UPPERVILLE, Va., Dec. 6, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Gov. Terry McAuliffe, the Civil War Trust and NOVA Parks today heralded a preservation victory creating a Northern Virginia regional park that spotlights one of Virginia's architectural treasures and the Gettysburg Campaign's lesser-known stories.
The governor announced that those groups, along with the Fauquier and Loudoun County Garden Club and Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), saved 19.8 acres on the Upperville battlefield near the historic Goose Creek Bridge in Loudoun County.
Built about 1802 when Thomas Jefferson was president, the 212-foot-long, four-arch stone bridge is one of four left in Virginia. It figured prominently in the Battle of Upperville, fought on June 21, 1863.
"Goose Creek Bridge is among the more than 1,000 significant sites that have been protected under my administration's Virginia Treasures initiative," McAuliffe said. "Focused on a 'quality over quantity' approach to land preservation, we have protected 1,337 natural, cultural, recreational and conservation-centered treasures across the Commonwealth — far exceeding our goal of 1,000 sites during my tenure. This includes 36 treasures in Loudoun County and 33 in Fauquier County."
McAuliffe spoke at a news conference overlooking the bridge, joined by Secretary of Natural Resources Molly Ward, Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer, NOVA Parks Board Member Cate Magennis Wyatt and Loudoun County Board of Supervisors Chair Phyllis J. Randall. The event was hosted by the Trust and NOVA Parks.
The speakers thanked former U.S. Sen. John Warner, who donated 12 acres beside the bridge to the Garden Club years ago, and preservationist Ann MacLeod of Upperville, for protecting the span and its setting.
"By preserving the land where these Civil War battles occurred, we are not only protecting Virginia's unique history, but we are also conserving environmental features that millions of Virginians value immensely," Secretary Ward said.
Governor McAuliffe capped the event by firing a Civil War-era howitzer with NOVA Parks' gun crew, dressed in Civil War garb, and greeting Middleburg Montessori School students.
The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America's hallowed battlegrounds. Trust has preserved more than 47,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states. Learn more at Civilwar.org.
(For a longer version of this release, visit https://www.civilwar.org/news)
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SOURCE Civil War Trust