The National Park Service’s (NPS) American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) awarded $926,674.18 in Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants to the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission to protect an additional 4.64 acres of Civil War battlefield lands at Gettysburg.
These projects build on more than a decade of collaborative conservation in which the American Battlefield Trust has partnered with other nonprofit organizations, the NPS, and state and local governments to preserve one of our nation’s most iconic battlefields. The awards are made possible by the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which reinvests revenue from offshore oil and natural gas leasing to help strengthen conservation and recreation opportunities across the nation.
“These grants to state and local governments represent an important investment in public-private conservation efforts across America,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams. “They support partnership efforts that thoughtfully consider the needs, concerns, and priorities of communities inextricably connected to these unique places and stories.”
In the months following the July 1863 battle at Gettysburg, local advocates purchased parts of the area known as Culp’s Hill to protect the battlefield and set aside land for those who died in action. By century’s end, the Gettysburg Memorial Association, a non-profit organization chartered to protect the battlefield and commemorate Union forces, turned over many of these acres and monuments for inclusion in the federally managed Gettysburg National Military Park. The NPS stepped up to steward the park in 1933 and, for nearly a century, has worked with partners to protect, interpret, and restore the battle’s most significant sites of military encounters and support operations.
Since 2015, the American Battlefield Trust has matched NPS ABPP awards totaling $3.69 million to protect nearly 95 acres at Gettysburg. The two grants awarded today support the Trust’s on-going efforts to protect lands adjacent to the park, including tracts on Culp’s Hill, that enhance NPS’s commitment to safeguard the Battle of Gettysburg’s landscapes and memories.
As we approach the battle’s 159th anniversary, the protection of Culp’s Hill looks back to the earliest preservation efforts at Gettysburg and forward with our collective dedication to what President Abraham Lincoln described as “the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced.”
NPS ABPP’s Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants empower preservation partners nationwide to acquire and preserve threatened battlefields on American soil. In addition, the program administers three other grant programs: Preservation Planning, Battlefield Interpretation and Battlefield Restoration Grants. Financial and technical assistance support sustainable, community-driven stewardship of natural and historic resources at the state, tribal and local levels.
Battlefield Land Acquisition Grants are available on a rolling basis. To learn more about how to apply, head to NPS ABPP’s website. For questions about NPS ABPP’s grants, contact the program at e-mail us.