Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands

Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands

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Opinion piece from the "chairman of the Battlefields Committee of the Society of the Cincinnati in Washington, D.C." Anyone wish to pen a response to the WSJ?

George Washington’s Birthday and the Battle for History
Rangers giving tours go off script about the American Revolution. Time to rein in the Park Service.
·

· The Wall Street Journal OPINION COMMENTARY By Michael Pillsbury

Feb. 14, 2020 5:18 pm ET

https://www.wsj.com/articles/george-washingtons-birthday-and-the-battle-for-history-11581718686





George Washington’s birthday is celebrated on Monday, so consider this thought experiment: It is 2026 and Washington and close military advisers like Alexander Hamilton return for a 250th-anniversary ride on the eight decisive battlefields where American independence was won.

At first, they might be pleasantly surprised to see the battlefields still intact. But suppose the visiting heroes lean down from their saddles to listen to the park rangers leading tours in green-and-gray uniforms. Expecting to hear a recounting of battles that formed the republic, they instead hear stories about identity politics and climate change. Hamilton, upon returning to his only home, in New York—a site that attracts thousands of visitors annually—would be taken aback to hear, as I did on a visit, park rangers editorialize that he stashed his wife there so he could carry on with his mistress in his Wall Street home.

This casual, official reinterpretation of history has alarmed many modern historians and Americans, including those like me with relatives who served at Valley Forge. In 2016, a park ranger reportedly telling tourists at Independence Hall in Philadelphia that “the Founders knew that when they left this room, what they had written wouldn’t matter very much” resulted in news articles and calls for her resignation. Rangers, however, aren’t required to stick to any script when interpreting the Revolution. Washington and Hamilton might ride on to privately owned Mount Vernon for a more authentic experience.

Traditionally, great powers trust their military forces with protecting and interpreting the sacred battlefields of their founding fathers. After the Revolutionary War, the U.S. military protected the battlefields, conducted “staff rides” to review decisions and scenarios, and encouraged private donors such as the Ladies of Mount Vernon to restore other historical places tied to Washington.

A painting of George Washington meeting Alexander Hamilton.

PHOTO: UNIVERSAL HISTORY ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES



But then came the National Park Service. In the 1920s and early 1930s the NPS was a minor agency struggling for attention and already filled with what today are called environmental activists. These ideologues sought to obtain possession of the nation’s historic sites, which would raise the Park Service’s profile above that of a mere maintenance organization.

In April 1933, President Franklin D. Roosevelt invited Park Service Director Horace Albright for a Sunday drive along Skyline Drive, a new highway the Park Service was building in the mountains of Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park. Albright had already created a “history division” and set up historical monuments. So he took advantage of this time with the president to defeat objections from the War Department, which wanted to keep the battlefields under its purview. Mere months later, by executive order, the War Department transferred 57 historical sites and, more important, the authority to interpret the history of the sites to the Park Service. Albright saw this victory as the culmination of his career.

In the decades since, Park Service historians have been the caretakers of this oral history, codified in a manual written by Freeman Tilden titled “Interpreting Our Heritage.” Tilden plays down military history: “The interpreter in a monument or battlefield of war may thrill his hearer with the account,” he writes, but “these things are an appeal to the mind, to logic and imagination.” Tilden instructs park rangers instead to use “the appeal to the heart,” advocating for a retelling of “the story of how in such tragic environment the human being finds the path to beauty of behavior.”

New Deal workers, through programs like the Civilian Conservation Corps, built replicas of the fortifications, which today’s battlefield visitors may think are real. Washington’s 1775-76 headquarters in Boston was named the Longfellow House to honor the poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. It only recently received an amended title, “Washington’s Headquarters,” to reflect the significance of the site where Washington planned how to force the British out of Boston.

That battle, called Dorchester Heights, was also neglected until a lone member of Congress funded the placement of a cannon where Henry Knox secretly rolled 59 of them to intimidate the British to depart. No park ranger is there today. The memorial tower at the Dorchester battlefield is locked, and the area is little more than a spot for dog walking.

The battle of Brooklyn was perhaps Washington’s greatest—20,000 British soldiers surrounded his entire army until the Americans escaped in the fog back to Manhattan. The Park Service offers no tours. The place where Washington crossed the Delaware and led his force of 2,500 in the snow to attack Trenton at dawn isn’t even marked. Meanwhile, enthusiastic, self-funded re-enactors cross the Delaware, as Washington did, on Christmas Day. At least the state governments of New Jersey and Pennsylvania operate low-budget museums on either side.

Congress should probe this travesty. Ranger scripts should be required to include accounts from any one of the dozens of authoritative histories of Washington and the war. President Obama signed a law establishing a commission to plan the celebration of the 250th anniversary of the Revolution, now only six years away. It’s time for Congress to demand a restoration of the interpretation of the nation’s most important historical sites.

