2014 marks the 25th Anniversary of the Friends of Gettysburg!
Twenty-five years ago, the Friends of Gettysburg originated because a few concerned citizens, residing in Gettysburg Pennsylvania, wanted to assist the National Park Service with the monumental task of preserving the Gettysburg National Military Park (GNMP) and the Eisenhower National Historic Site (ENHS). This once grass roots membership organization, formerly known as Friends of the National Parks at Gettysburg, has grown into one of America’s most recognized and honored Friends groups in the preservation and education fields. The success of the organization is a direct result of the passion and commitment of over 20,000 members.
The Friends of Gettysburg’s expansive mission includes funding critical battlefield preservation projects, like battlefield rehabilitation, land acquisition, artifact acquisition and preservation, monument preservation and education. The Friends also works closely with the National Park Service to provide countless volunteer opportunities, tours, programs and living history exhibitions to educate present and future generations about the values of the Battle of Gettysburg and President Eisenhower.
The Friends list of accomplishments is impressive and includes helping to construct the 139,000 square foot, state of the art, Gettysburg National Military Park museum and visitor center, the preservation of over 700 acres of land, the acquisition of over 400 additional acres of battlefield land for preservation and interpretation, and the recruitment and retention of over 700 volunteers and 20,000 members from all 50 states and 8 foreign countries.
In honor of the Friends of Gettysburg’s 25 successful years of preservation, education and acquisition efforts for the national parks at Gettysburg, the Gettysburg Foundation will host a year-long celebration. This summer's 2-day celebration includes unique behind-the-scene tours, dinner and entertainment at the Gettysburg Armory Complex, and a picnic reception at the George Spangler Farm Civil War Field Hospital Site. Learn more here.