© Chesapeake Bay Program (Chesapeake)

Shenendoah Battlefields National Historic District


In 1996, Congress designated eight counties in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia as a National Heritage Area – the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields National Historic District – which preserves and interprets the region’s significant Civil War battlefields and related historic sites.

The effort is led by the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation, which works with partners to preserve the hallowed ground of the Valley’s Civil War battlefields, to share its Civil War story with the nation, and to encourage tourism and travel to the Valley’s Civil War sites.

Techniques for Preserving the Valley's Battlefields

Purchasing land from preservation-minded landowners may be the most visible tactic for protecting battlefields, but it is just one of many in a wide array of preservation techniques available to landowners and organizations working to conserve the Valley’s historic landscape.

Certainly, the primary tool for the Shenandoah Valley Battlefields Foundation is direct land conservation: purchasing land or easements from willing sellers, or receiving donations of land or easements.  The Foundation works directly with property owners interested in protecting their battlefield land.

The Battlefields Foundation also works with local communities interested in developing land use plans to preserve their battlefield landscapes.

Finally, the Foundation works to ensure that land use decision-making by federal, state, and local agencies considers impacts to the Valley’s battlefields.  Transportation planning in particular has a direct impact on battlefield areas, whether it involves a road that traverses a battlefield landscape, or one that will contribute to incompatible development pressure on the battlefields.

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