We’ve done it! 28.5 acres of the 31-acre West Woods tract have been preserved forever. Because of the generous contributions provided by many of you, and with the help of the Commonwealth of Virginia and our friends at the Civil War Trust, this hallowed ground in the heart of the Third Winchester Battlefield has avoided certain destruction.
We came to you a year ago asking for your help to preserve this ground where desperate fighting raged for hours during this pivotal battle. You answered that call for help, and because you did our children and grandchildren will be able to walk through these woods and reflect on the momentous struggle that was waged here and across our nation – a struggle that defines us today.
And that’s not all. Not only have we used the last 18 months to save those 28.5 acres, we’ve also opened the West Woods to visitors, with a new trailhead and a trail that connects to the existing network of battlefield trails, and with much more coming soon – an orientation sign, a site sign, new interpretive markers, and new monuments. The West Woods is now a featured part of the Third Winchester Battlefield Park, the largest battlefield park in the Shenandoah Valley. Thank you for making it possible.
But we are not done yet.
We must continue the attack and preserve the last endangered portions of the West Woods. We still have several additional parcels, totaling 2.5 acres, yet to save. And these 2.5 acres are the most valuable and most developable parts of the historic woodlot. Because of that value, this acreage has always been at the greatest danger of development – a danger that remains very real.
So while we are poised in the next several months to finish this project, and declare a complete preservation victory on ground that was slated for intensive commercial development – to complete the largest battlefield preservation project ever undertaken in the Shenandoah Valley – I need your help to get it done.
I need your help to save these last 2.5 acres before they are lost forever. Thanks to the generosity of the land owner, and grants from the American Battlefield Protection Program, we will be able to match every dollar you contribute for this final push by 40 to 1! 40 to 1!!! This is an unbelievable opportunity for your contributions to have an enormous impact. We are almost there, and I know you won’t give up the fight now.