The Journey Through Hallowed Ground

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Corridor Management Plan

The national award-winning Journey Through Hallowed Ground Corridor Management Plan (CMP) is designed to reflect the desires of each town and county along the JTHG National Scenic Byway. The CMP seeks to promote, conserve and enhance the Byway corridor’s scenic, historic, archaeological, cultural, natural and recreational resources and to implement strategies for sustainable tourism development based on those resources.

The CMP contains many useful resources for the JTHG partners, including strategies for:

  • Enhancing the Visitor Experience
  • Preserving and Maintaining the Byway’s Intrinsic Qualities
  • Interpretation, Heritage Tourism and Visitor Management
  • Roadway Safety, Wayfinding and Enhancement
  • Stewardship

Background

In 2006, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground (JTHG) Partnership received federal funding to prepare a corridor management plan for US Route 15, US Route 15 Business and Virginia Routes 20, 231, 22 and 53 from Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, to Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia. Serving as a “spine along the chapters of our American history,” the route truly is a journey through hallowed ground.

The purpose of the corridor management plan is not more regulations. Instead, this planning effort was designed to reflect the desires of each town, city, and county along the Byway in its effort to promote, conserve and enhance the Byway corridor’s scenic, historic, archaeological, cultural,
natural and recreational resources and to implement strategies for sustainable tourism development based on those resources.

The resulting plan is a statement about how the JTHG Partnership – which includes every local
government, the three states’ transportation, conservation, and historic resources agencies, along with the Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs) from each community, over 150 civic organizations, 30 historic Main Street communities, numerous businesses, landowners, the
operators of historic sites, and the owners of cultural/recreational attractions – will work together to achieve the Byway’s goals.

The corridor management plan has been developed through the concerted efforts of the JTHG Partnership and the many hours of thoughtful input provided by its Byway Advisory Committee. The strategies and actions included in the plan have been developed over a series of 60 public
and Advisory Committee meetings over twenty months, targeted to each of five major goal areas.

View or download the:  Journey Through Hallowed Ground Corridor Management Plan  | Appendix 1 | Appendix 2 | Appendix 3 | Appendix 4

Vision and Goals For The Byway

With the Blue Ridge Mountains (also known as South Mountain in Pennsylvania and Catoctin Mountain in Maryland) as a backdrop, the Journey Through Hallowed Ground Byway- connecting Gettysburg with Monticello - serves as the “spine on the chapters of our American history” with its easy-to-follow links to nearby battlefields, historic sites, Main Street  communities, Byways and touring routes, regional trails and waterways, and national parks – links that allow visitors to delve more deeply into the unparalleled history and beauty of this national treasure.

New and exciting multi-media technologies will be used to create memorable and educational experiences, telling the story of how this sacred and beautiful landscape shaped some of our most historic turning points in American history, influencing its leadership and the outcomes of its conflicts. The Byway will emphasize the heritage of the everyday working landscape and what it was like to live through these most challenging chapters in our American history. The Byway’s heritage will be readily identifiable, recognizable, and authentic, whether that heritage is found in towns, parks, or rural working landscapes.

The Byway will be an inspiring and relaxing travel experience – whether by car, bicycle, train, on foot, or by horseback - highlighting the natural beauty and historic character of the corridor. The route will stay much the way it is today, largely rural interspersed by towns with vital and interesting Main Streets and beautiful views of the Blue Ridge and Piedmont landscapes. The roadway itself will continue to change over time while accommodating all modes of transportation and types of users within the corridor. The route will be attractive, safe and well-signed with plenty of pull-offs so people can take their time and not feel rushed by traffic. Land use along the route will also continue to change, but with new development designed to enhance and beautify the built portions of the corridor. The entire Byway corridor will serve as a model for how American communities can rebuild and rediscover the best of history including working farms; dense historic, walkable and sustainable communities; pristine natural areas; and irreplaceable cultural/historical resources worthy of the next generation’s protection and stewardship.

How the Corridor Management Plan Developed the 5 Major Goal Area Descriptions

Corridor Definition, Land Use and Preservation Strategies  – a meeting was held on October 12, 2007, in Middleburg, Virginia, to discuss the corridor definition and to discuss conservation/preservation strategies. Small group meetings and email correspondence were used to inventory current conservation and preservation practices in each jurisdiction, identify model practices that could be used in other jurisdictions, and outline appropriate strategies for preserving and maintaining the intrinsic qualities of the Byway.

Byway Enhancement Strategies  – small group meetings in Culpeper, Orange, Fauquier, Prince William, and Loudoun Counties in Virginia, and Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in the months of January, February and March 2008, and email correspondence with other jurisdictions were used to identify existing enhancement projects and potential enhancement projects and opportunities.  A list of best practices already occurring along the Byway were compiled and shared with participants at a National Trust for Historic Preservation and JTHG Partnership “Community and Countryside” workshop in Culpeper, Virginia (November 2007). These practices are included as sidebars throughout the document and in Appendix 6 as examples for other jurisdictions along the Byway to consider.

Interpretation and Heritage Tourism Strategies  – an Advisory Committee meeting was held on January 11, 2008 in Culpeper to discuss initial interpretive concepts and heritage tourism and marketing strategies. Meetings were held with the JTHG Partnership’s Destination Marketing Organization Committee (DMOC) in advance of and following the January 11 Advisory Committee meeting (October 30, December 14, January 25 and March 14). These meetings resulted in the recommendations that can be found starting on page 87.

Transportation Strategies  – field inventory and data gathering resulted in the identification of existing planned and programmed projects in all three states and every jurisdiction along the Byway corridor. Kimley-Horn Associates performed a highway safety analysis to identify additional transportation issues. The planning team met with Virginia Department of  Transportation (VDOT) representatives on October 2, 2007, and again on November 15, 2007, to discuss strategies. The planning team met with the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) on February 5, 2008, to discuss strategies. Maryland State Highway Administration (MD SHA) strategies were developed and approved as part of the Catoctin Mountain Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan (2003) and as part of MD SHA’s document “Context Sensitive Solutions for Maryland’s Scenic Byways” (2006). VDOT and PennDOT reviewed a draft list of strategies for the Byway in the Spring of 2008, and communicated comments through email. The resulting strategies were presented and discussed at the February 14, 2008 meeting of the Advisory Committee held in Warrenton, Virginia, and subsequently were revised in response to suggestions made.

Coordination and Management  – based on the results of the more than 50 meetings and correspondence noted above, implementation measures were discussed with the Advisory Committee at the April 9, 2008 meeting. Given the list of strategies and actions that was developed, the creation of four subcommittees within the Advisory Committee is recommended to take on the responsibilities of implementing the plan

  • Preservation, Conservation and Land Use Committee
  • Education and Interpretation Committee (an existing standing committee comprised of educators throughout the JTHG Corridor)
  • Marketing Committee (an existing standing committee comprised of the Destination Marketing Organizations within the JTHG Corridor)
  • Transportation, Enhancement, and Landscape Committee
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