Photos by Michelle Baker

Members of the community joined NOVA Parks, government leaders and other preservation partners at the ribbon cutting for region’s newest park, Battle of Middleburg | Mt. Defiance Historic Park on Friday, April 26.

Guests at the Mt. Defiance Historic Park ribbon cutting enjoyed an enlightening tour about the property and battles.

One of the youngest volunteers who played a significant role in the park’s opening was Patrick Carter who built benches and a kiosk as his Eagle Scout Service Project. “I have been in scouting since 2nd grade, and I have had a lifelong dream of becoming an Eagle Scout. I chose Mt. Defiance as my Eagle Scout Service Project because I absolutely love history, and I wanted to help the park open so that other people can learn about the history of Middleburg,” said Carter, whose family has a long history in the area.

“I see Eagle Scout as a way of helping other Scouts and my community, and to hopefully earn scholarships so that I can earn a bachelors degree in fire/public safety, as well as working on a teaching certification in history.”

Following the ribbon cutting and informative park tour, NOVA Parks staff invited guests to join them at Mt. Defiance Cidery Barn for the second celebration of day-the kickoff for the official NOVA Parks 1863 Fund which is a new endowment set up through the Community Foundation for Northern Virginia to help provide long-term support for five area parks.

The success of this endowment can help promote more conservation in the area and assure that these historic sites are well maintained and available to the public for generations to come.

The Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority has assembled five regional parks with a common history along Rt. 50 from Gilberts Corner to Upperville. These five parks included Gilberts Corner Regional Park, Mt. Zion Historic Park, Aldie Mill Historic Park, Battle of Middleburg Mt.Defiance Historic Park, and Battle of Upperville/Goose Creek Bridge Historic Park all played a central role in the four days of battle in 1863 that are known as the battles of Aldie, Middleburg, and Upperville.

These battles that were part of the Gettysburg Campaign are an important part of the story of America. NOVA Parks worked with many partners including the American Battlefield Trust (Civil War Trust), Fauquier and Loudoun Garden Club, Piedmont Environmental Council, Mosby Heritage Area Association and Friends of Balls Bluff to preserve these sites and interpret their history to the public.

This article first appeared in the May 2019 issue of Middleburg Life.