Gettysburg National Military Park (GETT) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (EISE) continue to benefit from our powerful partnership with the Gettysburg Foundation. For nearly 30 years the Gettysburg Foundation has stood with the National Park Service (NPS) as the steward of preservation, restoration and education at Gettysburg National Military Park, the Gettysburg National Cemetery, and Eisenhower National Historic Site.
Ten years ago we celebrated the opening of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, which the Foundation funded, designed and constructed. Together, with more than 22,000 active “Friends of Gettysburg,” we look forward to another year of strengthening and expanding our support and our abilities to preserve, protect and interpret the resources at GETT and EISE.
LeadershipChris Stein is now on a 120-day temporary assignment as acting superintendent at Gettysburg National Military Park (GETT) and Eisenhower National Historic Site (EISE) through mid-July. He serves as the Chief of Heritage Areas and Partnerships in the NPS Midwest Region. The park is grateful to Chuck Hunt for his service as acting superintendent for 120 days which ended on February 27. Superintendent Hunt resumed his position leading the Chesapeake Bay Office.
Philanthropic Partnership AgreementIn late 2016, the NPS revised Director’s Order #21: Donations and Philanthropic Partnerships. As a result, a new Philanthropic Partnership agreement is needed between GETT and EISE and the Gettysburg Foundation. In early February 2018, the NPS provided templates for the new agreement, which includes a detailed annual work plan between each park and its partner. A 2018 work plan has been developed, and the park has provided a draft of the new Philanthropic Partnership agreement to the Gettysburg Foundation for comment.
Little Round TopCurrently the NPS is soliciting bids to complete the final alternative analysis for the summit of Little Round Top. Over the past several months park management in coordination with NPS regional staff have reshaped the Little Round Top Rehabilitation Project to include work only on the summit. At this time, the park will not seek opportunities to re-purpose the historic Little Round Top schoolhouse or add utility corridors to the site. This final phase of alternative development will revisit all forms of circulation (pedestrian, vehicle, and accessibility needs) and parking options on the summit. It will refine gathering areas and specifically link gathering areas to interpretive themes and objectives - while preserving the historic and natural fabric of the hilltop. The estimated cost is $9.8 million, half of which will be federally funded through the Helium Act and the Gettysburg Foundation has committed to matching funds up to $5 million.
The projected timeline is to present a final alternative and drawings to the National Design and Architecture Review Board (DAB) in November 2018. The project will go to federal contracting in July 2019, provided it is 1) approved by DAB; 2) has a signed Finding of No Significant Impact; and 3) all funding is secured. Construction could begin in fall of 2019.
This project will address overuse, overcrowding, and landscape degradation, as well as identify appropriate locations for visitor accommodations. We want to offer the highest level of visitor access to Little Round Top, while ensuring its protection and stewardship. Our goals are to provide enhanced traffic flows and pedestrian safety, limit landscape degradation, improved visitor accommodations and experiences, and additional, limited parking.
Comprehensive Community Trails PlanAn Environmental Assessment for this plan is delayed. Park and regional staff are reevaluating alternatives for potential future public scoping workshops. As a result, the Powers Hill/Spangler Farm Trail is also temporarily delayed. This one-mile interpretive trail would connect the Museum and Visitor Center with Powers Hill and the George Spangler Farm.
Rehab of the Warfield HouseAt the time of the Battle of Gettysburg, James Warfield, an African American blacksmith, lived in this home and operated his business on the site that became part of the Confederate battle line. The house is located at Millerstown Road and West Confederate Avenue. Planning is underway now to remove the modern additions to the structure and return it to its 1863 appearance.
Museum Collection Management PlanGETT will be developing an update to the 1998 Museum Collection Management Plan, which includes the scope of collections. In late spring, a team of NPS experts will spend a week at GETT helping to create the plan. In the meantime, there is a temporary hold on new acquisitions for the GETT collection.
Disposition of the Civil War Museum of Philadelphia CollectionGETT and the Foundation staff are working to resolve issues related to this approximately 4,470-item collection owned by the Foundation and stored in the Park’s museum collections area. The Foundation has a museum tech position, whose job in part is to process the Philadelphia collection. The Park curator and others will guide decisions related to the eventual conveyance of these objects to the park, or transfer to other owners, as appropriate.
Education InitiativesWith the Foundation’s support, GETT continues to expand its education programming. The “Great Task Youth Leadership” program will expand in 2018. This two-day program is geared toward high achieving and low-income high school students and focuses on the decisions, choices, and the leadership demonstrated by ordinary individuals faced with extraordinary challenges during the Battle of Gettysburg. The Foundation is also supporting our Days with Documents teacher workshops at GETT in 2018. Gettysburg education staff have also expanded and improved distance learning opportunities, reaching thousands of students through “virtual field trips.”
Teacher Ranger Teacher ProgramEISE will be supporting a Teacher Ranger Teacher this summer. The program is an extended professional development opportunity for educators from K-12 schools to learn about the resources and educational materials available through the NPS while also completing a education based project for the site. It is managed in cooperation with the University of Colorado, Denver.
Wayside ExhibitsWe are creating new, interpretive wayside exhibits on the battlefield – more than 80 in all – with new text, images, and tactile elements. This wayside project, one of the largest in the NPS, will shape how visitors explore and understand the battlefield for generations to come. NPS staff, accompanied by project cartographers, artists, and graphic designers just completed a week long site visit in preparation for the final plan.
Eisenhower Exhibit at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor CenterEISE staff is developing a new exhibit about the leadership of Dwight David Eisenhower from Camp Colt to D-Day. The display will be in the Spotlight Exhibit area of the museum lobby and is set to open in early March.
Fifty Years of Women in the Licensed Battlefield Guide ForceThe park is working with a task force of Licensed Battlefield Guides who are putting together ideas to mark the 50th anniversary of the first woman Licensed Battlefield Guide at Gettysburg National Military Park, Barbara Schutt, licensed on June 12, 1968.
100 Nights of TapsWe’re extremely grateful and excited that we will once again host 100 Nights of Taps at the Soldiers’ National Monument in the Gettysburg National Cemetery this summer. Thanks to the creativity and dedication of the Lincoln Fellowship of Pennsylvania and Taps for Veterans, this meaningful program will take place every evening from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Volunteer buglers play taps over the graves of Union soldiers killed during the Civil War and America’s subsequent conflicts.
Artists-in-ResidenceIn 2018, we will welcome 10 new Artists-in-Residence at GETT. This program was developed by the National Parks Arts Foundation and is supported by the Gettysburg Foundation. Artists come for month-long residencies, including artist engagement events. The program is providing unique perspectives on the parks and their interpretive stories, as well as new opportunities for engagement.
At a Glance ~ Spring 2018
Gettysburg National Military Park
$52,465,303 deferred maintenance at the end of FY 2017
$6.9 million for FY 2018 federal budget
6,033 acres in the park boundary
1,113,049 visitors in 2017, 4.5% less than 2016
52 permanent and 40 seasonal employees
Eisenhower National Historic Site
$3,801,679 deferred maintenance at the end of FY 2017
$1.1 million for FY 2018 federal budget
690 acres in the park boundary
50,579 visitors in 2017, 8.9% less than 2016
5 permanent and 2 seasonal employees
Last updated: April 4, 2018