April 23, 2009
Kip Hagen, 570-340-5182
SCRANTON, PA – The National Park Service (NPS) announced nearly 800 projects totaling $750 million that can be completed across the country with funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. This major effort includes projects in the agency’s Northeast Region, which includes Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Virginia, West Virginia, Delaware, and Maryland.
"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," Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar said. "They are also an investment in telling the story of America to future generations through our national parks by conserving our awe-inspiring landscapes, our rich culture, and our great heritage."
"We will use Recovery Act funding to make a difference in parks," said Acting Director Dan Wenk. "We will fix trails, invest in energy efficient vehicles, build new visitor facilities, cleanup abandoned mine sites, increase our ability to generate power from the sun, and finally complete overdue maintenance on our buildings and roads."
A full list of National Park Service projects is available at www.interior.gov/recovery/nps. A few examples in the Northeast Region are:
• $9.4 million to rehabilitate 16 historic overlooks along Skyline Drive in Shenandoah National Park.
• $26 million to stabilize the Baggage and Dormitory Building and seawall at Ellis Island.
• $5 million to rehabilitate Independence Hall Tower.
• $2.1 million to stabilize 27 pieces of historic railroad equipment and remove asbestos at Steamtown National Historic Site.
• $1.2 million to improve Park infrastructure and maintain/repair and restore historic operational
locomotives and passenger cars at Steamtown National Historic Site.
• $448,000 to rehabilitate boardwalks in the Sinepuxent District of Assateague Island National Seashore.
• $71,000 to install a photovoltaic system for headquarters and maintenance building at Adams National Historical Park.
"From the promise of liberty that lured millions to Ellis Island to the birthplace of our nation itself at Independence Hall, we will preserve the story of America for generations yet to come," said Northeast Regional Director Dennis R. Reidenbach.
All the projects announced today are long-standing priorities of the National Park Service and meet the criteria put forth in the Recovery Act: namely, that a project addresses the Department’s highest priority mission needs; generates the largest number of jobs in the shortest period of time; and creates lasting value for the American public.
Secretary Salazar has pledged unprecedented levels of transparency and accountability in the
implementation of the Department’s economic recovery projects. The public will be able to follow the progress of each project on the recovery web site and on www.interior.gov/recovery/nps.
Located in downtown Scranton, Steamtown National Historic Site is open daily from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. From I-81, follow exit 185 (Central Scranton Expressway); then follow the signs to the Park entrance at Lackawanna and Cliff Avenues. Additional details regarding interpretive and educational programs and activities may be obtained by calling (570) 340-5200 or toll free (888) 693-9391, or by visiting the Steamtown NHS web site at www.nps.gov/stea.