Jun 26



The National Park Service summer programs at Gettysburg National Military Park have not been well attended this year. Here, only four visitors are attending this 1:30 PM program “Visit to the Past” at the rear of the visitor center. The primary reason for the lack of attendance is that the Park Service is not allowed to make announcements over the Public Address system in the visitor center to tell visitors about these programs. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.

The National Park Service at Gettysburg National Military Park makes a significant effort each year to produce free programs for visitors to attend, especially over the summer months. Now that they are in the new visitor center, which is owned by the Gettysburg Foundation, however, the programs are not well attended. The primary reason appears to be because the Gettysburg Foundation does not allow announcements to be made over the public address system. Therefore the programs are not advertised, and the visitors are not verbally informed when or where a program is to occur. The Park Service has handouts that describe the programs and give a schedule, but as they discovered many years ago, MOST VISITORS DON’T READ.



It’s not like this was a slow day at the battlefield. Parking Lots 1 and 2 were full for most of the day. This is Parking Lot 3, the overflow lot, which has a significant amount of vehicles. This view was taken from the southeast facing northwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



The Park Service has printed up thousands of these free handouts which describe the programs offered, and give a schedule. The programs are given out at the National Park Service desk. However, MOST VISITORS DON’T READ. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



The program descriptions and schedules are also given out at the rack near the kiosk that advertises the new movie. Unfortunately, MOST VISITORS DON’T READ. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



This poster in the front lobby shows what programs are occurring in the park each day. Have we explained that many studies have shown that MOST VISITORS DON’T READ? This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



This foundation employee is here to give information about the visitor center, but concentrates on foundation events. Their job is to encourage visitors to purchase tickets to the movie. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



The orientation program in the front lobby does not have an updated list of the summer programs. This view was taken from the northwest facing southeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



When visitors enter the front door, the National Park Service information desk is a LONG way from the front door at the other end of the lobby. Visitors will see the ticketing and reservation employees on the right side of the lobby, first. This view was taken from the east facing west at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



One National Park Service employee told the Gettysburg Daily today that when she had an indoor program in the Ford Education Center last week, she only had four people attend. Again, this is an indoor program. She said she will attempt to make an anouncement before she presents that program this week. This view was taken from the southwest facing northeast at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.



Some of the summer programs have not been attended at all, although visitation is much greater than it has been the past couple of years. A couple of the National Cemetery walks last week did not have any visitors. The morale of the individuals presenting these programs is not as high as it should be. Hopefully, they will able to make announcements so that more visitors can experience these quality presentations. This view was taken from the northeast facing southwest at approximately 1:30 PM on Thursday, June 26, 2008.


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