During a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) last week, US Secretary of the Interior David L. Bernhardt awarded the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission (PHMC) a grant of $ 573,000 to purchase battlefields for two areas for the park to acquire.
Card by Curt Mussleman
“With the funding of the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), the PHMC and project partner American Battlefield Trust (ABT) can acquire the East Cemetery Hill wing and the Vermont wing parts of the Gettysburg battlefield. The land was previously held by a private owner, ”said GNMP representative Cynthia Hernandez.
The East Cemetery Hill Tract consists of 0.7 acres along the Baltimore Pike and is bordered by land previously obtained through ABPP funds awarded to the PHMC. “The Trust plans to restore the property to its 1863 appearance to improve public understanding of the military action taking place there. The land is permanently protected by a conservation measure held by the Adams County's Land Conservancy (LCAC), ”said Hernandez.
The 47-acre Vermont Tract in the southern portion of the park borders the Gettysburg National Military Park on two sides. Its takeover prevents any development that could obscure Big Round Top.
ABT will acquire the space with the financing granted to PHMC. The Commonwealth will work with ABT and the Land Conservancy of Adams County (LCAC) to create a permanent protection measure that will protect the historic resources of this nationally significant property.
ABPP's mission is to “assist citizens, public and private institutions, and governments at all levels in the planning, interpretation, and protection of places where, during the armed conflict that shaped the growth and development of the United States, historical battles were fought on American soil so that present and future generations can learn and be inspired by the soil on which Americans made their last sacrifice, ”said Hernandez.
"If, for some (highly unlikely) reason, the ABT has decided to sell the property in the future, LCAC has a duty to ensure that future owners understand and comply with the terms of the conservation measure and keep them as intended by the trust." said LCAC spokeswoman Sarah Kipp.
"Battlefields like Gettysburg are holy places where the Americans gave the last measure of devotion," said Bernhardt. "With these grants, we can work with communities and organizations to preserve these places and connect visitors to their historical significance."
"ABPP grants create partnerships between state and local governments and nonprofits to act swiftly and proactively to preserve and protect nationally significant battlefields such as Gettysburg," said David Vela, assistant director of the National Park Service, holding the authority of the Director out.