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Chatham may get 'friends' group page 3
Residents propose tax-deductible nonprofit to raise money for improvements, programs at Chatham Manor, headquarters of Fredericksburg-area national park

Date published: 9/26/2011

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"The National Park Service has a $10 billion backlog in unmet maintenance needs. So we really count on friends groups to help the national parks achieve their mission. Chatham has a lot of physical needs, big and small, that we would like to tackle with help from the community."

"Parks' needs outweigh their resources," Smith added. "And there is every indication the federal budget will shrink. The National Park Service, as part of the government, isn't held harmless from budget cuts."

With four major battlefields, the park includes 7,342 acres spread over 145 square miles in four counties. Of its $4.5 million annual budget, 98 percent goes to keeping buildings open, maintenance, interpretations and other things, Smith said. That leaves 2 percent for everything else.

"For new programs or services, we have to rely on our friends for a lot of help," he said.

ON THE NET:

nps.gov/frsp

fowb.org

Clint Schemmer: 540/368-5029
Email: cschemmer@freelancestar.com


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