|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||July 19, 2011|
|Contact:||Pam Goddard, NPCA Chesapeake and Virginia Program Manager, P: 202.454.3365; C: 202.604.3781
Alison Zemanski, NPCA Media Relations Manager, P: 202.454.3332; C: 202.384.8762
New National Park at Fort Monroe Will Boost Tourism, Create Jobs, and Support Local Economy
National park at Fort Monroe completes historic triangle; invests in Virginia communities
Statement by Pam Goddard, NPCA Chesapeake and Virginia Program Manager
BACKGROUND: Built in the 1800’s, Fort Monroe was dubbed “Freedom’s Fortress” when thousands of enslaved people sought refuge there during the Civil War. In addition to the peninsula’s rich history, it contains more than two miles of rare undeveloped Chesapeake Bay shoreline that could be enjoyed for boating, birding and other outdoor recreation. In September, the U.S. Army will leave the Fort due to base closures, giving our country a rare opportunity to make Fort Monroe a national park.
“The National Park Service will today host two public meetings in Hampton Roads to hear from Virginia residents about their vision for the future of America’s next great urban national park, Fort Monroe. The proposed national park site has received overwhelming bi-partisan support from local, state and federal Virginia elected officials and will bring critical economic support to the area.
“A recent study commissioned by the National Parks Conservation Association found that every federal dollar invested in national parks generates on average four dollars in economic value to the region. A new national park at Fort Monroe will boost the local economy by bringing additional tourism dollars and jobs to the Old Point Comfort Peninsula.
“Fort Monroe National Park will complement the thriving tourism of Colonial National Historical Park’s (NHP) and the historic triangle it completes. Colonial NHP hosted more than 3.4 million visitors in 2010, with 363,000 of those visitors stopping by the park’s visitor centers. In addition, these visitors spent $42.5 million and supported over 1,184 local private sector jobs.
“Help us protect Fort Monroe for our children and grandchildren to experience and enjoy. Public comments will be accepted today through July 26, 2011.”