THE PRINCETON SUN — JUNE 26-JULY 2, 2013
Battlefield park preparing for spike in visitors
By KATIE MORGAN
The Princeton Sun
As the weather heats up,Princeton Battlefield State Parkis preparing for a spike in visitorsby working to complete renova-tion projects.“When the weather gets betterit becomes busier in the park,”said John Mills, battlefield cura-tor. “Some people visit becauseit’s a historic location. Others usethe park as a place to picnic, or just to be outside. The renova-tions will make those visits moreenjoyable.”Mills said some of the projectsare still in the planning stages,but are expected to be under waythis summer.“Some of the projects are com-ing along a little more quicklythan others,” Mills said. “Withthe first, to replace the originalinteractive map of the battle,there’s a bit more urgency to getthat done because we really needthat sort of interpretive materialfor the public to get a better un-derstanding. It’s been a missinglink in the park.”Mills said the original battlemap was breaking into pieces,and had to be removed. The newmap, engraved by a local artisan,has already been created.“We’re just working to deter-mine how we’ll fit it onto the ex-isting podium,” Mills said. “Theproject is in the works, and wehave no set date, but it will besoon.”In addition to the replacementof the map, Mills said the restora-tion of the cemetery behind theIonic Colonnade is a priority.“The area, which representsthe resting place of both Ameri-can and British soldiers, is inneed of some work,” Mills said.“The stones need to be reset, aswell as the bronze lettering.There will be landscaping done,as well.”Mills said the gravesite projectwill begin after paperwork andpermits are submitted and ap-proved by the state Office of His-toric Preservation.The third project slated for thebattlefield is a restoration of theClarke House Museum, built in1772.“Restoration of the ClarkeHouse will be a multiyear proj-ect,” Mills said. “And we’ll be be-ginning that this summer. Thefinal engineering report is expect-ed within the week regarding thefoundation and sill work. Thestate has money already set asideto begin this project, and once weget the report, we’ll move forwardwith contractors and bidding.”The next large event hosted atthe Princeton Battlefield will bethe annual Fourth of July pro-gram.Scheduled from 11 a.m. to 3p.m. on July 4, the event will in-clude children’s games, demon-strations of 18th century artilleryand muskets, a talk on the Battleof Princeton and a reading of theDeclaration of Independence.“It’s an important holiday to re-member the history of our na-tion,” Mills said. “The Battle of Princeton took place almost half a year to the day after the signingof the Declaration of Independ-ence. It was one of the more hard-fought battles, and it was Wash-ington’s first victory over troopsin the field. Many people come tohear the Declaration read. Theywant to hear it and actually lis-ten. People haven’t always takenthe time to read it over and under-stand themselves.”The July 4 event is free andopen to the public. Mills said heexpects between 300 and 500 visi-tors to the park.
‘Dangerous Blossoms’ exhibit runs through July 19
D&R Greenway Land Trust in-vites the public to its newest exhi-bition, “Dangerous Blossoms,”whose art ranges from images of plants that poison humans tobeautiful but fatal flowers in-creasingly destroying nativespecies in our region. The MarieL. Matthews Galleries will bloomthrough July 19, business hoursof business days.Exhibiting artists in this in-triguing assemblage include Sil-vere Boureau, Gail Bracegirdle,Linda Brooks Hirschman, BisaButler, Dolores Cohen, Lora Durr,Kathie Miranda, Linnea W.Rhodes, William Vandever, An-drew Wilkinson and AnneZeman.Curator Diana Moore said,“Soft petals and vivid leaves mayseem beautiful, but hold potentsecrets, as we all learned, readingAgatha Christie mysteries. Newtoxicities spell the death of nativeplants, who have no defensesagainst the exotics. Despite theirbeauty, invasives such as looses-trife, certain celandines, honey-suckles and multiflora rose spelldoom for native landscapes.”“A key factor of D&R Green-way stewardship,” advises LindaMead, CEO and president, “is theremoval of invasive species, re-placing them with the nativesthat belong here. Our NativePlant Nursery provides plants forlocal gardens and gardeners. Vol-unteers help gather these seedson our preserves, then plant andtend them through winter. Na-tives require less water and fertil-izer to thrive. They evolved withtheir pollinators, nourishing in-sects and birds over the cen-turies.”To inquire further as to beauti-ful non-dangerous blossoms avail-able in D&R Greenway’s NativePlant Nursery, contact EmilyBlackman at 609-924-4646, X 126,email@example.com.
Special to The Sun
Poppy watercolor by Gail Bracegirdle, available for sale at the ‘Dangerous Blossoms’ exhibit at The MarieL. Matthews Galleries May 13 through July 19.
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