Mr. Pillsbury is director of Chinese strategy at the Hudson Institute and chairman of the Battlefields Committee of the Society of the Cincinnati in Washington, D.C.

The Eppley Institute is Indiana University's unique outreach program for the park, recreation, and public land management professions. Learn more about us on our website, http://www.eppley.org!

The Eppley Institute is Indiana University's unique outreach program for the park, recreation and public land management professions and works to enhance the quality of natural, cultural, and recreational experiences for all people.

Operating as usual

08/18/2021

The 75th annual Great Lakes Park Training Institute will take place February 28 to March 9, 2022! Please join us for this special milestone celebration as GLPTI returns to Pokagon State Park!
Thanks to the success of last year’s Virtual GLPTI, the 75th GLPTI will also include a virtual offering.

The virtual portion of the conference will have the high-quality educational sessions you’ve come to expect at GLPTI, networking opportunities, and access to the 75th GLPTI Celebration, all online.

More details soon!
https://glpti.org/

The 75th annual Great Lakes Park Training Institute will take place February 28 to March 9, 2022! Please join us for this special milestone celebration as GLPTI returns to Pokagon State Park!
Thanks to the success of last year’s Virtual GLPTI, the 75th GLPTI will also include a virtual offering.

The virtual portion of the conference will have the high-quality educational sessions you’ve come to expect at GLPTI, networking opportunities, and access to the 75th GLPTI Celebration, all online.

More details soon!
https://glpti.org/

America's least-visited national parks are perfect for nature lovers who hate crowds 06/25/2021

America's least-visited national parks are perfect for nature lovers who hate crowds

There are plenty of less-recognizable national parks waiting to be discovered!

America's least-visited national parks are perfect for nature lovers who hate crowds Here are 2020's least-visited national parks and why these untapped gems are worth visiting in 2021.

03/31/2021

As a member of a parks and recreation organization which manages land that could be used for assembly, demonstration, or other rights protected by the First Amendment, it is important to understand your role in protecting these rights. This course will help you understand the amendment and your role in protecting it.

Do you know what your responsibilities are regarding first amendment activities in your agency? What law, policies, and guidance should you be following? Click the link below to enroll in the Managing First Amendment Activities in your Parks and Recreation Agency Course today!
https://provalenslearning.com/managing-first-amendment-activities-in-your-park-and-recreation-agency

As a member of a parks and recreation organization which manages land that could be used for assembly, demonstration, or other rights protected by the First Amendment, it is important to understand your role in protecting these rights. This course will help you understand the amendment and your role in protecting it.

Do you know what your responsibilities are regarding first amendment activities in your agency? What law, policies, and guidance should you be following? Click the link below to enroll in the Managing First Amendment Activities in your Parks and Recreation Agency Course today!
https://provalenslearning.com/managing-first-amendment-activities-in-your-park-and-recreation-agency

03/26/2021

NCA - the National Center on Accessibility - is part of the Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands! Check out how we improve access to parks for people with disabilities.

Did you know NCA performs accessibility assessments? Our accessibility specialists evaluate your existing conditions and make recommendations on corrective actions to remove barriers to full participation by people with disabilities in your program and facilities. All of our assessments look at the complete visitor experience from an entry-to-exit perspective.

Contact us at [email protected] for additional info on assessment services.
https://ncaonline.org/our-services/assessment/

When to Book a National Park Camping Trip This Summer 03/17/2021

When to Book a National Park Camping Trip This Summer

Mark your calendar for these key dates to grab a reservation as soon as they become available.

When to Book a National Park Camping Trip This Summer Mark your calendar for these key dates to grab a reservation as soon as they become available.

A park that welcomes homeless people, partially designed by homeless people, will be a Philly first 03/11/2021

A park that welcomes homeless people, partially designed by homeless people, will be a Philly first

“We believe a successful public park is one that doesn’t exclude by design or stewardship anybody by race, ethnicity, housing status, or socioeconomic status.” - Judilee Reed, William Penn Foundation’s program director of creative communities https://www.inquirer.com/news/homelessness-philadelphia-parks-sunday-breakfast-rescue-mission-encampment-20210310.html

A park that welcomes homeless people, partially designed by homeless people, will be a Philly first The fraught relationship between parks and homeless people has long played out here and across the country.

Photos from Eppley Institute for Parks and Public Lands's post 02/26/2021

The 74th annual Great Lakes Park Training Institute is well underway! For the first time ever, the conference is taking place online with 30 educational sessions, networking events, and ceremonies conducted via Zoom. The virtual format was well-received, with over 500 attendees, setting a new record for attendance at GLPTI!
https://glpti.org/2021-glpti-schedule/

02/11/2021

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Parks District Management Agency of Illinois to provide an online PMT cohort training on March 8-26.

