FYP -- National Park Week in Richmond

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Date: April 15, 2015
Contact: Elizabeth Paradis Stern, 804-226-5023
Contact: Kristen Allen, 804-795-5019 x1
Contact: Ajena Rogers, 804-771-2017 x22

National Park Week 2015 Encourages Everyone to "Find Your Park"

RICHMOND, Va. – In very different ways, activities this week at two national park units in Richmond – Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site and Richmond National Battlefield Park – will invite the public to "Find Your Park" and experience the work of the National Park Service to care for and share America's unique places and stories. 
From April 14 through April 22, NPS archeologists and scientists, park staff, and volunteers will be using geophysical devices, such as ground penetrating radar, to survey areas of Richmond National Battlefield Park's Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield unit in Hanover County. Their findings will guide future archeology, as the park strives to learn more about the site's lengthy history. 
On Saturday, April 18, Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site will host a talk by JB Bryan, President and Chief Investment Officer of J.B. Bryan Financial Group, Inc. entitled "Building Your Own Business for Today and Tomorrow," exploring the importance of entrepreneurial leadership. The program mirrors and continues the work of Maggie L. Walker, who fostered financial independence in the African American community during the Jim Crow era. 
The "Find Your Park" Movement 
With these activities, Richmond NBP and Maggie L. Walker NHS join parks, programs and partners across the country in building a movement encouraging the public to "Find Your Park". Looking beyond vast landscapes, the nationwide initiative highlights historical, urban, and cultural parks, as well as other public lands and National Park Service programs that protect, preserve and share nature, culture, and history in communities nationwide. 
Launched earlier this month by the National Park Service and the National Park Foundation, Find Your Park is a public awareness and education campaign celebrating the milestone centennial anniversary of the National Park Service in 2016 and setting the stage for its second century of service. "Find Your Park" is also the theme for this year's National Park Week, April 18 –26. 
"The National Park Week activities at Richmond National Battlefield and Maggie Walker encourage the public to learn more about the national parks working in our community," said David Ruth, superintendent of the two parks."Whether it's stewardship of nationally important landscapes or continuing the legacy of our nation's important African American leaders, parks are vital parts of communities here and across the country.We encourage everyone to "Find Your Park" in your part of the world." 
Survey Work at Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield 
The survey work at the park's Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield unit is being led by four NPS professionals from the agency's Northeast Regional office, with assistance from park staff and volunteers from the park's friends group, the Rural Plains Foundation. Team leaders are using ground penetrating radar, a magnetometer, and a gradiometer. These instruments complement one another and provide a detailed profile of subsurface anomalies.The team is surveying between 6 and 10 squares, each 20 x 20 meters, that radiate outward from the historic Shelton House on the property. 
The new data will be used in future years to help guide traditional archeological work. Some of the goals of the park are to find old walkways and roads;perhaps the historic garden;and to look for evidence of various buildings, including the extent of the slave quarters west of the house. Archeology can help document the lives and physical environment of the people who were on the site, especially from 1725 to 1864. The data also can be used to help the park avoid sensitive areas during future projects that might involve ground disturbance. 
Visitors may observe the work on weekdays from April 14 through April 22 between 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The Totopotomoy Creek Battlefield unit is located at 7273 Studley Road in Mechanicsville. 
Financial Literacy Program at Maggie L. Walker NHS 
Saturday's program at the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site also commemorates National Financial Literacy Month. A national activist for the rights of African Americans and women, Maggie Walker was an outspoken advocate for economic uplift. She was the first African American woman in the United States to become president of a chartered bank more than 100 years ago. From savings accounts and home loans to investment capital and job creation, Walker's enterprises fostered race and gender pride through the tangible gains of economic security and advancement. 
Presenter JB Bryan's program is designed for the advancement of African American wealth in the U.S. and abroad. It is based on six principles: Legacy, Organization and Planning, Knowledge, Integrity, Self-Reliance, and Accountability and Review. The program will be held in the park's visitor center at 600 N. 2nd Street in Richmond on Saturday, April 18, 2015 at 2:00 p.m. It is free and open to the public. 
The National Park Service and Richmond's National Parks 
More than 20,000 National Park Service employees care for America's 407 national parks and work with communities across the nation to help preserve local history and create close-to-home recreational opportunities. Learn more about the "Find Your Park campaign" at www.FindYourPark.comor https://www.nps.gov/news/release.htm?id=1687. Visit www.NationalParkWeek.org to learn more about parks, programs, and partners celebrating National Park Week across the country. 
Richmond National Battlefield Park protects 13 Civil War sites in Hanover, Henrico, and Chesterfield counties. The main park visitor center is located at Historic Tredegar and provides museum exhibits, audio-visual programs, and orientation services to help plan a visit to the battlefields. 
Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site, home of the first African American woman in the United States to become president of a chartered bank, has been a national park since 1978. The National Park Service preserves the home of Mrs. Walker, who was the leader of the Independent Order of St. Luke, an important benevolent association. She was also a philanthropist, a feminist, and an early advocate of civil rights during the Jim Crow era, becoming a leader in many national organizations.

Last updated: June 28, 2017

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