The Economic Impact of our National Parks



Photo by KG

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

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 thirteen 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 recently released report, the 13 national parks within the Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area generated more than $370 million in non-local visitor spending.  The parks also accounted for 5,042 jobs, delivering more than $193 million in wage and salary income for the area.

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

Photo by Kenneth Garrett | © Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership

The 2012 National Park Visitor Spending Effects Study, conducted by C. Thomas, C. Huber, and L. Koontz, examines the economic benefits to local communities by visitors to national parks across the nation.  The Journey Through Hallowed Ground National Heritage Area saw an increase across the board, in visitation, spending, and jobs.  The number of visitors, for example increased from 9.2 million to over 10 million in 2012.

“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.”  The list of parks 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.

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 www.HallowedGround.org.

Shuan Butcher

Shuan Butcher

Director of Communications at Journey Through Hallowed Ground Partnership
Shuan Butcher has more than 15 years of management experience in the nonprofit and government sector. He most recently served as executive director of the Frederick Arts Council in Frederick, Maryland. His efforts there helped garner state and national recognition for the city's thriving arts community. In addition, he has worked for a national youth civic engagement initiative, a historic state park in West Virginia, and other organizations.Butcher is a graduate of West Virginia University and earned a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University. He has written or published two booklets as well as numerous articles for local, state, and national publications. He serves on the board of the Tourism Council of Frederick County and the Frederick County Business Development Advisory Council.
Shuan Butcher
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Shuan Butcher

About Shuan Butcher

Shuan Butcher has more than 15 years of management experience in the nonprofit and government sector. He most recently served as executive director of the Frederick Arts Council in Frederick, Maryland. His efforts there helped garner state and national recognition for the city's thriving arts community. In addition, he has worked for a national youth civic engagement initiative, a historic state park in West Virginia, and other organizations. Butcher is a graduate of West Virginia University and earned a Master of Science in Strategic Leadership from Mountain State University. He has written or published two booklets as well as numerous articles for local, state, and national publications. He serves on the board of the Tourism Council of Frederick County and the Frederick County Business Development Advisory Council.