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.
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.
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