New Redskins stadium would impact S. Mountain Battlefield and obliterate Oxen Cove Natl. Park

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#1
Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan and now former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke quietly came up with a plan to transfer about 512 acres of federal land at Oxon Cove Park in Prince George’s County to the state of Maryland so a new Redskins stadium can be built there. In exchange, about 2,481 acres in South Mountain State Battlefield, Gathland State Park “and some surrounding areas” would be transferred to the National Park Service.

The nonbinding agreement only recently came to light thanks to a public-records request by The Washington Post, which reports that local officials were "blindsided by the plan." https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...06139e540e5_story.html?utm_term=.630ead8cb889

Impact on South Mountain Battlefield

“The idea of trading battlefields for football fields does a severe injustice for all those Americans who gave their last full measures of devotion fighting for their beliefs,” said Audrey Scanlan-Teller, vice president of the Central Maryland Heritage League (CMHL). “... We want to stand in solidarity with (opponents in Prince George’s) and not see this happen.”

Scanlan-Teller, who learned of the proposal last week, said she’s worried about the longterm viability for the state lands considering extensive maintenance backlogs at other National Park Service facilities.

Additionally, state park employees would lose their jobs and public hunting areas at Gathland would be closed since NPS policy does not allow for hunting on federal parklands, she said.

“I was just shocked by it,” Scanlan-Teller said. “It’s got to get out there and people need to voice their opinion.”

https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/new...eMjxlsWH3166ji8LXvoP5Q4i1JiL_clXI17nCSTMcEyXk

Why Oxen Cove Park?

Unfortunately, Oxen Cove park is in a prime location for a football stadium--convenient to DC, the Beltway, and the surrounding suburbs and adjacent to the MGM National Harbor Casino and other National Harbor development. A conceptual drawing of the new stadium includes a moat for kayakers. (https://www.wusa9.com/article/sport...tadium-site-youve-never-heard-of/65-622645473).

On the other hand, "Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Cove Farm is a national historic district that includes a living farm museum operated by the National Park Service.. It is part of National Capital Parks-East. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The park provides an excellent resource for environmental studies, wildlife observing, fishing, and other recreational activities made possible by easy access to the Potomac River. Fourteen buildings and two structures are located in the historic district and associated with the property's sequential development as a plantation, an institutional agricultural complex, and a farm museum." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxon_Cove_Park_and_Oxon_Hill_Farm).

A former park ranger who worked there for almost 20 years said, “This is a beautiful, bucolic place...They’re not running thousands of people through the turnstiles like at Disneyland, but it needs to be preserved.”
 
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ErnieMac

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#2
A historical footnote concerns the Oxon Hill area. John H. Surratt, Sr. operated a mill in the Oxon Hill area. He and his wife, Mary Jenkins Surratt (the Lincoln Assassination conspirator), owned a farm named Oxon Hill Hundred where they lived for a number years after their 1840 marriage. Mary raised funds for the construction of the nearby St. Ignatius Church. The three Surratt children, including Anna and John H., Jr. were born on the farm. The farmstead burned in 1851 and the family relocated to what is now the Surratt House Museum in Clinton MD. I do not know if the Surratt's Oxon Hill property falls within the park boundaries or not.
 
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#4
The social purpose of big time sports, both professional and college, is to give the average knothead something trivial to be an expert on. Thus we encounter people who can prattle on at great length about what the Bears need to do while being clueless about what <they> need to do.
Always follow the money and there’s certainly plenty of that in the NFL.

But it’s all just entertainment and like it or not today’s society is built upon celebrity and sports. I like pro football as a diversion and don’t consider myself a knothead. I do, however, consider anyone remotely interested in Hollywood, all Entertainment Tonight subjects, the Kardashians and Reality TV in general and Rap music to be just that. :smile:
 
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Always follow the money and there’s certainly plenty of that in the NFL.

But it’s all just entertainment and like it or not today’s society is built upon celebrity and sports. I like pro football as a diversion and don’t consider myself a knothead. I do, however, consider anyone remotely interested in Hollywood, all Entertainment Tonight subjects, the Kardashians and Reality TV in general and Rap music to be just that. :smile:
To each their own. I have nothing against football fans, the Redskins, or the NFL, but things need to be balanced--not everyone is obsessed with major league sports and willing to do anything to satisfy the seemingly endless demands for public subsidies and expensive new facilities. Plowing under a 500-acre national park so a select few can watch multi-millionaire athletes play football doesn't seem like such a great idea to many--which explains why they tried to keep a lid on it.
 
