George Washington's Boyhood Home National Historic Landmark Environmental Assessment
The National Park Service requests comment on the attached environmental assessment (EA) of a site-treatment plan for the George Washington Boyhood Home National Historic Landmark (Ferry Farm), over which the NPS manages a conservation easement. See the Document List above for full text of EA (give 20 sec. to upload); a summary of those sections describing Alternative D follows for reviewers' convenience:
Purpose (p. 2 of attached EA): "rehabilitate the historic landscape, including changes such as the interpretive development of the historic Washington Home Farm landscape and structures, a visitor center, an administration building, and a maintenance building. Proposed interpretive features include structures and landscapes representative of what would have existed during the Washington family's time on the farm and discovery areas that would demonstrate different aspects of life during that period. Interpretive activities would be focused on sharing the site's unique history in a way that makes it accessible, relevant, and inspiring to a broad spectrum of visitors."
The emphasis on Ferry Farm as an historic landscape as well as an archaeological site is prominent in its Landmark designation, and in the easement governing the property. The Secretary's Standards, in the Guidelines for Rehabilitating Cultural Landscapes, recognize the validity of landscape rehabilitation and endorse a hierarchy of landscape treatments, including those to accommodate new use. In addition to "identification," the treatments in the Guidelines are: (1) protect and maintain surviving features, (2) repair surviving features, (3) replace deteriorated features, (4) replace missing features (may be either "reproduced," documented designs, or "compatible" designs), (5) alter and add for new use (may include "selective removal"), (6) implement special considerations such as environmental requirements, handicapped access, and health and safety codes.
Ferry Farm's Landmark designation states that the property is nationally significant for its association in 1738-1855 with George Washington's life and the early commemoration and public memory of it. The easement over the property stipulates that it "may only be used as a historic site and education attraction."
The main body of the attached EA (pp. i-185) describes and maps physical characteristics, cultural resources, potential effects, and the alternatives that were considered. For the preferred alternative, the following may be found at:
-Alternative D map: p. 46 (maps for Alternatives A, B, C on pp. 29, 40, 43, respectively)
-Alternative D description in comparative, table format: pp. 53-58
-Alternative D description in text format: pp. 44-47
-Alternative D map of past archaeological testing and investigations: 85
-Alternative D impacts to archaeological resources: 136-137
-Alternative D impacts to historic structures: 140-141
-Alternative D impacts to cultural landscapes: 148-149
Future approvals and reviews: Page 30 states, "the elements of the Site Treatment Plan would be incorporated incrementally at Ferry Farm over several years, after many detailed design phases, and once appropriate permitting and design approvals are in place."
Noel Harrison, Manager of Easements
National Park Service
120 Chatham Lane
Fredericksburg, Va. 22405