Report Nov 1, 2010

Making Connections: Linking Outdoor Recreation, Open Space & History

Making Connections: Fredericksburg & Spotsylvania (4.24 MB)

Across the country, nature-based outdoor recreation is exploding in popularity. With a rapidly growing population, expanding suburban footprint, and growing demand for natural areas for recreation, the localities around Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park face both an urgent challenge and an enormous opportunity to leverage existing investments in protected lands in ways that will make this area a fantastic place to live–and to visit–for generations to come.

As the 150th anniversary of the Civil War approaches, communities across the larger region between Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and Monticello in Virginia are making plans to accommodate a dramatic increase in visitation. Gettysburg National Military Park projects its visitation will more than double in 2013. The nonprofit Journey Through Hallowed Ground is training 4,000 “Certified Tourism Ambassadors” throughout this region to help guide visitors as they travel from battlefield to battlefield.

With the 150th anniversaries of the battles memorialized by Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park approaching in 2012-2014, it is an apt time to consider these battlefields in a larger context. What can this area do to provide an infrastructure that will benefit locals and visitors alike for years to come?