Boundary maintenance to begin at Harpers Ferry national park

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Tourists walk Potomac Street in Harpers Ferry. West Virginia
Tourists walk Potomac Street in Harpers Ferry. West Virginia, near the national park boundary.

Through mid-December, officials at Harpers Ferry National Historical Park will perform routine maintenance along approximately 70 miles of perimeter boundary, according to Andrew Lee, resource management specialist for the National Park Service.

The purpose of the project is to make sure park property is well-marked, which, in turn, will provide greater protection for plants, animals and historic landmarks, Lee said.

The park has a complex boundary that borders residential neighborhoods, forested lands, commercial areas, highways, railroads, two incorporated towns, two other national parks, and the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Advanced Training Center.

The last major maintenance of the boundary was completed in 2009-2010. Boundary signs and survey markers have since been damaged, destroyed, or obscured by vegetation, he said.

The project involves inspecting survey markers, also known as monuments, and documenting their condition. Boundary marking signs, where appropriate, will be affixed to trees or driven into the ground on posts.

Nearby trees or other objects may be blazed with small paint marks to facilitate finding markers that are buried or not readily visible. Vines, brush and downed debris will be cleared where needed to delineate the boundary.

Harpers Ferry National Historical Park protects more than 3,900 acres at the confluence of the Potomac River and the Shenandoah River in the eastern panhandle of West Virginia.

The communities of Bolivar and Harpers Ferry and their historical districts in Jefferson County are almost completely enveloped by the park and its natural and cultural historical resources.

For more information about the project or to share information about a boundary you share in common with the park, please contact Lee at 304-535-6038.