Gettysburg National Military Park and the Gettysburg Foundation are partnering on a Culp’s Hill rehabilitation project. The project will improve the cultural and natural landscape of 18-acres of Culp’s Hill where key battle action occurred on July 2-3, 1863. Work will include the removal of brush and select understory (trees five inches or less in diameter) along the east side of Union earthworks from the Spangler’s Spring area to the summit of Culp’s Hill. Select larger diameter trees growing within the earthworks will be felled in place. In addition to the increased visibility within the woodlot, additional interpretive signage and improved visitor access will be provided to historically significant features along the battlelines.
Rehabilitation work is scheduled to start in early February and complete at the end of June with the help of The American Conservation Experience (ACE). ACE is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing rewarding environmental service opportunities for youth of all backgrounds to explore and improve public lands. The ACE crew will treat invasive woody trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants on all earthworks stretching from Spangler’s Spring to the summit of Culp’s Hill. ACE will also construct a new trail from near the 150th New York Infantry monument to Forbes Rock, a prominent landmark on the 1863 battlefield named after the artist and war correspondent, Edwin Forbes.
The Culp’s Hill project is made possible through the philanthropic partnership between the National Park Service and the Gettysburg Foundation and will include an endowment to cover the future cost of vegetation and trail maintenance needs. More information about the project and funding will available on the Gettysburg Foundation’s website.
“We are honored and excited to work with Gettysburg National Military Park on this historic rehabilitation project,” said David Malgee, interim president of the Gettysburg Foundation. “The Culp’s Hill project will transform the visitor experience and open this historic ground to fresh interpretation and understanding. We are forever grateful to Cliff Bream, a longtime Friend of Gettysburg and member of the Gettysburg Foundation Board of Directors, for his vision and lead philanthropic gift that made this project possible,” added Malgee.
“Thanks to the work of our partners at the Gettysburg Foundation, we will be able to better interpret the actions of the soldiers who fought on this hallowed ground in a new and exciting way. Visitors will be able to better understand the actions of Union soldiers as they held off multiple Confederate assaults; assaults that took place over very steep and rough terrain that has been all but hidden in plain sight,” said Steven D. Sims, Superintendent of Gettysburg National Military Park and Eisenhower National Historic Site.
No roads are expected to be closed during this project, and all visitors to the area will be required to remain a safe distance from the work area. Project updates will be posted on the Gettysburg National Military Park website.