In 2011 the Gettysburg Foundation launched Stewardship 150, a program to assist the
National Park Service with preservation and education projects at Gettysburg National Military Park for this and future generations. Projects will help lay the groundwork for the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War and advance the Foundation’s mission to “…enhance preservation and understanding of the heritage and lasting significance of Gettysburg.”
The Foundation’s Stewardship 150 initiative provides support for the park’s sesquicentennial programs, from scholarly seminars, to special events and ceremonies. More importantly, through fundraising the Foundation will leave a legacy of improved preservation and enhanced education programs. These efforts will transcend the special programs and events that will take place in 2013 on the battlefield, in the classrooms and in the museum because they will last for generations.
The George Spangler Farm: This farm and its surrounding 80 acres is perhaps the most well preserved site of a Gettysburg field hospital still standing. The Spangler Farm offers a rare opportunity to interpret the role of medicine at Gettysburg and in the American Civil War. Built in the early 1800s, the farm consists of a main house, a summer kitchen, and a bank barn. The Foundation has completed the Historic Structures Report which will guide the rehabilitation of the historic farm and its buildings.
Treasures of the Civil War: This exhibit will be installed in the museum’s Gilder Lehrman Special Exhibits Gallery in 2013, showcasing objects related to famous personalities of the war — President Abraham Lincoln, Gen. Ulysses S. Grant, Gen. George G. Meade, Gen. John Reynolds, Col. Joshua L. Chamberlain and others — as well as the belongings of ordinary soldiers and civilians. Artifacts and displays will draw attention to the war experience of both great leaders and common people, and what they tell us about the war.
Soldiers’ National Cemetery: Stewardship 150 funds four projects in the national cemetery: rehabilitation of the New York State Monument (recently completed); rehabilitation of the Soldiers’ National Monument; rehabilitation of the Speaker’s Rostrum; and preparation of a Historic Structures Report for the Cemetery Lodge located just inside the Baltimore Street gate of the Cemetery.
The Gettysburg Lincoln Experience: The Foundation is exploring technology opportunities (smart phones, apps, etc.) to allow visitors to better understand the sites that were important to Abraham Lincoln’s visit to Gettysburg — from the Train Station to the David Wills House, south on Baltimore Street, past civilian homes such as the Rupp House toward the Soldiers’ National Cemetery and back. Through technology, new interpretive opportunities would bring Lincoln’s brief but momentous visit to Gettysburg alive for visitors of all ages.
Education 150: The educational value of Gettysburg is paramount. The Gettysburg Foundation has launched a program to improve educational opportunities for middle school students – our future leaders. In partnership with Gettysburg National Military Park, the Student Conservation Association, Gettysburg College, and others, the Foundation is planning a program designed for teachers to participate in a four-day immersion and experiential workshop at Gettysburg. The project targets Title 1 schools in Pennsylvania, Maryland, DC and West Virginia. Workshops will emphasize the development and use of creative curricula for teaching all students about the Civil War – with a particular emphasis on assisting underserved and under-resourced schools.
America’s Volunteer Program: Friends Rebuild History: As an outgrowth of the Gettysburg Foundation’s existing, and extremely successful, annual volunteer workday, Stewardship 150 will create opportunities for volunteer vacations, add volunteer work components to Friends of Gettysburg’ spring and fall muster events; and add various workday opportunities for visitors to Gettysburg throughout the year. Projects would include building fences, painting buildings, cleaning headstones, and more. Implementation will begin in 2012.
To find out how you can become involved in leaving a legacy through Stewardship 150, visit http://www.gettysburgfoundation.org.
Thanks to Cindy Small, the communications and marketing manager for the Gettysburg Foundation, for her assistance with this blog.
Katie Lawhon, Management Assistant, 12/28/11