Thursday, December 2, 2010

Lewis & Clark Heritage Trail Discussion December 6th

Lewis and Clark National Heritage Trail Extension East of the Mississippi

Meeting with the National Park Service

Special Resources Study Team

Monday, December 6, 2010, 5:00-7:00 PM

Elizabeth Senior Citizen’s Center

206 3rd St. (Corner of 3rd and Plum St.)

Elizabeth, PA 15037

Elizabeth is easily reached by PA Route 51.

Please visit for a list of all the National Park Service Public Meetings and a newsletter regarding the Eastern Legacy Special Resource Study. Please visit to answer these questions online.

The National Park Service Special Resources Study Team conducting the Lewis and Clark Heritage Trail (LCNHT) Eastern Legacy Study has selected the LCHNT Monongahela River Chapter over larger demographics to hold an investigational meeting, on December 6, 2010, to gathering public opinion.

It is extremely important that each member of the Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation and our friends provide comments concerning this great opportunity. This is your time to make your feelings known, through a report to be sent to Congress. The Extension East will be beneficial to the entire Nation as well as a particular boon to our region.

A great Nation deserves great trails. Please consider these benefits relative to the completion of  the LCNHT. A completed sea-to-sea trail will tell the full story, including the pre-exploration phase of planning, provisioning and staffing for the expedition. The post exploration phase will explain discoveries made during the epoch journey as they were reported to President Thomas Jefferson and the Nation. Other historical events in our Nation’s history are interpreted through the cause-event effect on our history and the same should be done with the Lewis & Clark story.

The educational benefits, especially east of the Mississippi River, will be greatly improved in classroom or out-of-doors settings. There is nothing like the NPS-LCNHT “Two Captains Pointing the Way” Signs to attract the attention of children and adults. This is another resource for teachers in the east, just as it has been in the west for many years. All tools should be made available to enlighten and motivate students of all ages about their history and legacy. Scholars during the last 20 years have found new primary source documents and collections that shed new light on the full story of the Lewis & Clark expedition. It is now time to complete the LCNHT so that everyone can learn the lessons of perseverance, determination, shared responsibility, and respect for their fellowman of all cultures as experienced during the expedition.

Tourism will be enhanced because of those same “Two Captains” signs through increased communications, publications, and opportunities for volunteers of all ages. A completed trail will be a truly continental trail that leads easterners to see the beautiful western country and western citizens will be enticed to travel east to see original historic building like Monticello, Charlottesville, VA and Historic Locust Grove, Louisville, KY or the White House at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC. These are homes visited by Meriwether Lewis, William Clark and other members of the expedition including York and the Tribal delegations that visited Thomas Jefferson as diplomats from their respective Nations. All of these homes are connected by beautiful vistas along rivers and highways.  While traveling the trail in the east, everyone should take advantage of the opportunity to see original documents or material collected during the exploration of the west, including the original hand written Journals of the Lewis & Clark Expedition housed in the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia, PA.

The health benefits of a trail experience are entwined in points 2 and 3 but have a major impact on all of us. Hiking, canoeing, geocaching or any kinds of out-of-doors experience is beneficial to a healthy life style. A good brisk 30-minute walk or even better, a ½ day hike/bike along a segment of the trail, in the city or countryside, is good for the mind and body. At this time when our country is struggling with health issues of great magnitude, the trails, especially the LCNHT, need to be available to the entire population of our Nation from coast to coast.

The Lewis & Clark Trail Heritage Foundation sees this as not an effort to start a new trail but to complete the trail advanced since 1969, pre-dating the Congressional designated Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail by nearly 10 years, as an outgrowth of the Lewis & Clark Commission (1965). The Foundation has been involved in trail improvements and education from day one, and advances NPS efforts.

A great Nation deserves great trails.

Please join in providing comments relative to completion of the LCNHT.

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