New National Monument in Delaware

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New National Monument in Delaware

Post by edfrank » Fri Mar 22, 2013 9:41 am

Five national monuments, including one in Delaware, the only state without a National Park System presence, are expected to be designated next week by President Obama. ... -week22960
The president has been criticized in the past for failing to designate more national monuments -- so far he's designated Fort Monroe National Monument in coastal Virginia and César E. Chávez National Monument in California -- and some residents of "the First State," as Delaware is known, have lamented its lack of a national park.

The monument coming to Delaware will be known as the First State National Monument, and will protect, in part, the Woodlawn Property, an 1,100-acre tract along the Brandywine River in Delaware...

Working to make the Woodlawn and Tubman monuments possible has been The Conservation Fund. Prior to the presidential proclamation that is scheduled for Monday, the Fund owned the Woodlawn property, which it donated to the National Park Service thanks to a donation from Mt. Cuba Center.

President Obama’s executive designation will honor the Woodlawn property along with the Old Sheriff’s House, the Old New Castle Courthouse, the New Castle Green and the Dover Green as a National Park Service unit.

Originally acquired by William Penn from the Duke of York in 1682, the 1,100-acre Woodlawn property lies on the banks of the Brandywine River, primarily in Delaware and extending north into Pennsylvania. Nearby, in 1777, General George Washington’s troops defended against British forces in the largest battle of the American Revolution. Since then, the Brandywine Valley’s natural beauty has inspired generations of artists, including acclaimed painter Andrew Wyeth. Today, however, rapid development is squeezing the pristine open spaces that remain.

Thanks to an unprecedented private contribution in excess of $20 million by Mt. Cuba Center, The Conservation Fund was able to preserve the Woodlawn property and champion its inclusion in the National Park System as a national monument or park. For more than a century, the land has been managed as a wildlife preserve and open space for public recreation. With Mt. Cuba’s foresight and commitment of resources, the Fund was able to donate the property to the National Park Service, making its designation as a national monument possible.

“History will be made in the place where it all began,” said Blaine Phillips senior vice president and Mid-Atlantic regional director for The Conservation Fund. “President Obama’s designation of the Woodlawn property as part of the First State National Monument will be a celebration of Delaware’s rich contributions to American history and its inherent natural beauty. It’s only fitting that here in our nation’s first state, the National Park system will be made whole, representing every state in the country."

Located within 25 miles of more than five million people, the national monument at the Woodlawn property will preserve the beautiful natural landscapes and historical character of one of the nation’s founding rivers. The Woodlawn property straddles the historic demarcation line known as the “12-mile arc,” which established the boundary between New Castle County, Delaware, and Delaware County, Pennsylvania, in the 17th century.
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