The Liberty Trail, a project of the American Battlefield Trust and the South Carolina Battleground Preservation Trust, recently announced that the project has been awarded more than $250,000 in National Park Service grants to modernize and enhance Revolutionary War battlefield interpretation in South Carolina. The new grant program under the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program funds projects that use technology to bring the stories of sites of armed conflict alive for modern audiences.
“Now more than ever, we know how modern technology can bring people together. Harnessing powerful stories at these battlefields and sites of armed conflict can open our eyes to the lessons from the past and lead us to greater understanding of our shared history. The National Park Service is proud to support local communities as they improve universal access, engage new audiences, and broaden our perspectives around these important places,” said NPS Deputy Director Shawn Benge. The National Park Service has been a long-term supporter of The Liberty Trail by providing funding for the acquisition of key battlefield sites.
Funded projects in South Carolina include the development of a series of educational videos to enrich visitor experience; use of technology to incorporate personal and family narratives to share the stories of African American combatants; augmented reality to recreate the structures that shaped the Siege of Charleston, the Battle of Eutaw Springs, and Fort Fair Lawn; and interpretive signage to illuminate the history of the Battle of Hanging Rock, including the enslaved individuals and members of the Catawba Nation who fought there. Additional funding for interpretive signage at Hanging Rock was provided by the National Trust Preservation Fund.
“The Liberty Trail touches nearly every South Carolina county and is providing residents and tourists the opportunity to walk in the steps of history,” commented NAME. “This funding will enable an engaging and impactful visitor experience that will further the appreciation and understanding of the state’s critical role in turning the tide of the war.”
Since The Liberty Trail was announced in 2019, the project has earned more than $10.4 million in funding from Federal, State, and Local grant programs and notable philanthropic organizations including Balmer Foundation, Mills Bee Lane Foundation, Ceres Foundation, Pathfinder Foundation, Davis Family Foundation, Darla Moore Foundation, Henry and Sylvia Yaschik Foundation, and Post & Courier Foundation.
Since the beginning of 2021, trails have been established at several sites, a digital field guide is on the horizon, and the openings of several new battlefield sites are scheduled this year.
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