Reconstruction Era National Historical Park invites public input


Preliminary General Management Plan includes Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve

From staff reports

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park announced an opportunity for the public to comment on preliminary management concepts that will guide the new national parks’ operations. Included in the management plan is Beaufort County Passive Park Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve.

Located in Port Royal, Fort Frederick Heritage Preserve is 6 acres of forested habitat along the Beaufort River in Port Royal adjacent to the Naval Hospital. Half of the Preserve contains the colonial British tabby ruins of the original 1730’s Fort Frederick, which is thought to be the oldest tabby structure in the State of South Carolina and is owned and maintained by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources’ Heritage Trust Program

The other half of the Preserve is owned by Beaufort County and provides public access, parking and a picnic pavilion for visitors to enjoy the river views, bird watching and access to the historic tabby ruins.

The initial 30-day public comment period on draft concepts for the park’s general management plan (GMP) is open through Friday, March 17 and includes opportunities to submit written comments and participate in public meetings.

The park was to hold three public meetings in the Beaufort area to discuss preliminary ideas about the GMP. The two remaining meetings are at 1 and 5:30 p.m., Thursday March 2, at USC Beaufort.

During the meetings, National Park Service staff will explain the plan process, showcase methods for public comment, and answer participants’ questions. Each meeting’s presentations will offer the same information.

Written comments may be submitted online at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/REER_GMP (select “Open for Comment” on the left menu bar) or by mail to: 

National Park Service Denver Service Center
Attn: REER GMP / Charles Lawson
12795 West Alameda Pkwy
Denver, CO 80228

Written comments on the initial phase of the plan must be submitted online or postmarked by Friday, March 17 to be considered. Additional opportunities for commenting and public engagement will be offered over the course of the project.

More information about the meetings and planning process are available on the project website at https://parkplanning.nps.gov/REER_GMP.

About the General Management Plan

A GMP is a broad document that identifies a national park’s long-term goals and guides visitor experience, management, park facilities development and park operations for at least 20 years.

Reconstruction Era National Historical Park was designated as a national monument on Jan. 12, 2017, by Presidential proclamation to recognize the role Beaufort County played in shaping the historic period of Reconstruction. 

In March 2019, Public Law 116-9 redesignated the park from a national monument to a national historical park, expanded the park boundary and created the park-administered Reconstruction Era National Historic Network. The Reconstruction Era National Historic Network includes a nationwide collection of public and private sites and programs associated with the Reconstruction era. The park’s GMP will include guidance for the future management of the redesignated national historical park and criteria for future boundary expansions.

The National Park Service has limited land ownership within the park boundary, and partnerships are critical to sharing the story of the Reconstruction era. Consultation and coordination among partner organizations and key stakeholders are important to this planning process, and successful implementation of the park’s future general management plan will depend on continued coordinated efforts with partners.

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