2009 FAC Meeting Notes

Please scroll down to find the Meeting Notes for 2009:
  • December 17, 2009
  • September 17, 2009
 
December 17, 2009
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
December 17, 2009
Warren County Government Center
Front Royal, Virginia

I) General Introduction
II) New Park Staff Introduction.
III) Election of Park Advisory Commission Chair and Co-chair
IV) Current Park Activities and Plans
V) General Management Plan and its Implementation.
VI) Review of September 17, 2009, Minutes
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Next Meeting—March 18, 2010, at the Strasburg Town Hall, Strasburg, Virginia

Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser; Patrick Farris; Sarah Mauck; Elizabeth McClung; Pam Sheets; Jim Smalls, and Kris Tierney, chair.

Commission members absent: Roy Downey, Gary Rinkerman, and Dan Stickley
Others in attendance: Carl Bernhards Jr., Middletown council member; Eric Campbell, NPS; Mark Davis, Middletown council member and planning commission member; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Stanley A. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Toni Horton, NPS; Nicholas Picerno, Shenandoah
Valley Battlefields Foundation (SVBF); Nicholas Redding, Civil War Preservation
Trust (CWPT); Elizabeth Stern, SVBF; and Hank Zimmerman, shenandoahvalley.com.

Chair Kris Tierney opened the meeting at 8:30 a.m. He suggested that the agenda be reordered since some commission members, who were known to be on their way, could be present at the time of the election of new officers.

Diann Jacox began by introducing Toni Horton, who will be the new historical landscape architect and cultural resources program manager. She comes to Cedar Creek & Belle Grove NHP from Richmond National Battlefield Park.

Jacox then gave a PowerPoint presentation detailing the major changes that will be coming to the park. She began by recapping the GMP process that began in 2005. She noted as a compliment to everyone that she knew of two other GMPs that had been begun before the one for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove NHP and are still not completed. To date almost all of the park’s focus has been on the
planning process to the detriment of a physical presence. This emphasis is about to change. In the coming months the staff will direct its attention to visitor services and stewardship. This is a signal that the NPS will now have more of a public presence. As these programs become established, the park will need to look at the kinds of positions that may be needed to fully staff the national park. Among the kinds of positions that will be considered, but are not limited to, are program
assistant, interpreter, maintenance person, natural resource specialist, cultural resources manager, and a partnership specialist. These positions will be a mix of permanent, term, seasonal, and volunteer personnel.

An important consideration in this discussion is the budget. Working with the regional Position Management Review Board and looking at budget cost projections over a five year period the park will determine what it can accomplish. Throughout the process the park will keep two basic questions in mind: What positions are needed in order to accomplish the park’s core operations? What must the park do to remain solvent?

The NPS has also increased its land base. In the last few months purchases have increased the size of the NPS holdings from 8 to approximately 69 acres. This is an important development for maintaining the viability of the park.

With these changes in mind, the park has been developing work plans for the next two-to-three years. For the interpretive program, the park has identified three areas that it would like to focus on. These include (1) Public programming
for 2010 – which includes recruiting & training staff, developing tours, andCedar
coordinating with the Key Partners. (2) Interpretive Facilities and Services - – which includes developing an interim visitor contact station, and developing non-personal media including audio tours, maps, brochures and upgrading the park’s website. (3). Interpretive Planning which includes discussions about graphic identity, signage, wayside exhibits and integrating the partners’ programs, operations and messages. The visitor contact station will not be a visitor center; it will not be open seven days a week; it will not be open all year; it will be a place where the public can interact with the NPS. With the recent land purchases and the structures that have come with these lands as well as the Hite-Whitham Farm, the NPS must document their current conditions, and preserve and maintain these structures.

Integral to all these undertakings is the idea that everything must be managed for meeting and achieving goals consistent with the legislation establishing the park.

Kris Tierney opened the discussion among the commissioners once Diann Jacox ended her presentation. Some of the thoughts that were put on the table included:
• Need to think about the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and how it affects Cedar Creek and Belle Grove.
• How do we present a seamless experience for the visitor while also maintaining identity of the various organizations/partners that make up the park?
• NPS Unigrid standards can be mined for solving identity problems.
• Where might a visitor contact station be located?
• What are the parameters of the contact station?
• How will it be managed?
• Consider the Monocacy or Jackson Shrine examples when creating a contact station.
• Clean bathrooms and clear directions are very high on any visitor’s needs.
• How will we count visitors?
• We could launch some interpretive programs via iPods in conjunction with the CWPT.
• We need to maximize outreach with the goal of telling the story and letting people know that the park is here.
• In addition to being far off main-traveled roads, the Hite-Whitham House has safety and health issues that would not lend it for use as a contact station. An upcoming Historic Structures Report will throw much needed light on this building.
• A building along U.S. 11 would be an asset for both park and the traveling public.

Several commissioners commented that there was much to think about and suggested that this discussion be continued at the March meeting after everyone would have some more time to think and ponder everything that had been heard.