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To each their own. I have nothing against football fans, the Redskins, or the NFL, but things need to balanced--not everyone is obsessed with major league sports and willing to do anything to satisfy the seemingly endless demand for public subsidies and expensive new facilities. Plowing under a 500-acre national park so a select few can watch multi-millionaire athletes play football doesn't seem like such a great idea to many--which explains why they tried to keep a lid on it.
Oh I agree on the subsidies, it’s pure extortion. It works because city leadership puts so much stock in image and will bend over backwards to attract and/or keep a franchise in their town. They will always tout the economic benefit of the proposal backed by studies which invariably falls short.
 
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Viper21

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#9
The social purpose of big time sports, both professional and college, is to give the average knothead something trivial to be an expert on. Thus we encounter people who can prattle on at great length about what the Bears need to do while being clueless about what <they> need to do.
Pretty condescending attitude towards sports fans. There are some pretty intellectual folks that are sports fans. Not everyone involved is a knothead. Many people's lives are positively impacted from sports, both directly, & indirectly.

I played football well into my adult years, in the minor leagues (nearly 41). I coached both little league, & adults for 15+yrs. The positive effects I've personally witnessed, & taken part in, both economically, & socially are undeniable.

While, I don't agree with taking battlefields, & turning them into football stadiums, I strongly disagree with your assessment of the, "social purpose of big time sports"
 
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#10
A former park ranger who worked there for almost 20 years said, “This is a beautiful, bucolic place...They’re not running thousands of people through the turnstiles like at Disneyland, but it needs to be preserved.”
Sounds like the entire upstate of South Carolina, where I live. All the beautiful old farmland and woodland around the cities is being bought up by developers and turned into housing. Money is all they care about, and all the city and county councils can see is more tax revenue. Preserving what makes an area unique seems not to matter when there's money to be made, even when it's a Civil War battlefield.
 
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Polloco

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#12
I wondered about this situation a long time ago. Alot of the battles occured on prime real estate. Urban Sprawl is going to catch up to the "wide open spaces" eventually. It looks likes it's already started.
 

CSA Today

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#13
Maryland's Gov. Larry Hogan and now former Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke quietly came up with a plan to transfer about 512 acres of federal land at Oxon Cove Park in Prince George’s County to the state of Maryland so a new Redskins stadium can be built there. In exchange, about 2,481 acres in South Mountain State Battlefield, Gathland State Park “and some surrounding areas” would be transferred to the National Park Service.

The nonbinding agreement only recently came to light thanks to a public-records request by The Washington Post, which reports that local officials were "blindsided by the plan." https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...06139e540e5_story.html?utm_term=.630ead8cb889

Impact on South Mountain Battlefield

“The idea of trading battlefields for football fields does a severe injustice for all those Americans who gave their last full measures of devotion fighting for their beliefs,” said Audrey Scanlan-Teller, vice president of the Central Maryland Heritage League (CMHL). “... We want to stand in solidarity with (opponents in Prince George’s) and not see this happen.”

Scanlan-Teller, who learned of the proposal last week, said she’s worried about the longterm viability for the state lands considering extensive maintenance backlogs at other National Park Service facilities.

Additionally, state park employees would lose their jobs and public hunting areas at Gathland would be closed since NPS policy does not allow for hunting on federal parklands, she said.

“I was just shocked by it,” Scanlan-Teller said. “It’s got to get out there and people need to voice their opinion.”

https://www.heraldmailmedia.com/new...eMjxlsWH3166ji8LXvoP5Q4i1JiL_clXI17nCSTMcEyXk

Why Oxen Cove Park?

Unfortunately, Oxen Cove park is in a prime location for a football stadium--convenient to DC, the Beltway, and the surrounding suburbs and adjacent to the MGM National Harbor Casino and other National Harbor development. A conceptual drawing of the new stadium includes a moat for kayakers. (https://www.wusa9.com/article/sport...tadium-site-youve-never-heard-of/65-622645473).

On the other hand, "Oxon Cove Park and Oxon Cove Farm is a national historic district that includes a living farm museum operated by the National Park Service.. It is part of National Capital Parks-East. It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003. The park provides an excellent resource for environmental studies, wildlife observing, fishing, and other recreational activities made possible by easy access to the Potomac River. Fourteen buildings and two structures are located in the historic district and associated with the property's sequential development as a plantation, an institutional agricultural complex, and a farm museum." (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oxon_Cove_Park_and_Oxon_Hill_Farm).

