GREENSBORO, NC – Today, Guilford Courthouse National Military Park and Guilford Battleground Company announced they were the joint recipients of a 2015 National Park Service Centennial Challenge Grant. These Centennial Challenge Grants are part of a multi-year effort to prepare for the National Park Service Centennial in 2016. The NPS Centennial Grant Program includes $26 million for restoration projects at national parks around the country, including $16 million from non-governmental partners. In the National Park Service’s Southeast Region, this grant program will fund 25 separate projects totaling over $3 million dollars. The Guilford Courthouse project will involve updating the museum exhibits at the Colonial Heritage Center to make them interactive and more relevant to park visitors.
“The Centennial Challenge Program is a great way to leverage federal dollars,” said Guilford Courthouse NMP Superintendent Doyle Sapp. “We believe once completed the improved exhibits will result in an increased understanding of the Battle of Guilford Courthouse and the people who lived, fought, and died here. We want to thank the Guilford Battleground Company for their support. Without our friends and partners, this project would not have gone forward.”
“We are very pleased to have this opportunity to revitalize the Colonial Heritage Center,” said Ed Deaton, President of the Guilford Battleground Company. Deaton also wanted to thank the Tannenbaum-Sternberger Foundation which generously provided a grant in the amount of $200,000 to the Guilford Battleground Company which is being used for this project. The Foundation has been a longtime supporter of the Colonial Heritage Center and its mission of teaching how people lived in the 1780’s here in Piedmont North Carolina and their connection to the Battle. The upgrades will take advantage of new audio visual techniques to make the story more appealing to today’s youth.
The Guilford Battleground Company is the official friends’ group and fundraising partner of Guilford Courthouse NMP. Its primary mission is to promote and preserve the National Military Park as well as take every opportunity to teach the public about its significance. This upgrade of the Center will add to the public’s knowledge and understanding of what took place here on March 15, 1781.
In order to qualify for a Centennial Challenge Grant, projects needed to demonstrate that they provided for authorized activities that benefited one or more National Park System areas, contributed towards at least one of the Director’s Call to Action goals, required little or no additional recurring NPS operating or maintenance funds to be sustainable, did not include the construction of new facilities; and have partner(s) who were ready, willing, and able to contribute at least 50% of the project. Once submitted, projects that were highly evaluated included more than a 1:1 match, impacted multiple parks, included a contribution to Centennial goals, particularly youth engagement, and addressed high priority deferred maintenance needs.
The Centennial Challenge Grants are part of a multiyear effort to prepare for the 2016 Centennial of the National Park Service including the Find Your Park Campaign which connects a broader audience to public lands, and President Obama’s Every Kid in a Park initiative that will give every fourth grader and their families free access to national parks and all federal lands and waters for a full year, beginning this Fall.