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Civil War Battlefield Assessment – Vicksburg National Military Park Scores only "Fair"

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On October 29, 2008, the National Parks Conservation Association’s Center (NPCA) for the State of the Parks released the first of ten Civil War park assessments. It presented a “good news – bad news” story. According to Perry Wheeler, with the NPCA, the Vicksburg assessment…

“…finds that overall conditions of the park’s known cultural resources rated a score of 67 out of 100, indicating fair conditions. This score includes ratings for the park’s historic structures, cultural landscapes, archaeology sites, and extensive museum collection.” [The Vicksburg assessment is available in its entirety by clicking here.]

National Park Service Photo: Vicksburg National Military Park commemorates the siege of Vicksburg and the ensuing battle, widely considered one of the most important campaigns of the Civil War.

Wheeler indicated that a recent grant of $142,000, “received as part of the National Park Centennial Challenge program, additional maintenance funding and staff needs” will help, but it’s only a start.

“NPCA’s assessment found that the park is in need of an additional 9.4 full-time employees and roughly $716,000 in funding, which obviously the grant will help with. The park currently has only two full-time cultural resource staff: a historian and a museum curator.

Furthermore, Vicksburg’s interpretive staff consists of only two interpreters, two guides, and one supervisory park ranger — not enough to serve the 700,000 people who visit the park each year. Current staff levels equal 140,000 visitors per ranger each year!!”

If you’re not a supporter, consider becoming one or help spread the word.

Find out how on the Civil War Preservation Trust site here.

The Vicksburg National Military Park photostream on flickr is available here.

National Park Service Photo: Hovey's Approach. Vicksburg National Military Park.

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