PRESTONSBURG — Community leaders met at Big Sandy Area Development District last Friday to discuss the possible pros and cons of Middle Creek Battlefield seeking to join the National Park System.
Representatives from the Friends of Middle Creek, Floyd and Johnson county governments, tourism officials, state parks officials, and officials with Hal Rogers’ office were present for Friday’s meeting to discuss the possibility of seeking out inclusion for the Middle Creek Battlefield among the nation’s National Parks.
During the meeting, representatives discussed the positives of such a move, including greater national exposure and a sense of permanence for a project that has been a labor of love for its founder, Frank Fitzpatrick. Fitzpatrick said a move into the National Park System would ensure the battlefield’s permanence and maintenance for generations to come.
There were also discussion of some of the negatives that a move into the National Park System would cause, with the most notable being an end to the annual re-enactment of the Battle of Middle Creek. Once a battlefield becomes a national park battlefield, re-enactments are no longer allowed on the property.
Fitzpatrick said this issue could be resolved by holding back some of the battlefield property to allow the re-enactors a location to set up.
Community leaders plan to continue to meet and discuss the opportunities with Middle Creek in the future. No decision was made during Friday’s meeting.