Click the link below to register today!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/.../playground.../

Registration closes February 16.

The cohort training will take place over a three week timeframe. The three weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of each week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the three weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Parks District Management Agency of Illinois to provide an online PMT cohort training on March 8-26.

Click the link below to register today!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/.../playground.../

Registration closes February 16.

The cohort training will take place over a three week timeframe. The three weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of each week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the three weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

La Junta parks study recommends fewer ball fields, expanded programming for adults 02/11/2021

La Junta parks study recommends fewer ball fields, expanded programming for adults

Sarah Murray, Planning Program Manager at the Eppley Institute, met with La Junta City Council members virtually at a Monday afternoon Parks & Recreation Department work session to discuss findings that Murray and her team uncovered after a year of research and analysis of La Junta’s parks and recreation systems.

La Junta parks study recommends fewer ball fields, expanded programming for adults Adult programming, trails and soccer facilities are all areas of opportunity for La Junta parks leaders to address, a study pointed out.

02/03/2021

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) at Indiana University is undergoing a 5-year institutional review and would like your feedback on its work over the last five years. The IU Center for Survey Research is conducting the review survey on behalf of the IIDC.

We invite you to participate in this survey if:

You have worked, partnered, or engaged in any activities with, or used any resources of the IIDC and/or any of its seven centers in the last five years (since 2016)

Take the survey by visiting https://go.iu.edu/3ARI.

The Indiana Institute on Disability and Community (IIDC) at Indiana University is undergoing a 5-year institutional review and would like your feedback on its work over the last five years. The IU Center for Survey Research is conducting the review survey on behalf of the IIDC.

We invite you to participate in this survey if:

You have worked, partnered, or engaged in any activities with, or used any resources of the IIDC and/or any of its seven centers in the last five years (since 2016)

Take the survey by visiting https://go.iu.edu/3ARI.

01/29/2021

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Parks District Management Agency of Illinois to provide an online PMT cohort training on March 8-26.

Click the link below to register today!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/events/playground-maintenance-technician-training-online-cohort-march2021/

Registration closes February 16.

The cohort training will take place over a three week timeframe. The three weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of each week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the three weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Parks District Management Agency of Illinois to provide an online PMT cohort training on March 8-26.

Click the link below to register today!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/events/playground-maintenance-technician-training-online-cohort-march2021/

Registration closes February 16.

The cohort training will take place over a three week timeframe. The three weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of each week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the three weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

How can cities become healthier, greener, and more equitable in the future? | Penn Today 01/14/2021

How can cities become healthier, greener, and more equitable in the future? | Penn Today

Experts in planning, design, and urban research from Penn share how cities have been impacted by 2020 and how they can become more resilient in the future.

How can cities become healthier, greener, and more equitable in the future? | Penn Today In a year marked by COVID-19, renewed calls for racial justice, a contentious presidential election, and an active wildfire and hurricane season, Penn experts share what’s needed to make urban areas more resilient to future crises.

Here's when you can visit the US national parks for free in 2021 01/13/2021

Here's when you can visit the US national parks for free in 2021

The NPS announced six free-entrance days for 2021!

Here's when you can visit the US national parks for free in 2021 There are just six free-entrance days in 2021.

10 good-news stories for wildlife in 2020 12/30/2020

10 good-news stories for wildlife in 2020

From ‘Tiger King’ prosecutions to new pangolin protections, not everything in 2020 has been doom and gloom.

10 good-news stories for wildlife in 2020 From ‘Tiger King’ prosecutions to new pangolin protections, not everything in 2020 has been doom and gloom.

12/16/2020

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Washington School Risk Management Pool and the Vermont Recreation and Parks Associate to provide two online PMT cohort trainings.

WSRMP cohort training January 11-29
Click the link below to register!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/.../playground.../

VRPA cohort training February 1-19
Click the link below to register!
https://www.vrpa.org/event-4066847

The cohort trainings will take place over a three week timeframe. The three weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar and conclude with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of the first week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the three weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

12/16/2020

Identifying and Communicating Coastal Impacts of Storm-Related Events and Other Predicated Climate-Related Stressors

The Eppley Institute is working with Indiana University's O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs (SPEA) on a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers research project to research and identify community-focused, science based guidance that can be adapted to different communities, who are facing weather and climate-based extreme events such as storms, heat waves, flooding, and related challenges. The goal of the research is to help communities identify their community strengths, weaknesses, possible opportunities for improved community resilience, and actions that can be taken before, during, and after a climate-based event.

12/03/2020

The Eppley Institute is partnering with the Washington School Risk Management Pool and the Vermont Recreation and Parks Associate to provide two online PMT cohort trainings.