A former park ranger who worked there for almost 20 years said, “This is a beautiful, bucolic place...They’re not running thousands of people through the turnstiles like at Disneyland, but it needs to be preserved.”
What a shame!
 

Ole Miss

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#14
The social purpose of big time sports, both professional and college, is to give the average knothead something trivial to be an expert on. Thus we encounter people who can prattle on at great length about what the Bears need to do while being clueless about what <they> need to do.
A lot of people, myself included, used athletics to pay for a college education which I believe to be a positive social purpose. I was not given a scholarship so much as I earned it and the degree. As an "average knothead" I used my degree to earn a living and raise a family. :smile coffee:
Regards
David
 
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#16
It's disgusting what they do to our battlefields and pieces of histories almost as much as they do to the monuments.
Let's not drag the monuments debate into this, please. They are two very different issues. The moderator shut down threads on monument removal, and I really don't want to see this turned into one, since it would distract from the primary purpose of this thread.

Back on topic, Gov. Hogan is dismissive of the importance of Oxen Cove as a green oasis in a desert of urban sprawl. Now environmental groups are getting into the debate, questioning the effects of the proposed stadium on nearby rivers:
https://dcist.com/story/18/12/13/en...football-stadium-it-would-harm-nearby-rivers/

Also, there is now a petition on Change.org named "Save Oxen Cover Park" if you're so inclined:
https://www.change.org/p/larry-hogan-save-oxon-cove-park

Saving Oxen Cove Park would keep the South Mountain Battlefield under the jurisdiction of Maryland, where it belongs.
 

USS ALASKA

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#17
Western Maryland preservationists object to Hogan's proposed parkland swap for Redskins stadium
Luke Broadwater Contact Reporter
The Baltimore Sun

While the Prince George’s County end of Gov. Larry Hogan’s long-shot proposal to swap land with the federal government for a new Washington Redskins football stadium has been the subject of much heated debate, less attention has been paid to the western Maryland end of the deal.

That’s starting to change.

In recent days, the Central Maryland Heritage League has been ringing alarm bells over Hogan’s proposal to turn over to the federal government “approximately 2,481 acres located in South Mountain State Battlefield, Gathland State Park, and some surrounding areas” in Frederick and Washington counties along the state’s portion of the Appalachian Trail.

“The Central Maryland Heritage League is concerned that should the park be given to the park service, South Mountain Battlefield will be mothballed because of lack of funding, leaving the story of the battle, which resulted in more than 5,000 casualties, untold,” Scanlan-Teller wrote in a letter to The Baltimore Sun. “All the state and private funding and untold hours of effort that went into making the park what it is today will also be lost.”

Full article can be found here - https://www.baltimoresun.com/news/maryland/politics/bs-md-hogan-land-swap-20190108-story.html
397

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USS ALASKA
 

Pat Young

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#18
Public space close to cities in the Middle Atlantic is at a premium. Beautiful and historic areas should not be cleared so that a relatively small number of paying customers can be admitted to a stadium that will be used a handful of days each year. The likelihood that the stadium will be abandoned before the Civil War Bicentennial should also factor into the effort to block this.
 
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#19
There an article in today's Washington Post Metro section about the battlefield for football field land swap in Maryland featuring an interview with Paul J. Gilligan, owner of P.J. Gilligan's Dry Goods. If you ever get to Burkettsville, be sure to visit--it's a working reproduction of 19th century dry goods store. The article has a picture of the interior of the shop (below).

51868856_10216968664421486_1876565060952784896_n.jpg

https://www.washingtonpost.com/loca...9f77a3bcb6c_story.html?utm_term=.d6ff705db2b2
 
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#20
Public space close to cities in the Middle Atlantic is at a premium. Beautiful and historic areas should not be cleared so that a relatively small number of paying customers can be admitted to a stadium that will be used a handful of days each year. The likelihood that the stadium will be abandoned before the Civil War Bicentennial should also factor into the effort to block this.
In the article from the Washington Post just posted above, it says: "Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has also spoken glowingly about having the Redskins return to their original stadium at RFK Stadium in the District."

Sounds like a plan to me!
 
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