Prince William Forest Park, located in Virginia, USA, is undergoing infrastructure improvements in the RV campground located off Highway 234 on the eastern side of the park.
Part of this project includes replacing the existing sewer and electrical hookups that are built into concrete utility barriers in Rows D and E of the campground. However, this process could result in damage to the concrete barriers, which was documented in photographs from 1965.
This could potentially mean that they are original to the campground and are eligible for small-scale contributing features for the National Register of Historic Places, according to a news release.
In accordance with National Historic Preservation Act obligations, Prince William Forest Park will consider the demolition and removal of these concrete barriers as an adverse effect.
The park is consulting with the Virginia State Historic Preservation Office to mitigate this adverse effect. It has proposed to document the concrete utility barriers and replace them with modern, concrete-filled steel bollards.
This solution was considered to be more feasible than saving and reusing concrete utility barriers.
The RV campground was evaluated as part of the 2012 Prince William Forest Park National Register nomination and was determined to be non-contributing to the parkwide historic district. However, it was not yet fifty years old at the time of evaluation and had not been evaluated for eligibility for Mission 66.
The National Park Service National Capital Area Mission 66 Multiple Property Documentation Form lists the Travel Trailer Village as part of Mission 66 development at Prince William Forest Park. Still, it does not comment on its potential eligibility or individual contributing features.
The National Park Service Mission 66 Campgrounds Determination of Eligibility Process Guidelines lists utility infrastructure and small-scale features, such as bollards, as potential campground character-defining features.
The ongoing construction project at Prince William Forest Park highlights the importance of preserving historic resources and balancing them with necessary infrastructure improvements.
The park’s decision to document the concrete utility barriers and replace them with modern, concrete-filled steel bollards is a step towards mitigating the adverse effect on the potential historic resources in the RV campground.
The park’s commitment to preserving the history of the area while ensuring the safety and comfort of visitors is commendable.