August 22, 2016
Press Release

Officials Participate in National Historic Trail Ceremony and Historic Preservation Roundtable

(White Plains, NY) U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joined Congresswoman Nita Lowey and New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Commissioner Rose Harvey today at two events within the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area, marking the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service. A morning ceremony to unveil new Washington Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail signs at Franklin D. Roosevelt State Park was followed by an afternoon historic preservation stakeholder roundtable at Bear Mountain State Park led by Secretary Jewell, Congresswoman Lowey and Commissioner Harvey.

To celebrate its 100th anniversary and to look ahead to its next 100 years, the National Park Service launched the #FindYourPark movement to inspire people from all backgrounds to celebrate and support not just the National Parks but all of America's parks and special places that rejuvenate and inspire them.  These two events highlight the National Park Service’s and the Department of Interior’s commitment to engage partners in a joint effort to connect more people to our nation's natural landscapes, vibrant culture, and rich history. 

United States Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said, "As America's storyteller, the National Park Service is proud to preserve iconic places that tell our Nation's history for future generations.  Historic and cultural sites like the Hudson Valley National Heritage Area boost tourism and fuel local economies, while telling important stories about our journey.  I thank Representative Lowey for her continued dedication and support for our national parks and historic preservation."

Congresswoman Lowey, Ranking Member of the House Appropriations Committee, said, “As we celebrate the Centennial of the National Park Service, we recognize the important work NPS does each day to protect America’s greatest national treasures, including various sites throughout the Hudson Valley.  After having worked hard to include the historic Washington-Rochambeau trail as part of the National Trails System, it’s an honor to welcome Secretary Jewell to unveil its new trail markers, witness firsthand the impact of the Department of Interior’s support for our region, and learn from local experts about our rich Hudson Valley heritage. I will continue working to secure robust federal funding for NPS to build on these investments to preserve our nation’s greatest historical and cultural sites for the education and enjoyment of future generations.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “State Parks wishes the National Parks Service a happy 100th and is thrilled to host today’s celebration at two of our most beloved destinations, FDR and Bear Mountain State Parks. Whether it’s partnering on the Every-Kid-in-a-Park initiative to free park entry to fourth graders and their families; expanding opportunities to educate and inspire current and future generation of park stewards, or participating in a community discussion on the importance of historic preservation and our treasured cultural assets, we are once again honored to jointly celebrate and partner with the Department of Interior and National Park Service during what is a very special week.”

National Historic Trail Signs Unveiled

General George Washington and other reenactors in period uniform greeted officials and partners at the unveiling of the Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail signs at FDR State Park. Today’s ceremony also marked the 235th anniversary of General Washington’s Continental Army joining forces with General Rochambeau’s French army in the lower Hudson Valley. The combined forces made the long march to Yorktown, VA where they won the final battle in the Revolutionary War and secured American independence.  The new signs mark the location of a French Army encampment, tell the story of the alliance, and highlight the Hudson Valley’s significant role in the Revolutionary War.  The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail extends through nine states from Boston, Massachusetts to Yorktown, Virginia. Congresswoman Lowey cosponsored legislation designating the route a National Historic Trail in 2009 - the newest of 19 National Historic Trails that are part of the National Trails System.

Historic Preservation Round Table

Secretary Jewell, Congresswoman Lowey and Commissioner Harvey invited regional historic preservation stakeholders and advocates to Bear Mt. State Park to participate in a roundtable discussion on the issues and opportunities associated with protecting and preserving the country’s historical and cultural sites and structures. Participants in the forum discussed challenges to historic preservation, what works, sustainability of historic sites, and ways to engage new audiences and cultivate the next generation of preservationists.  The dialogue provided valuable insight to the challenges and creative ideas that will shape historic preservation over the next 100 years.

Mark Castiglione, Acting Executive Director of the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area and Greenway, said, “The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is about building partnerships across our region to celebrate and promote the Hudson Valley’s rich history and natural resources.  Today’s events highlight that partnerships work. I thank Secretary Jewell and Commissioner Harvey for leading the state-federal partnership that is so critical to preserving our history and Congresswoman Lowey for being a champion for the Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area by making sure we can continue to access the federal resources that support our work.”  

Congresswoman Lowey has continually fought to increase funding for the National Park Service, securing $2.9 billion for the NPS in the Fiscal Year 2017 House Interior Appropriations Bill, $71 million more than the FY 16 level. She also worked hard to include the Washington-Rochambeau Trail in the National Trails System, highlighting the critical role the Hudson River Valley played in the fight for American independence.

The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area program was established by Congress in 1996 and is funded, in part, through the National Park Service, Department of Interior. The National Heritage Area expands on traditional approaches to resource stewardship by building public and private partnerships that help celebrate, preserve, protect, and interpret the nationally significant resources for the Hudson River Valley for the benefit of the nation.   The activities of the HRVNHA and its partners contribute $584 Million in economic benefit and support 6,500 jobs in the Hudson Valley. Nationwide, National Heritage Areas support 148,000 jobs.  The Hudson River Valley National Heritage Area is managed by the Hudson River Valley Greenway.

Photos from the event are available HERE