The future of America’s battlefields rests upon building an awareness and appreciation of America’s story. In 2014, the American Battlefield Protection Program funded a Lakes to Locks Passage project to develop interpretation that links together the key battles fought in northeastern New York and Vermont during the 1775-77 northern campaigns of the American Revolution.
Part of the outcome of that project is the Lakes to Locks Passage guidebook Waterways of War: Turning Point of the American Revolution. The guidebook describes the 1777 campaign of British General John Burgoyne, identifying how each battlefield contributed to the British defeat at the Battles of Saratoga, and offers a framework for regional heritage tourism development. With descriptive stories and images, the book helps build awareness and appreciation of key battlefields and associated historical places. The guidebook also highlights “action opportunities,” outlining threats and simple ways visitors can help protect a battlefield.
Another result of the project is this guide, a “Toolkit for Battlefield Preservation,” which offers long-term strategies for battlefield preservation, providing information and resources for developing a battlefield preservation plan and implementing a battlefield preservation strategy.
Much of the information contained within this toolkit has been taken from various National Park Service training modules. Links to those training modules are included within the relevant body of the text. Additional information can also be found by contacting your State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) or the American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP).
The final section of this toolkit contains information from two workshops that were held in April 2016. During the meeting, historians, museum staff, cultural groups, and community members were invited to discuss the challenges of and opportunities for battlefield preservation. The notes from that meeting are included.