Virginia Governor Youngkin Calls for Creation of Culpeper Battlefields State Park
Jim Campi, (202) 367-1861 ext. 7205
Mary Koik, (202) 367-1861 ext. 7231
(Richmond, Va.) — The American Battlefield Trust applauds Virginia Governor Glenn Youngkin’s announcement on Friday, requesting $4.93 million for land acquisition to create a Culpeper Battlefields State Park. The announcement was part of a package of legislative initiatives and budget amendments submitted by the Governor to the General Assembly on January 21, 2022.
“Friday’s announcement marks an important step in the effort to create a Culpeper Battlefields State Park,” noted Trust President David Duncan. “Culpeper’s battlefields are among the most pristine and historic in the nation. Transforming this landscape into a state park will produce a heritage tourism destination in the heart of Virginia’s Piedmont, with educational, recreational, and economic opportunities that will benefit visitors and local residents alike.”
The Culpeper Battlefields State Park initiative is a proposal to create a state park from a critical mass of more than 1,700-acres of preserved lands on the Brandy Station and Cedar Mountain Battlefields. While this landscape’s overarching national significance is associated with famous Civil War battles and events, the region is rich in history and culture. The pristine countryside visible today retains the imprint of its first native people and the generations that followed.
State Senator Bryce Reeves, long a champion of a state park in Culpeper County, urged the Governor to make a Culpeper Battlefields State Park a priority for the new administration. He worked tirelessly with the Governor’s team to craft the budget amendment submitted to the General Assembly on Friday. According to Reeves, “Culpeper is the ideal location for Virginia’s next state park. I look forward to the day when Virginians and visitors from throughout the country can learn about our nation’s history by visiting these hallowed grounds.”
Joining Senator Reeves in support of a Culpeper Battlefields State Park is a long-standing and bipartisan coalition of state legislators, national and local preservation organizations, and Culpeper government officials. In 2016, the Culpeper County Board of Supervisors and the Culpeper Town Council both passed resolutions endorsing a state battlefield park in Culpeper County.
As submitted, the Governor’s budget amendment sets aside $4.93 million in FY2023 for the state park. The amendment indicates the funding “[p]rovides for the purchase of land to create a new state park in Culpeper County that will have multiple recreational and educational opportunities.”
Nestled in the Virginia Piedmont, Culpeper County is widely recognized for its scenic character, natural beauty, and abundant history. Its pristine rivers, rolling landscape, recreational opportunities and unparalleled historic resources make it a desirable location for a state park. Its location between the Rappahannock and Rapidan Rivers made it an area of strategic importance during the Civil War, and thousands of enslaved peoples crossed its rivers, heading northward to Freedom; some returned as free men to fight for their country on this very soil.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 54,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.