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Application Instructions

Applicants are encouraged to consult with their Regional Manager before and during the application process. While Network staffers are not in a position to conduct research or to write applications, we are prepared to provide technical assistance and guidance. Your Regional Manager can discuss the proposed site, facility, or program to advise on which category to select and how best to focus the application.


In many cases, an applicant may wish to apply under more than one category. For example, many historic sites may also offer interpretive programs. NPS will evaluate each aspect separately on their own merits. Consequently, a separate application is required for each category (site, facility, or program) the applicant chooses. If you are applying for more than one category, you should submit multiple applications. Conversely, you should only address the section of the application relevant to the category that you have selected.


The application must be as complete, intelligible and comprehensive as possible. Use a typewriter or computer to complete the form; handwritten forms will not be accepted. The information presented in a completed Network to Freedom application must be self-contained and self-explanatory. The information should be clear and understandable to an individual who has no familiarity with, or has never seen, the site, program, or facility described. It is acceptable to extract text from attachments, (whether formal curricula, pamphlets, mission statements, National Register nomination, etc.), but the information must be inserted into the application form itself as part of a narrative describing the nominated entity and its association with the Underground Railroad. Please present facts that best illustrate your argument and avoid including information that does not directly address the entity’s connection to the Underground Railroad.


The National Park Service retains all of the material submitted in the application process. When accepted, these materials become available for public use. If an application is not accepted, the materials are kept for NPS use for future reference, particularly if an application is re-submitted.

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