Grant to help ex­pand bat­tle­field park

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - NORTHWEST ARKANSAS -

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.

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