Waterford, Virginia (PRWEB) April 19, 2013
April 20-28 has been declared as National Park Week. Within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, a 180-mile long, 75-mile wide area stretching from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia, lies 13 of the country’s four hundred national parks.
These national parks provide a significant economic impact to the local region by serving as a job provider and income generator, as well as providing a sturdy tax base. According to a 2011 independent report by Michigan State University economist Daniel Styne, which examines the economic benefits to local communities by visitors to national parks across the nation, the 13 national parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area generated more than $270 million in non-local visitor spending. The parks also accounted for 4,032 jobs, delivering more than $108 million in wage and salary income for the area.
“The 13 national parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area not only contribute significantly to our region’s rich historic, natural, and cultural landscape,” said Cate Magennis Wyatt, president of the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership,” but are significant economic engines within our communities.”
It was reported in the 2011 study that over 9 million visitors frequented the National Parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area, which include Antietam National Battlefield, Appalachian National Scenic Trail, Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, Catoctin Mountain Park, Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historic Park, Eisenhower National Historic Site, Fredericksburg and Spotsylvania National Military Park, Gettysburg National Military Park, Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, Manassas National Battlefield, Monocacy National Battlefield, Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trail, and Shenandoah National Park. Visitors often require overnight lodging, meals, gasoline, and often purchase souvenirs when visiting national parks, all of which benefit the local economies.
As part of National Park Week, each national park is offering free admission to visitors that Monday through Friday, April 22-26. In addition, special events and activities take place throughout the week. For example, Saturday, April 20 is National Junior Ranger Day where parks invite young visitors to "explore, learn, protect" and be sworn in as Junior Rangers. April 27 is Volunteer Day, which encourages folks to roll up their sleeves and pitch in with a park project. America’s national parks include more than 84 million acres of spectacular scenery, historic landmarks and cultural treasures, 17,000 miles of trails, 43,000 miles of shoreline, 27,000 historic and prehistoric structures, 100 million museum items, and 12,000 campsites. More information can be found at http://www.nps.gov/npweek.
Known as the region Where America Happened ™, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area contains more history than any other region in the nation. In addition to the 13 National Park units, visitors can also explore National and World Heritage sites, over 10,000 sites on the National Register of Historic Places, 49 National Historic districts, nine Presidential homes, hundreds of African American and Native American heritage sites, 30 Historic Main Street communities, sites from the Revolutionary War, French-Indian War, War of 1812 and the largest collection of Civil War sites in the nation. For more information, visit http://www.HallowedGround.org.