Kris Tierney announced that if there was no further discussion, the commission would proceed to the election of a new chair and co-chair. Nominations were made the vote was taken—separately, for each office—and the new officers were announced: Patrick Farris will serve as chair, and Pam Sheets will serve as co- chair.

The minutes were approved with one change.

New Business
Sarah Mauck announced that VDOT has given permission for a reenactment of the train robbery of June 1861 to take place along U.S. 11 during Memorial Day weekend 2011.

Next Meeting
The commission will meet in the Strasburg Town Hall, March 18, 2010 at 8:30 a.m.

Outgoing Chair Kris Tierney adjourned the meeting at 9:50 a.m.

Handouts
1. Agenda
2. Park Advisory Commission Membership and Terms
3. Press release announcing hiring of Eric Campbell
4. Press release announcing hiring of Toni Horton
5. Meeting Notes from September 17, 2009
 
Septemeber 17, 2009
Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park
Park Advisory Commission Meeting
September 17, 2009
Middletown Town Hall
Middletown, Virginia

I) General Introduction
II) Review of Minutes from June 18, 2009.
III) GMP Status Update.
IV) New Park Staff Announcements
V) Expiration of commission chair term, new election in December 2009.
VI) Ken Burns’ film, The National Parks: This is America, (45 minutes).
VII) Old Business
VIII) New Business
IX) Next Meeting – December 17, 2009, at the Warren County Government Center, Front Royal,Virginia.
Meeting Notes
Commission members in attendance: Diann Jacox, Designated Federal Official (DFO); Fred Andreae; Mary Bowser; Patrick Farris; Randy Jones; Sarah Mauck; Elizabeth McClung; Pam Sheets; Jim Smalls, Dan Stickley, and Kris Tierney, chair.
Commission members absent: Roy Downey and Gary Rinkerman.
Others in attendance: Carol Bernhards Jr., Middletown council member; Eric Campbell, NPS; Suzanne Chilson, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Mark Davis, Middletown council member and planning commission member; Bob Grogg, NPS volunteer; Stanley A. Hirschberg, Cedar Creek Battlefield Foundation; Linwood Outlaw, III, Northern Virginia Daily.

Chair Kris Tierney opened the meeting at 8:30 a.m.

A review of the meeting notes revealed three necessary corrections. The meeting notes with corrections were approved. Diann Jacox announced that the GMP with all necessary changes was being reviewed in the regional office and should soon be forwarded to the NPS Washington Office for final approval and implementation.

Jacox introduced Eric Campbell, who comes from Gettysburg National Military Park. He will have responsibility for interpretive programs and work on developing the framework and overall “look” for the park. He will work closely with the partners in all aspects.

Tonia Horton, a historic landscape architect, will report for duty September 28, 2009.

Election for a new commission chair should be held in December. No individual can hold the position for more than two terms, and Kris Tierney will complete his second term shortly. Neither Mary Bowser nor Kris Tierney can be considered as candidates for the chair position. Nominations should be submitted to Diann by November 17, and at the December 17 meeting, the members will vote for a
new chair.

With the sale of Randy Jones’s home, Rosemont, complete, he will be leaving the area and announced that his resignation will be effective at the end of this meeting.

Jacox mentioned that a majority of commission members’ terms have expired. She does not want to see a wholesale turnover, so is working to stagger new appointments so that replacements do not occur all at once.

Everyone attending the meeting then watched a 45-minute film, parts of which were taken from Ken Burns’ film, The National Parks: This is America. The idea was to present an overview of the great variety of sites that are preserved within the National Park System. This version can be shown to anyone after the presentation on PBS of the six-part series beginning September 27, 2009.

New Business
Randy Jones thanked everyone for doing more as a group than they could have done as individual organizations, and said how he had enjoyed being a member of the commission.

Suzanne Chilson announced that the annual reenactment will take place October 17–18, 2009. A joint ticket will give admission to the events and Belle Grove.
About 5,500 reenactors are expected.

Elizabeth McClung mentioned that a shuttle bus will be operating for the two-day event. Living history demonstrations, an outdoor encampment, and display of cavalry equipment will be Belle Grove’s contributions to the weekend.

It was announced that Shenandoah County is pursuing several programs for the Civil War Sesquicentennial: a Confederate loop trail at Mount Jackson, trail signs, and a driving tour of a variety of sites. Two grants are helping fund these programs.

Patrick Farris announced that Warren County’s annual Festival of Leaves will take place October 10, 2009.

Elizabeth McClung announced that on November 7–8, 2009, Belle Grove will have an antiques appraisal, David Powers will speak on local material culture, and there will be a talk about collecting Strasburg pottery.

Belle Grove’s annual meeting will take place November 22, 2009. Maral Kalbian and Margaret Peters will present a program on Harmony Hall.

The Shenandoah Valley Battlefield Foundation has received a grant for developing trails related to the battlefield but outside the park boundary.

Next Meeting
The commission will meet at the Warren County Government center December 17, 2009, at 8:30 a.m.

Chair Kris Tierney adjourned the meeting at 9:55 a.m.

Handouts
1. Agenda
2. GMP Status Update
3. Meeting Notes from eptember

Last updated: January 14, 2018

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