View Full Version : Battlefield Preservation in this stimulus?

02-13-2009, 11:04 AM
Just out of curiosity, has anyone heard anything about battlefield preservation in this "stimulus" bill? As long as they're throwing in their pet projects, it would seem only right that the "Old Boys" get their due...

NOT trying to spark a debate on the rightness or wrongness of the bill, just curious about what might be in it related to our interests.


02-13-2009, 12:43 PM

I don't think there is. I think, there's even been a reduction in funding, especially at the state and local level. Here, in Harrisburg, our Govenor is trying to cut off most of state the support, if not all, for the CW museum in Harrisburg. And, funding for public libriaries is going to be cut and, he wants to do away completely with 100 school districts, by merging them with better run districts. No, I don't think the boys of 186x got anything in the package. I guess we'll see for sure in the next issue of Hallowed Ground.

02-14-2009, 11:04 AM
For an additional amount for ��Operation of the National
Park System��, $158,000,000, to remain available
until September 30, 2010. "

There are also a number of clauses concerning urban housing protection/restoration/blight and green initiatives. As well as a few sections on rural conservation. Obviously these two will have an impact upon historic preservation, could continue to offer financial incentives for farmers and those who own land which is culturally rich.

I havent thumbed through the entire bill. Alot was cut out from its original versions to the senate version as I can gather. It looks like both directly and indirectly there may be some benefits here. It seems that it will have to come through the states and then local governments to have any affect however. Minus the NPS of course.

I'll go through l later and pull some more.
Drew Gruber

02-16-2009, 01:29 PM
Fellas and Ladies
I finished up reading it. Ouch what a read.
In short besides the money ear-marked for the NPS there are a some incentives which could be handed down through the states which may benefit us. For example there are is a long list of agricultural incentives for farmers. This includes a mention of conservation practices and implies that continued financial backing will help perpetuate this practice. Thats a step in the right direction.
In a different direction the urban assistance package is an impressive one and I didnt take notes because it didnt directly pertain to battlefields. However it appears that there are a number of supports to continuing pushing for urban reinvestment and restorations. One, this helps keep the buildings and places where our combatants lived and worked in decent shape. Also these incentives if handled correctly by their jurisdictions have the potential to help calm or quell continued expansion into the suburban and rural worlds and promote smart growth.
All in all from a preservation/smartgrowth/cultural resource perspective I was happy. Maybe GrumpyDave will choose not to be so grumpy upon reading this!
Most Respectfully
Drew Gruber

02-16-2009, 06:12 PM

I don't think there is. I think, there's even been a reduction in funding, especially at the state and local level. Here, in Harrisburg, our Govenor is trying to cut off most of state the support, if not all, for the CW museum in Harrisburg. [/I].

IMHO that is not entirely a bad idea. Let the mayor of Harrisburg fund it.

bob 125th nysvi
02-17-2009, 11:35 PM
the stimulus bill actually winds up directlyfor preservation I'd be real surprised.

Let's face it, America spends too much money at all levels of government and most of that goes for things that are going to get votes for the kids so they can keep their jobs.

Now 'conservation', 'urban renewal', 'job creation' always sounds like good things but how often does it really happen? And when it does, don't private citizens/business usually accomplish more with less spending.

So if any winds up in preservation it will be because it trickled down through local governments who have spent as much as they can on more 'important' things.

Besides can you imagine the stink that would be put up if say some of that money went to preserve, say, a 'Confederate' memorial.

The only thing I'm hoping for out of the whole mess is that my taxes will not go up too much to fund the blasted thing.

02-18-2009, 12:41 AM
You have some good points. I for one I'd be inclined to think that when there is X amount given to the State of Virginia per say to promote and continue if not expand many of the agricultural/conservation incentives for farmers then where and how the money is dealt falls upon the hands of the State Departments of Agriculture/Historic Resources etc.

My point being that allocated funds are going to be used in a variety of ways, sometimes not in those way in which they are intended however, luckily that money now is being controlled and disbursed by legislators, senators, and elected officials. We have pull individually as well as in our reenactment organizations and through groups like CWPT and CVBT- never forgetting other environmental and smart growth groups who often pair up with the Cultural Resource crew.

Recent articles have cited a immense jump in the number and size of conservation easements- due to the financial incentives in such a market- At least in the State of Virginia.

Urban/Green/ and rehabilitation have taken a slight hit in overall money expended but have been just as popular and have even shown growth in places like Richmond and Petersburg. Rehabilitation and urban revitalization have boomed since fuel prices have risen.

