Historic sites and parks already feel the impact of deferred maintenance
Regarding the July 10 front-page article “Memorials wait for water to gush again”:
For more than a century, the Mall in our nation’s capital has served a dual role as a tourist destination and the premier place for the expression of democratic ideas. The fact that our Mall suffers from $850 million in deferred-maintenance needs is a stark indicator of a backlog that also affects the cultural and historic sites in the National Park System.
Among them are the 30 established to commemorate some aspect of the African American experience. Sites such as the Maggie L. Walker National Historic Site in Richmond; the Charles Young Buffalo Soldiers National Monument in Wilberforce, Ohio; and the D.C. home of Carter G. Woodson, founder of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History (of which I am president), are all subject to the ravages of deferred maintenance.
Recently, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in the House and Senate introduced the National Park Service Legacy Act, which would provide the Park Service with up to $500 million a year to make repairs.
The summer travel season is upon us, and millions of visitors will flock to our national parks for recreation, education and inspiration. Let’s ensure their experience is a superlative one.
Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham,