Thursday, August 28, 2008

Public Comment Request on Fee Change at GNMP

National Park Service and Gettysburg Foundation proposal to amend the fee structure at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

Summary: The National Park Service (NPS) and the Gettysburg Foundation are considering collecting a single admission fee to all the venues at the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center. The single admission charge would cover the museum exhibits, the “New Birth of Freedom” film, and the restored Cyclorama Painting. The fee would be collected by the Foundation, which is responsible for operations of the museum facility. Admission to the Visitor Center portion of the facility would remain free.

The proposed new “all-in-one fee” would allow members of the public to visit the museum galleries, see the film, “A New Birth of Freedom,” and experience the Cyclorama painting program with one ticket. The new ticket would allow the Foundation to lower its fees, creating a higher value for park visitors, and allowing visitors multiple opportunities to enjoy the venues during the day of their visit.

Background: Long-term agreements between the NPS and the Foundation required the Foundation to secure all funding required to design and construct the new Museum/Visitor Center facility for Gettysburg NMP. That objective of the partnership between the NPS and the Foundation has now been successfully accomplished. The new facility is solving long-term park problems associated with (1) preservation of the park's museum collections, (2) preservation and display of the 1884 Cyclorama painting, (3) provision of a museum complex to provide visitors with an understanding of the significance of the Battle of Gettysburg within the context of the causes and consequences of the American Civil War, and (4) removal of two outdated visitor facilities and rehabilitation of the historic battle landscapes upon which the buildings currently reside.

The partnership also calls for the Foundation to operate the Museum and Visitor Center on behalf of the NPS for twenty years, until September 2028 - at no cost to the NPS. In accordance with the agreement between the NPS and the Foundation, the Foundation has the authority to collect all revenues generated by operations of the new facility. Those revenues must be used in the following priority order:

First, to pay down the long-term debt on the facility. The Foundation has obtained $15 million in tax-free bonds to assist in the construction of the new Museum and Visitor Center. The bonds must be fully repaid at the end of the 20-year operating agreement between the Foundation and the NPS (September 2028.

Second, to pay for all of the operating and maintenance expenses of the new Museum and Visitor Center over this twenty-year period. The Foundation is responsible for all operating costs of the facility, to include utilities, custodial services, building and equipment maintenance, and Foundation staff costs. The only NPS costs associated with the new facility are for NPS staff and staff support costs. This enables the NPS to redirect scarce funds that were previously used to operate and maintain the old visitor center and Cyclorama building, towards preservation of the park’s historic resources and interpretive programs.

Third, to establish a building and equipment reserve fund, and an exhibit reserve fund. Per agreement with the NPS, the Foundation is required to set aside funds from the operating revenues each year to establish reserve accounts for future equipment replacement and/or building repairs, for future rotation of artifacts and refreshment of museum exhibits. The reserve accounts are also required by the bank holding the tax-free bonds.

Fourth, at the end of each operating year, to provide a donation to Gettysburg NMP and the NPS. Per agreement these donations are required to equal the amount that Gettysburg NMP and the NPS received from bookstore sales in the old visitor center. These funds are used by Gettysburg NMP for a variety of purposes, ranging from preservation of historic resources to hiring of seasonal rangers. The funds returned to the NPS will be used to support bookstore operations in other (smaller) parks that cannot generate enough sales to remain open to the public.

If any revenues remain at the end of each fiscal year after satisfying the four obligations above, the NPS and the Foundation jointly determine their use, which could include paying down debt, land acquisition, and park preservation projects.

Revenues: The 1999 General Management Plan and the 2000 General Agreement between the NPS and the Foundation outlined three primary sources of revenues: the Museum Store, the Refreshment Saloon, and “Interpretive Venues” at the facility. Revenues from these sources must be sufficient to enable the Foundation to meet the financial obligations outlined above.

The 1999 General Management Plan and the 2000 General Agreement both anticipated that there would be three for-fee “Interpretive Venues” in the new facility, including the park’s two existing fee programs, the Electric Map and the Cyclorama Programs:

“The Electric Map…would be upgraded and modernized. It would continue to tell the story of the three-day battle, its tactics and actions. Its interpretation would be expanded to provide a better understanding of the context of the battle and the reasons for the tactics selected by the armies.” (GMP, p. 90)

“The Cyclorama painting would be displayed in a new gallery that would enhance its interpretation. A new program would describe the culmination of the Battle’s 3rd day, Pickett’s Charge. The painting would be a focal point for understanding both the battle and its continuing hold on the imagination of visitors. If possible, the diorama which was once part of the painting would be reconstructed to give visitors the sense of being in the battle intended by the painter. The experience would be developed to give visitors a sense for what it was like for participants and noncombatants during this final clash.” (GMP, p. 91) The completely restored Cyclorama Painting, including the three-dimensional diorama, will open on September 26, 2008.

“A new film would round out the park’s interpretive program. The film and theater would provide an opportunity for visitors to learn about the battle. The film would replace the outdated park film shown currently by the park. The film would be displayed in the park theater, a multipurpose theater available both for showing the film and for other special films and events….There would be an interpretive fee for this program.” (GMP, p. 91)

During the design of the building and its exhibits, however, the NPS and the Foundation made the decision to reduce these for-fee interpretive venues from three to two. The NPS and Foundation are meeting the goal of telling “the story of the three-day battle, its tactics and actions” and expanding our interpretation “to provide a better understanding of the context of the battle and the reasons for the tactics selected by the armies” through the museum exhibits themselves, rather than “upgrading and modernizing the electric map.” There are three battle theaters in the museum exhibits, explaining in detail the troop movements and major battle actions of July 1, July 2, and July 3.

In addition, as we discovered, it was not economically feasible to consider relocating and upgrading the electric map. The map weighs over 12 tons, its electronic components are so obsolete that repair parts are no longer available, and it contains friable asbestos.

Operating Pro Forma

The Gettysburg Foundation’s annual budget contains three distinct program areas: the Museum/Visitor Center operating budget, the Membership Programs and Development budget, and Capital Campaign budget. Both the Membership Programs and Development and the Capital Campaign budgets are self-sufficient; i.e., neither of these activities draw upon revenues from the Museum/Visitor Center operating budget. In other words, revenues generated by the facility are devoted exclusively to the four obligations described above, and are not used to support either the Membership Programs and Development or the Capital Campaign budgets.

The 2008 operating budget for the Museum/Visitor Center depends upon three primary sources of revenues. On an annual basis, those revenues were projected as follows:

Museum Store commissions $1,925,715
Food Service commissions $ 422,260
Film theaters and Cyclorama $4,813,724

To date, the Museum Store, operated by Event Network under contract to the Gettysburg Foundation, is performing ahead of projections. The Refreshment Saloon, operated by Aramark under contract to the Gettysburg Foundation, is performing slightly below projections. The film theaters, however, are operating well short of projections. On an annualized basis, the theaters are operating $1,784,780 short of projections.

The current fee schedule for the theater is:
Adult (ages 13+) $ 8
Adult group (16+ visitors) $ 7
Youth (ages 6-12) $ 4
Youth group (16+ visitors) $ 4

On September 26th, with the opening of the Cyclorama Program, the combined ticket prices for the film and Cyclorama are scheduled to increase to:

Adult (ages 13+) $12
Adult group (16+ visitors) $10
Youth (ages 6-12) $ 7
Youth group (16+ visitors) $ 6

These prices were originally established by the Foundation and approved by the NPS, after extensive research, consultation with marketing experts, and a comparability analysis of similar or like attractions across the northeast and southeast United States. In fact, the prices originally established were significantly below the fees that the consultants told us that “the market could bear,” in our continuing effort to make the new Gettysburg experience as affordable to as many visitors as possible. The pro forma budget of the Foundation would be met if 33% of the visitors viewed the film.

Analysis

The April 2008 opening of the Museum was very successful, and total visitation to the facility has been strong, exceeding visitation at the former visitor center. Unfortunately, during the first four months of operation of the new facility, the percentage of visitors choosing to view the film has ranged from a low of 18% to a high of 24% - well below the percentages necessary to allow the Foundation to meet its financial obligations to the bank, for adequate operations and maintenance of the facility, to meet its reserve requirements, or to meet its donation requirements to the NPS.

The NPS and the Foundation have thoroughly analyzed these numbers, including both formal and informal feedback directly from visitors, and have consulted with the marketing experts. Based upon this analysis, we have come to several conclusions:

Visitor feedback and word-of-mouth indicates that the museum experience – which is free - is so good that visitors feel little need to pay for the theater experience. Furthermore, all indications are that this will not change substantially after the opening of the Cyclorama program.

Visitor feedback consistently tells us that $8 for a 22-minute film – no matter how good the film is – is more than they were expecting or prepared to pay.

Likewise, the same feedback indicates that $12 will be more than future visitors are expecting or prepared to pay for the 45-minute combined theater and Cyclorama experience. We should expect a temporary spike of visitors desiring to see the restored Cyclorama, but that spike will not be enough to achieve the numbers required to meet budget goals.

The Foundation and the NPS have also experimented with several fee “enhancements,” such as packaging the theater and Licensed Battlefield Guide tours or tour tapes and CDs at one discounted price. Although these package “deals” have proven to be popular with visitors, the increase in package sales is still not enough to meet revenue goals.

The Proposal

After careful consideration, the NPS and the Gettysburg Foundation are now considering collecting a single admission fee to all the venues at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center. The single fee would cover admission to the museum exhibits, the theater, and the restored Cyclorama Gallery. The proposed fee structure for the three combined venues would be significantly less than the current fee structure for the theater and Cyclorama programs:

Adult (ages 13+) $ 7.50
Adult group (16+ visitors) $ 6.50
Youth (ages 6-12) $ 5.50
Youth group (16+ visitors) $ 5.00

By charging a single fee to all three venues, we think we could accomplish several major objectives:

We would expect to substantially increase the percentage of visitors willing to pay the lower fee, thus improving the Foundation’s ability to meet its financial goals.

We could make the single fee for all three venues substantially lower than the $12 currently proposed for the theater and Cyclorama experience – thus creating a higher value for park visitors, by making the theater and Cyclorama experiences more affordable for more visitors.

The single fee proposal would allow visitors multiple opportunities to enjoy the venues throughout their visit; i.e., those visitors who wished could attend the theater or the Cyclorama presentation a second time.


In order to accommodate the large numbers of repeat visitors to Gettysburg, a season pass providing unlimited admission to all three venues for a year would be available, for $32 per person or $63 per family. The season pass would include a complimentary membership in the Friends of Gettysburg.

Although this proposal increases the cost of a visit to Gettysburg NMP by those visitors who would not choose to experience either the theater or the Cyclorama program, it does provide the majority of our visitors with a better visitor experience, by making the theater and Cyclorama programs more affordable. In essence, the proposal spreads the burden of supporting the new facility across a wider percentage of park visitors.

Free Opportunities at Gettysburg NMP and the Museum/Visitor Center

This proposal does not affect numerous elements of a visit to Gettysburg National Military Park that are free for all visitors. The park does not have an entrance fee, so the entire battlefield is available for visitors to explore and enjoy at their leisure, at no charge.

In the new facility, there is no charge to enter and use the Visitor Center, the Refreshment Saloon, the Museum Store, the Theater and Museum Lobbies (which contain numerous exhibits), the Resource Room, or the Ford Motor Company Fund Education Center. There is no charge for parking while visiting the Museum and Visitor Center, or for the numerous NPS Ranger programs provided in the height of the visitor season. Students, scholars and visitors may still conduct research in the park’s archival and museum collections, by appointment.

Public Comment

During the General Management Plan process and its public comment periods, neither the NPS nor the Foundation foresaw the need to charge a fee for admission to the museum in the new facility, since the economic feasibility studies commissioned during the GMP indicated that it would not be necessary. Consequently, the General Management Plan specifically states that “The museum, like the visitor center, would be free to all visitors…” (GMP, p. 90) Therefore, the NPS and the Foundation are releasing this proposal for a 30-day public comment period.

Opportunities to comment: During a thirty day comment period, ending September 29, 2008, the NPS will provide an opportunity for the public to comment in writing on this proposal. In addition, a public workshop has been scheduled for 7:00 pm, Thursday, September 18, at the Gettysburg Museum and Visitor Center, to present information and answer questions from the public.

How to comment: Interested members of the public may comment in writing to the Superintendent, Gettysburg National Military Park, 1195 Baltimore Pike, Suite 100, Gettysburg, PA 17325, or by email to GETT_Superintendent@nps.gov. All comments must be received by September 29, 2008.

NPS


GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2008: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Update on Gettysburg’s Witness Tree Damaged in Storm on August 7

Gettysburg National Military Park News Release

Update on Gettysburg’s Witness Tree Damaged in Storm on August 7

On the afternoon of August 7, 2008, a sudden storm caused severe damage to a Honey Locust tree in the Soldier’s National Cemetery, within Gettysburg National Military Park. The tree is one of many “Witness Trees” within the park – so called because they have been living since before the 1863 civil war battle and Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.

“The good news is that – despite some reports to the contrary – the tree was not entirely destroyed,” said park Superintendent John A. Latschar. “Some of the main trunk and several living branches were unharmed. The Honey Locust is a resilient tree, and we have high hopes that it will live.”

A number of Witness Trees on the Gettysburg battlefield have been well known and frequently pointed out for years during battlefield tours. In addition, a number of previously unknown Witness Trees have been identified by the National Park Service during preparatory work for the park’s battlefield rehabilitation efforts.

When the park removes nonhistoric trees on the battlefield in major battle action areas to return areas to their 1863 appearance, we preserve Witness Trees. Park employees use a chart developed by the International Society of Arboriculture that identifies a tree’s approximate age by using a measurement of the width of the tree trunk (diameter at breast height) for each tree species at Gettysburg. Park surveys have identified a number of additional Witness Trees throughout the Gettysburg battlefield and there are probably many more in areas where the park has not conducted surveys.

The National Park Service has donated wood from the Honey Locust’s storm damage to the park's non-profit partner, the Gettysburg Foundation. The Foundation is exploring ways to use the wood to raise money for Gettysburg battlefield preservation. To learn more, visit the Gettysburg Foundation’s website: www.gettysburgfoundation.org

NPS

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2008: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

NPS: 14th Annual Gettysburg Music Muster Set for August 23

Performances by the most respected and authentic Civil War musicians will fill the air on August 23 at Gettysburg National Military Park, during the 14th Annual Gettysburg Music Muster. This one-of-a-kind performance - much of it played on original instruments – includes songs of balladeers, Victorian dance music and dance performances, along with fifes, banjo, mandolin, and more.

The Gettysburg Field Music Muster will include the Susquehanna Travellers who will be performing with the Victorian Dance Ensemble as well as solo. This year Douglas Jimerson will be accompanied by the Civil War Comrades. Mr. Jimerson stands on his own as an exceptional musician. In a twist on the Civil War music theme, the Victorian Dance Ensemble will call and perform several dance numbers of the era in Victorian dress. This year marks their tenth anniversary performance at the Muster. Their grand finale will include audience participation. New this year will be the 2nd South Carolina String Band.

Performances begin at 11:30 AM on the back lawn of the Gettysburg National Military Park Museum and Visitor Center and continue until sunset at various locations. Additional performances will take place at the Dobbin House Courtyard on Steinwehr Avenue from 1:00 PM until 4:00 PM, at the Eternal Light Peace Memorial and at the Pennsylvania Monument from 5:30 PM until sundown.

The public is invited to attend free of charge. Bring your lawn chairs, lunches and blankets to spread on the grass. For more information or a full schedule of performances call (717) 334-1124 ext. 3251

Music Muster Performers:

Douglas Jimerson and the Civil War Comrades - The day will begin with a performance from Douglas Jimerson and the Civil War Comrades. Douglas Jimerson and The Civil War Comrades are a fixture in the National Parks of the mid-Atlantic region. In the past year they have been featured on PBS-TV and at the bicentennial birthday celebration for Robert E. Lee. They are scheduled to perform for ceremonies in our nation's capital for the bicentennial birthday celebration for Abraham Lincoln. To commemorate the occasion of Lincoln's upcoming birthday, the group is releasing another CD this Fall, "A Lincoln Portrait."

The founder of the group, Douglas Jimerson, began his professional career performing with The Washington Opera and made his debut at Carnegie Hall in 1996. He has performed with Civil War musicians on various occasions at The Kennedy Center. His discography comprises 20 CD's of Civil War, patriotic, classical, international, and country music.

The Civil War Comrades consist of musicians Robert Clayton playing banjo guitar and mandolin and Ellen Jimerson playing hammered dulcimer and mandolin. “There is no other artist doing the kind of work Jimerson does," said the Washington Post.

The Susquehanna Travellers perform the music of the 19th Century America focusing on Civil War era and Irish music. The musicians are civil war re-enactors and members of the 87th PA Volunteer Infantry. The band got its start playing traditional tunes around the campfire at civil war re-enactments and with the support and encouragement of other re-enactors, the lads decided to officially form the Susquehanna Travellers. While the band certainly enjoys playing for the public, they feel most at home playing for their fellow re-enactors around the campfire.

Allen Brenner began playing his grandfathers’ hand-me-down violin at the age of 11. Throughout high school and college he received classical training and played in various orchestra and chamber ensembles, including one that performed at Carnegie Hall. After a hiatus from music for more than 20 years, he rediscovered his interest, but he quickly realized he needed to explore other musical styles. He would become interested in civil war re-enacting, where he would meet the other Travellers.

Craig Hershock has been involved in music since he picked up his father’s saxophone at the age of 9. He’s had instruction in piano, saxophone, clarinet, and voice. Susquehanna Travellers has enabled Craig to meld his love of music and history.

Jim Van Laeys has been playing guitar for more than 40 years. In 1996 he joined the 87th PA Volunteer Infantry re-enacting group. Soon Craig Hershock, Allen Brenner and Mark Ehrsam joined the group. They played music around the campfire and became the Susquehanna Travellers.

Mark Ehrsam began playing guitar while in college in the 1970’s and performed with several acoustic groups in the York, Lancaster and Harrisburg areas. In later years he added mandolin, mandola and octave mandolin to the list of instruments he plays. Mark became a member of the 87th Pennsylvania Volunteers and joined the Susquehanna Travellers, adding the mandolin and fretless banjo to their sound.

Victorian Dance Ensemble - This year marks the tenth appearance of the Victorian Dance Ensemble at the Gettysburg Music Muster. Founded in 1995, the Ensemble has presented dance demonstrations for the Smithsonian Institution, National Park Service, Civil War Preservation Trust, Pennsylvania Civil War Trails Project, National Civil War Museum, Maryland Historical Society, Pamplin Park, North Carolina’s Museum of the Cape Fear, and numerous other historic sites and museums.

The Ensemble also provides dance instruction and floor managers for balls, including three of the premiere vintage balls in the nation, the Sons of Union Veterans’ Remembrance Day Ball in Gettysburg, the Union League’s Abraham Lincoln Ball in Philadelphia and the Civil War Preservation Ball in the Rotunda of the Pennsylvania Capitol in Harrisburg.

In addition to dancing, the Ensemble's members present programs on such topics as Civil War era fashions, jewelry, newspapers, photography, weapons, flags, and the roles of civilians, using original artifacts from their own extensive collections.

The Victorian Dance Ensemble is an all volunteer organization, deeply committed to supporting historic preservation and education. Its programs have raised thousands of dollars for numerous organizations. Through 2007, the Ensemble has directly donated more than $19,000 to various preservation and education causes, including the repair of three monuments vandalized at the Gettysburg National Military Park. The Susquehanna Travelers will accompany their performance this year.

2nd South Carolina String Band - New to the 2008 Lineup is the 2nd South Carolina String Band. This year, the 2nd South Carolina String Band is celebrating their twentieth season as an active, vibrant member of the Civil War reenacting community. Though most of them no longer take the field with musket and bayonet as they once did with their namesake unit, Co. I, 2nd SC Volunteer Infantry, they are still as impressive a musical force at major reenactment events as they once were a military one.

The 2nd South Carolina String Band is arguably the best band of its kind in the nation, with credits ranging from Ken Burns films, to Turner Films' GODS & GENERALS, to theme music for the popular video game, The American Civil War, and their four outstanding CD's - ranked in the Top 20 Best-selling in Amazon.com's Civil War Music category. No strangers to performing on the battlefield, in July of 1998, they were the featured band at the installation and dedication of the Longstreet Monument in Pitzer's Woods, and again a few years later at the dedication of the last monument to be placed on the Gettysburg battlefield - that of the 11th Mississippi, on West Confederate Avenue.

The 2nd South Carolina String Band plays the songs and music that moved the American people of the early and mid-nineteenth century. They play the music that was in the hearts and minds and on the tongues of the citizen-soldiers that made up the ranks of the armies of the North and the South as they marched off to take part in the cataclysmic struggle that was to become the defining event of our nation's history. They play it on instruments of the era and in an authentic manner and style that carries the listener back to simpler times. They play with a verve and excitement that infects even the most reserved listener with their own enjoyment and brings back to vibrant life the tumultuous energy of the American experience during the War Between the States. To experience the 2nd South Carolina String Band is, for a moment, to reach out and touch the past.

As Bobby Horton, accomplished musician and widely recognized expert in the field of historical music of the War Between the States has said, "Listening to the 2nd South Carolina String Band is like eavesdropping on history."

The Gettysburg Field Music Muster started during the park’s Centennial Celebration in 1995 and has brought together a variety of music from the Civil War genre. The idea came from former Supervisory Park Ranger John Andrews whose vision was for music to bring about a better understanding to the public of the need for preserving Civil War sites. The international language of music helps to educate and inspire the visiting public as they grasp how far-reaching history can be. Only through that understanding can support for the preservation of all historic places, and National Parks, be realized.

-NPS-

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2008: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

NPS: Annual 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest

National Park Foundation - Olympus news release

Wanted: Avid Photographers and Nature lovers

The Annual 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest Challenges Photo Enthusiasts to Explore, Experience and Capture America’s Federal Lands

WASHINGTON, D.C., August 18, 2008…The National Park Foundation and Olympus Imaging America Inc. challenge everyone who can point and click to grab their camera, head to a federal land, and enter the 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest. This year’s official contest is sponsored by the National Park Foundation and Olympus in partnership with the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the U.S. Forest Service.

The 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest will run from August 18, 2008 through December 31, 2008 and showcases the more than 500 million acres of Federal Lands, drawing entries from all across the United States.

All 2008 entrants will have the opportunity to win one of five exciting prize packages with a total of 14 winners. The Grand Prize winner will earn the international honor of having the winning image grace all the 2010 "Federal Recreation Lands Pass,” an annual admission that provides access to all participating Federal Land Management Agency sites where an entrance fee is charged. Additionally, the grand prize winner will receive an Olympus E-3 DSLR digital camera kit and a five-day, four-night trip to a Federal Recreation Land of his/her choice.

“The National Park Foundation is grateful to Olympus for supporting the 8 th annual federal lands photo contest, providing park goers with the opportunity to discover the beauty and diversity of our nation’s protected lands and share that experience with all of America,” said Vin Cipolla, President and CEO of the National Park Foundation. “By entering in the 2008 Share the Experience Photo Contest, individuals can take part in a truly American pastime: helping others see the beauty and value of our national parks. The National Park Foundation is delighted to sponsor this year’s contest with Olympus to get people out to the parks to capture great photo memories.”

“Olympus is proud to be the official sponsor of the National Parks photo contest,” said F. Mark Gumz, President, Olympus Imaging America Inc. “We offer shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof and highly portable cameras, which are perfect for capturing the parks’ elements in any season. We are committed to respecting nature and promoting healthy, active lifestyles. We encourage everyone to capture our nation’s parks through photography while leaving these majestic lands untouched for future generations to appreciate.”

Citizens and legal residents of the United States who are at least 18 years of age can enter by submitting up to three photo entries online at www.sharetheexperience.org; or via mail in a hand-written, stamped envelope to:

Share the Experience Official Federal Recreation Lands Photo Contest
c/o ePrize, LLC
PO Box 8070
Royal Oak, MI 48068

All photographs entered must be taken in one of the Federal Recreation Agency Lands between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008, must be original creations, and must be submitted by the original photographer.

PLEASE SEE OFFICIAL RULES AT www.sharetheexperience.org.

Mail-in entries must be postmarked by December 31, 2008 and received by the close of business on January 8, 2009. Each envelope must include only one entry. All photos will be judged on creativity; photographic quality; visual appeal; appropriateness; ability to show diversity and the richness of the Federal Recreation Lands.

Additionally, the public will be able to view an online photo gallery of 2008 submissions from January 9, 2009 – January 16, 2009 and vote on their favorites from January 17, 2009 - January 31, 2009.

About the National Park Foundation The National Park Foundation is a 501(c)(3) organization chartered by Congress in 1967 to continue a century-long tradition of private philanthropy ensuring funding to preserve and enhance the legacy of our National Parks. As the official non-profit partner of America’s National Parks, the National Park Foundation does not receive federal appropriations for their support. The National Park Foundation serves to strengthen the connection between the American people and their national parks by raising private funds, making strategic grants, creating innovative partnerships and increasing public awareness. Support of the National Park Foundation ensures that the evolving history and rich heritage of our Nation remains vital and relevant.

ABOUT OLYMPUS IMAGING AMERICA INC.
Olympus Imaging America Inc. is a precision technology leader, designing and delivering award-winning products for consumer and professional markets.

Olympus Imaging America Inc. works collaboratively with its customers and its ultimate parent company, Olympus Corporation, to develop breakthrough technologies with revolutionary product design and functionality that enhances peoples’ lives every day. These include:

Digital and Film Cameras as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
Professional Digital SLR Imaging Systems as well as related Underwater Products and Accessories
Digital and Microcassette Recorders
Digital Media
Binoculars

Olympus Imaging America Inc. is responsible for sales in the United States, Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central and South America. For more information, visit: www.olympusamerica.com.

GettysBLOG

We support the Roadmap to Reform!

“Be steadfast in your anger, be sure in your convictions, be moved by the right and certainty that abuse of power must be defeated at every turn; uphold Liberty as the just reward of a watchful people, and let not those who have infringed upon that Liberty steal it away from you. Never loosen your grip on Liberty!" -- GettysBLOG

“Legislation without representation is tyranny.” -- GettysBLOG

Remember in May and November! Before you vote, GettysBLOG!

Copyright © 2005-2008: GettysBLOG; All Rights Reserved.