The Civil War Trust has approved the acquisition of the 195-acre Textron Financial tract at the Cool Spring battlefield. In a letter sent to the chairman of the Clarke County Board of Supervisors, James Lighthizer, President of the Civil War Trust announced the organization’s decision and outlined the additional steps that the the Trust approved to support the park.
The text of the letter is included below.
March 2, 2012
The Honorable Michael J. Hobert
Chairman, Clarke County Board of Supervisors
101 Chalmers Court, Suite B
Berryville, VA 22611
Dear Chairman Hobert:
I am pleased to inform you that the Civil War Trust, the nation’s largest battlefield preservation organization, has approved the acquisition of the 195-acre Textron Financial tract at the Cool Spring battlefield. Additionally, the Trust has approved a grant to Clarke County for the payment of a membership fee to the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority (NVRPA), as well as a commitment to provide seed money for a newly-created organization to support the park.
Specifically, the Trust approved the following:
- The acquisition and transfer of the 195-acre Textron Financial tract to the NVRPA for the creation of the Cool Spring Battlefield Regional Park. The NVRPA will be subject to a conservation easement on the property that the Trust will grant to Virginia Department of Historic Resources when the property is acquired.
- A grant of $37,500 to the County to assist in the payment of an annual membership fee in the NVRPA. The grant shall be made in a lump sum in 2012 or in equal installments over two-, three-, or four-year period, at the option of the County. This grant, together with a grant of $37,500 from the Piedmont Environmental Council (for a total of $75,000), is intended to defray the County’s cost of membership in the NVRPA while that body implements its Operations and Facilities Management Plan for the park.
- A commitment to provide $5,000 of seed money for the creation of a “friends of the park” group or foundation to support the park. It is intended that this newly-created nonprofit organization would be a vehicle for the following:
- Raising money to put toward the County’s annual membership fee to NVRPA.
- Establishing a network of volunteers to assist in the stewardship of the park.
- Coordinating with community organizations, local schools, and state and national history and tourism organizations (e.g. Virginia Tourism Corporation), to promote the use of the park.
Additionally, in order to promote the Cool Spring Battlefield Regional Park and a non-profit organization to support the park, the Trust will provide information about the park on its website, www.civilwar.org, which received more than over 1,000,000 unique visits in 2011, and its award-winning magazine, Hallowed Ground.
The Trust and its Board of Trustees views the creation of the Cool Spring Battlefield Regional Park as an opportunity of national significance. That the tract can become a fully-functional interpretive park for the benefit of local residents and heritage tourists is a landmark achievement for the County, as well as the Trust and its local partners.
Thank you again for the opportunity to work together on this important effort.
James Lighthizer, President, CIVIL WAR TRUST