Many of these programs, designed to target blighted neighborhoods (typically w/historic built environment- tying it back into the purpose of the thread) as well as programs which target farmers have been successful since preservation's conception in the 1960's- However funding has always been a problem and will continue to be regardless of allocated funds- It is up to states and localities to funnel things down. However the federal and state governments have ALWAYS been happy with programs which use their entire quota and provide boosts in local tax revenues as well as good PR for themselves.

Obviously those who know me, I could go on for pages about this.
Bob, I dont trust folks in handing down cash, no one does- and im unsure about how or if these funds will reach their intended audiences. However most of these programs have great track records, and good standing with their respective governments, so I am inclined to think that politicians and these localities would jump at the opportunity to employ them.

Sorry for the rant. Just got back from Preservation Applications in Planning, and im still fired up.
Drew Gruber

04-23-2009, 08:45 AM
Stimulus benefits some local parks
April 23, 2009 12:36 am

Some area national parks got greener on Earth Day.

The National Park Service yesterday announced that they are among projects around the country winning economic stimulus money under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.

Locally, the dollars will be used mainly for infrastructure improvements, such as maintenance, equipment and painting.

"It may not be too exciting to other people, but we're happy to hear it," Russ Smith, superintendent of the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, said yesterday.

The park oversees more than 8,000 acres, focusing on the Fredericksburg, Wilderness, Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania Court House Civil War battlefields.

They will be receiving about $1.1 million in all. Part of that will go toward a fire suppression and detection system to protect the museum collection at the Stonewall Jackson Shrine in Caroline County.

The remainder will replace heating and air-conditioning equipment at Fredericksburg Visitor Center and other park historic buildings, and go toward painting.

The money is needed because the park's maintenance budget has been slashed in recent years.

Manassas National Battlefield Park will get $211,000 to paint the historic Thornberry and Sutton houses, reline chimneys in other historic structures, remove vegetation and repoint masonry at Hooe Cemetery and Chinn House.

Prince William Forest Park will receive $5.5 million, mostly for resurfacing 11 miles of road and parking areas, rehabilitating 13 historic structures in Camp Pleasant, and replacing windows and doors at Cabin Camp.

Shenandoah National Park will get the most money among parks in the region, about $17 million.

That will be for utility improvements at Thornton Gap, re-paving 11 miles of Skyline Drive, improving overlooks on the scenic highway, and for rehabilitation and maintenance of historic structures.

About $55 million will go toward work on the National Mall in Washington.

"These projects are an investment in America's future that will create jobs, stimulate the economies of local communities and get our country moving again," Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said yesterday.

About 800 park projects nationwide will receive about $750 million.

Rusty Dennen: 540/374-5431
Email: rdennen@freelancestar.com

Copyright 2009 The Free Lance-Star Publishing Company.

Online at: http://fredericksburg.com/News/FLS/2...4232009/461453

Drew A. Gruber

04-23-2009, 08:48 AM
By Staff Reports

Published: April 23, 2009

Virginia will receive $27 million in stimulus funds from the National Park Service for 37 projects to upgrade facilities at national parks and historic sites.

The funding includes $579,000 for work at Richmond National Battlefield Park. Projects slated there include demolition of structures and removal of debris at Malvern Hill; elimination of trees that could prove hazardous to visitors; exterior repairs at Chimborazo Medical Museum; energy-efficiency projects and trail repairs.

The funding also includes $563,000 to rehabilitate the Pennsylvania Monument in Petersburg, which pays tribute to the dead of the 48th Regiment, Pennsylvania Volunteers; and $94,000 for structural and cosmetic repairs at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site.

Nationally, the Park Service is spending $750 million in almost 800 projects under the stimulus act.

"The $27 million dedicated to preserve, protect and provide long-deferred maintenance to Virginia's rich historical and natural sites will help stimulate local economies and invest in the history of our nation," said Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va.

The Virginia funding includes $17 million for multiple projects at Shenandoah National Park, including rehabilitation of 11 miles of Skyline Drive and 16 overlooks; $5.5 million for Prince William Forest Park; $1.1 million for the Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania County Battlefields Memorial and $172,000 for repairs at Appomattox Court House. -- Andrew Cain


Here is another article concerning the money that Gettysburg received. It was difficult to copy over here so Ill just copy the link over.

Drew A. Gruber

04-29-2009, 07:34 PM
that although specific preservation efforts may not be targeted for stimulus money - all public works projects involving the use of federal funds (bridges, roads, etc) will require historic preservation/archaeological surveys and assessments. This will likely create a huge number of surveys on lands associated with historic sites and landscapes.