Grant to help expand battlefield park
PRAIRIE GROVE — A portion of President Donald Trump’s salary will go into expanding the Prairie Grove Battlefield state park.
The U.S. Department of the Interior granted $50,000 to the state’s Parks and Recreation Department on Wednesday from a fund that includes the president’s donation of his salary. That money will go toward the estimated $400,000 needed to purchase 40 acres including a ridge line north of the present park, said Randy Roberson, park planner for the state Parks Department.
The ridge was fought for after Confederates seized it in the December 1862 battle. The ridge is both a tactically significant piece of ground and an excellent vantage point for overlooking the battlefield as a whole, Roberson said.
The money is part of $7.2 million in grants awarded nationwide on Wednesday. The president’s salary of $78,333 for the first quarter of 2017 makes up part of that.
The $7.2 million will preserve nearly 1,200 acres at Civil War battlefields as part of the Battlefield Land Acquisition grants. The grant projects are at 23 battlefields threatened with damage or destruction by urban and suburban development in Arkansas, Maryland, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia.
The grants are paid for from the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which uses revenue from federal oil and gas leases on the Outer Continental Shelf to purchase land, water and wetlands for the benefit of all Americans. The grants are administered by the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program.