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Contact: Kate Elizabeth Queram, (336) 373-7003
GREENSBORO — Higher numbers of visitors are heading to Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, and they’re having a good time while they’re there, according to a recent report.
That’s in spite of some issues with the park’s natural resources, including poor air quality, escalating urban noise and growing light pollution encroaching on the night sky.
“Some of the larger national parks are also seeing some of those issues, due to urbanization,” said Doyle Sapp, the Guilford park’s superintendent.
Those challenges, along with the park’s successes, are outlined in the State of the Park report, a compilation of the overall conditions compiled by park staff for the first time this year.
“A lot of the data is already existing in other databases,” said Sapp, who took over as the park’s superintendent two months ago.
“The purpose of the report is to present that data to the public as kind of a snapshot for the general health of the park.”
The report looks at the park’s natural resources (water quality, air quality), cultural resources (landscapes, history), visitor experience and park infrastructure.
The data note that more visitors are frequenting the park — 541,581 in 2013, higher than the 10-year average of 382,723 over the preceding decade — and that their satisfaction with the park held steady at 99 percent.
Areas for improvement include wildlife diversity, assessment of some historic structures and air quality, among others.
Guilford Courthouse National Military Park, located off Battleground Avenue, commemorates the Battle of Guilford Courthouse, fought on March 15, 1781.
The Revolutionary War battle pitted Nathanael Greene (namesake of Greensboro) and an army of 4,500 American militia against Lord Charles Cornwallis (namesake of Cornwallis Avenue) and a smaller British army of about 1,900 soldiers.
Greene retreated from battle after a little more than two hours, a move that preserved the strength of his troops. But Cornwallis’ “frail victory,” according to the park’s website, cost him more than 25 percent of his army.
Weakened by those losses, Cornwallis retreated from the Carolinas and surrendered seven months later in Yorktown to the combined American and French forces, commanded by George Washington.
“Anywhere we have deficiencies, we’ll be working toward closing those gaps,” Sapp said. “This helps me with planning for the future, and I have the added bonus of this coming out within two months of my arrival. It’s very helpful to me in planning to preserve these resources and to tell these stories.”
Read the original News & Record article on their webpage.