National Historic Trail open houses set for foundation document preparation

Published 4:35 pm Thursday, July 3, 2014

Special to the Lowndes Signal
With an open houses set for Saturday, July 12 and Monday, July 14, the National Park Service is preparing a foundation document for planning and management at the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail (NHT), which includes the Lowndes Interpretive Center in White Hall.
Patricia A. Butts, management analyst/public information officer for the Tuskegee Institute National Historic Site (NHS), Tuskegee Airmen NHS and Selma to Montgomery NHT, said the public is invited to attend an open house, scheduled for Saturday, July 12 from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. in White Hall and the Selma Interpretive Center in Selma. An open house is also planned on Monday, July 14 from 12-4 p.m. at the Montgomery City Hall Auditorium, Butts said.
She said, “This open house will be an informal forum to introduce the foundation document process and hear public feedback. National Park Service planning staff will be available to record your answers to questions concerning key aspects about the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail.”
Butt stressed that the trail would like to invite the public to join in this effort.
Butts said, “A foundation document involves revisiting the national historic trail’s core mission and significance, its most important resources and values, and the interpretive themes that tell the trail’s important stories.”
While she said the document is not a decision-making document and does
not include actions or management strategies, she said it describes a shared understanding of what is most important about the trail.
In this capacity, she said, the foundation document will provide the underlying guidance for future management and planning decisions at the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail. Preparing the foundation document is an important step for considering the park’s future planning and study needs.
Butts said, “All park units in the national park system will have a foundation document by 2016, the 100-year anniversary of the creation of the National Park Service.”
She said the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail is part of a nationwide effort to complete foundation documents for all 401 park units in the park system.
“As stewards of the National Park Service, it is our privileged to preserve, protect and interpret this story to ensure it will forever be remembered. The community’s collaboration in the process is invaluable,” said Sandra L. Taylor, Superintendent of Tuskegee Institute NHS, Tuskegee Airmen
NHS and Selma to Montgomery NHT.
Butts also reported that the public may submit feedback by visiting the park planning website for the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trail at
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/selmatomontgomeryfoundation.
She said visitors to this website will be able to submit responses to questions about the trail’s significance, challenges and opportunities.
Comments submitted by email or using the park planning website will be most helpful if received by July 31, 2014, Butts said.

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