve these significant historical sites that tell the important story of our American heritage,” Barger said.

From Revolutionary War battle artifacts to living-history demonstrations, updated exhibits and interpretive panels, South Carolina’s Revolutionary War parks provide family-friendly recreational activities and educational opportunities that bring American history to life.

This Independence Day, NPCA encourages you to relive history by visiting your local Revolutionary War parks. Kings Mountain National Military Park and Cowpens National Battlefield will host family-friendly events such as a discussion of the significance of the Declaration of Independence, living-history programs, weapons demonstrations, ranger-guided walks, and fireworks for visitors. 

“The educational and recreational opportunities found at our Revolutionary War parks brings American history to life, more so than any text book, and is a memorable family experience to be cherished for years to come,” said Barger.

In addition to specific holiday events, each park provides year-round educational and recreational opportunities. For example, Kings Mountain offers an innovative 1.5-mile interpretive trail that allows visitors to dial-in on their cell phones to listen to the historical significance of various monuments and markers and to the logistics of the battle as they venture along the trail.  Cowpens is collaborating with several area parks, including Kings Mountain, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, to test a program that encourages children to hike the Overmountain Victory National Historic Trail and rewards participants with medals as they complete sections of the trail.  A new interpretive film is available year-round for visitors at Ninety Six National Historic Site, as well as living history demonstrations and ranger-led tours.

As the Administration tours the country to hear from the American public about how to best preserve and reconnect people to America’s Great Outdoors, NPCA is advocating that educational opportunities at national parks, such as those at our Revolutionary War sites, are replicated in areas throughout the country. National parks provide some of the best means of connecting Americans, and NPCA encourages the Administration to put meaningful funding behind programs that protect our national parks and put park rangers on the ground to serve school and youth groups for years to come. 

To view the three full reports and to take action to help protect Revolutionary War parks, please visit http://www.npca.org/stateoftheparks/sc_revolutionary_war_parks/.

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