Site manager picked for Cedar Creek

Posted: February 8, 2013

The Winchester Star

Amy Bracewell, a six-year National Park Service veteran who has been named site manager for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, said Thursday that she expects to be at her office in Middletown by early to mid-March.

WINCHESTER — Days after announcing a new superintendent for two parks in the area, the National Park Service (NPS) has named a site manager for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park.

Amy Bracewell, a six-year NPS veteran originally from Atlanta and currently working as a historian at the Mount Rushmore National Memorial, said in a phone interview Thursday that she expects to be at her office in Middletown by early to mid-March.

“I’m really excited to be a part of this community,” she said. “There is a lot of great history and community engagement in the Shenandoah Valley, and I’m looking forward to working with all the community partners and organizations to help share our collective message and stories with our community and visitors.”

Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park, located just south of Middletown, was established just over a decade ago. Diann Jacox — the park’s first superintendent, who retired on Jan. 3 — worked to establish a general management plan during her time at the park, and Bracewell said she’s eager to implement that plan.

“I’m really looking forward to making the [plan] a reality, helping the partner groups and the [park’s] team start some projects from the plan, getting community involvement and building on the great partnership [the park staff and community] have created,” she said.

While she’d never lived in the area, Bracewell has visited the Shenandoah Valley for vacations and has friend in Winchester.

“It’s such a beautiful area with so much to offer in terms of recreation, cultural festivals and history,” she said.

The NPS announced last week that Jim Northup, a 32-year park service veteran, will assume the role of superintendent for both Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park and Shenandoah National Park. He will replace both Jacox and Martha Bogle, who retired as Shenandoah’s superintendent in January.

Bracewell will report to Northup.

“Amy’s background, which blends expertise in historic preservation and relevant public programming through partnerships, is an ideal fit for Cedar Creek and Belle Grove,” NPS Northeast Regional Director Dennis Reidenbach stated in a news release. “Her energy and professionalism will immediately be put to work under the direction of Superintendent Jim Northup to implement the vision set forth in the general management plan and by the park’s significant partners.”

— Contact Matt Armstrong at marmstrong@winchesterstar.com