NPS and First Flight Foundation Sign Memorandum of Agreement
Contact: Outer Banks Group, (252) 473-2111
As a result of a new partnership agreement between the National Park Service (NPS) and the First Flight Foundation (FFF), the monument at Wright Brothers National Memorial will receive a maintenance facelift beginning this fall announced Outer Banks Group Superintendent Mike Murray and Mark Selph, President of the First Flight Foundation.
The monument restoration project will include cleaning of the interior and exterior of the granite pylon, repointing the exterior mortar, painting of the stairs, as well as renovation of the electrical and mechanical systems.
"We are very grateful for the continued support of the First Flight Foundation," said Superintendent Murray. "The First Flight Foundation has been responsible for many capital improvements at Wright Brothers National Memorial in the past and is continuing to ensure a legacy of improvements at the park".
The First Flight Foundation has contracted with Moser Mayer Phoenix Associates (MMPA) and Watson Electrical Construction Company (WEC) to accomplish the cooperative project. The First Flight Foundation will provide funding from monies raised by the First Flight Centennial Foundation (now the First Flight Foundation) leading up to the 100th anniversary of flight in 2003 as part of a coin match program with the United States Mint.
The monument was last restored approximately 10 years ago as a joint effort between the First Flight Centennial Foundation (now First Flight Foundation), NPS, MMPA and WEC. A Master Plan for a comprehensive restoration project was prepared by MMPA.
Upon completion of the pylon restoration and in conjunction with this new partnership between NPS and FFF, a new maintenance manual with project specific instructions will be provided to the maintenance team at Wright Brothers National Memorial for routine upkeep of the pylon in years to come.
Mark Selph, President of the FFF, said "We are pleased to assist the National Park Service with physical improvements to Wright Brothers National Memorial to enhance the visitor experience. We look forward to jointly identifying other major projects for the future."
Highlights of FFF successes include the following achievements:
The First Flight Centennial Pavilion was provided to the National Park Service to serve an important role during the Centennial. It continues to be used on a daily basis to enhance the visitor experience at Wright Brothers National Memorial.
Funds were raised to build a new pilot facility for the convenience of visiting pilots and passengers who land at First Flight airfield.
The foundation supported restoration of the monument and plaza area of Wright Brothers National Memorial atop Big Kill Devil Hill.
A merchandise-licensing program has provided attractive collectibles that help highlight the Wright brothers’ story and become useful and valuable mementos of their great achievements.
The First Flight Foundation is a private, non-profit organization. The purposes of the foundation are: In cooperation with the National Park Service, make physical improvements to Wright Brothers National Memorial to enhance the visitor experience; and to increase public awareness and appreciation of the lives, character and accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright and their impact on humankind through educational programs.
The First Flight Foundation Board of Directors include: President, Mark Selph, Vice President, John Harris, Secretary, James Trotter, Treasurer, Godfrey Cheshire, Jr. and Assistant Secretaries Will Plentl, Ken Mann, and Ferg Norton. Lola Hilton is the Executive Director.
For additional information, contact the First Flight Foundation office, located at the Harbinger Business Center, Suite 4, in Point Harbor, NC at 252-491-5165 or call the National Park Service at 252-473-2111.
Did You Know?
Although the town of Kitty Hawk is always associated with the exploits of the Wright brothers, most of their flying experiments took place about 4 miles to the south on the sands of Kill Devil Hills. The town of Kill Devil Hills, where the memorial is located, was incorporated in 1953.