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Byrd wins funding for education center near park

December 14, 2004

WASHINGTON, D.C. - The U.S. Congress has approved money for the Outdoor Education Center near Harpers Ferry National Historic Park, U.S. Sen. Robert C. Byrd said in a news release.

Byrd, D-W.Va., said he added $750,000 for the Outdoor Education Center program to the Fiscal Year 2005 Commerce, Justice and State Appropriations bill, which was wrapped into a larger federal funding package. The legislation was approved by Congress recently and signed into law last week.

The partnership between For Love of Children, a national youth and family services agency, and Xpeditions, a West Virginia nonprofit corporation, will establish a broad-based program to build the self-esteem and life skills of low-income and underserved youth, Byrd said in the release.

"The programs at the Outdoor Education Center will help to put its young participants back on the right track and lay the groundwork for them to become confident, contributing members of society. The project also will create new jobs and provide economic development opportunities in the Eastern Panhandle," Byrd said.

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The Outdoor Education Center's environmental learning and outdoor challenge activities, including hiking, mountain biking, canoeing and ropes course, will take place on 1,500 acres of protected wilderness land near Harpers Ferry National Historic Park leased by the Rolling Ridge Foundation, Byrd said.

The legislation also includes $500,000 for construction projects at the Harpers Ferry park. The funding consists of $450,000 for the planning and design of the restoration of the U.S. Armory Yard. The project will entail conducting archaeological investigations, stabilizing the building foundations and restoring the cultural landscape, Byrd said.

The remaining $50,000 will pay for planning work for the rehabilitation of the Jackson House on Camp Hill to be used for professional archiving of government record and auxiliary park offices, the release said.

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