WSRMP cohort training January 11-22
Click the link below to register!
http://playgroundmaintenance.org/events/playground-maintenance-technician-training-wsrmp-online-cohort/

VRPA cohort training February 1-12
Click the link below to register!
https://www.vrpa.org/event-4066847

The cohort trainings will take place over a two week timeframe. The two weeks will kick-off with a live-webinar and conclude with a live-webinar. There will also be a live-webinar at the end of the first week. Participants will be required to complete 13 e-courses with assignments on their own over the course of the two weeks. Each e-course is approximately an hour in length.

11/25/2020

LEAP LMS is a learning management system designed specifically for park, recreation, and public lands agencies.

LEAP LMS can help you organize and analyze your workforce development and training.

Visit us at leaplms.com to learn how LEAP LMS can revamp your agency’s training program!

atlasobscura.com 11/23/2020

See America's National Parks—Before They Were National Parks

“Photography has the power to inspire change in terms of how we treat our environment and for this reason, has never been more critical. As the world faces unprecedented challenges around climate change, I cannot think of a more pressing time to photograph our impact on the natural environment.” - Bob Ahern

atlasobscura.com Landscape photography like this helped create the National Park system.

11/20/2020

Have you received basic training in interpretation but feel like you're ready to dig deeper? Do you struggle with interpretive media or writing? Are you curious about what exactly 'dialogic' interpretation means? NAI and the Eppley Institute are recruiting 12-15 students to participate in an online cohort certificate program that will begin in January 2021. If you would like more information or to apply for the program, please visit https://provalenslearning.com/interp_cohort. The application deadline is November 30, 2020.

11/19/2020

The World Parks Academy is proud to partner with World Urban Parks for the World Congress 2020 to be held Nov. 20 - 27 virtually!

Dive into Civic, Community, and Evidence-Based Leadership from international experts! Parks for All - The Courage to Grow a Greener Future.

Click here to register today!
https://arpaonline.regfox.com/wup-wc2020-tirana

11/19/2020

The Eppley Institute in partnership with Oregon Recreation and Parks Association (ORPA) are hosting a PMT online training cohort on December 7-18. In addition to the thirteen online training modules, cohort participants will have access to three live webinars with PMT instructors and experts. Contact Amanda Parsons at ORPA before November 20 to register.

Empower your playground maintenance staff with the expertise needed to keep your community safe and limit your risks. Contact Amanda Parsons, [email protected] to register for this premiere, comprehensive, safety and risk management training for playground maintenance.

11/12/2020

Have you received basic training in interpretation but feel like you're ready to dig deeper? Do you struggle with interpretive media or writing? Are you curious about what exactly 'dialogic' interpretation means? NAI and the Eppley Institute are recruiting 12-15 students to participate in an online cohort certificate program that will begin in January 2021. If you would like more information or to apply for the program, please visit https://provalenslearning.com/interp_cohort. The application deadline is November 30, 2020.

11/12/2020

The Eppley Institute in partnership with Oregon Recreation and Parks Association (ORPA) are hosting a PMT online training cohort on December 7-18. In addition to the thirteen online training modules, cohort participants will have access to three live webinars with PMT instructors and experts. Contact Amanda Parsons at ORPA before November 20 to register.

Empower your playground maintenance staff with the expertise needed to keep your community safe and limit your risks. Contact Amanda Parsons, [email protected] to register for this premiere, comprehensive, safety and risk management training for playground maintenance.

11/11/2020

Join us later this month as we join World Urban Parks and the City of Tirana in discovering Parks for All - The Courage to Grow a Greener Future. #WorldCongress2020

Discover more: https://buff.ly/346vZH7

Register today: https://buff.ly/2H0gw2K

11/06/2020

The Eppley Institute in partnership with Oregon Recreation and Parks Association (ORPA) are hosting a PMT online training cohort on December 7-18. In addition to the thirteen online training modules, cohort participants will have access to three live webinars with PMT instructors and experts. Contact Amanda Parsons at ORPA before November 20 to register.

Empower your playground maintenance staff with the expertise needed to keep your community safe and limit your risks. Contact Amanda Parsons, [email protected] to register for this premiere, comprehensive, safety and risk management training for playground maintenance.

11/06/2020

The 74th annual Great Lakes Park Training Institute will be presented virtually at no cost* from February 17 - March 2, 2021! Please join us for the same high quality educational sessions you've come to expect at GLPTI and connect with other parks professionals in unique social events and networking opportunities.

The GLPTI Board of Advisors is committed to providing this unique opportunity as a service to the parks profession. More details about Virtual GLPTI will be available (including registration) very soon.

Learn more about GLPTI - https://glpti.org/

*Continuing Education Units (CEUs) available for an additional registration fee

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501 N Morton St, Ste 101
Bloomington, IN
47404
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