The National Park Service will hold a public meeting next Wednesday to discuss what land still needs to be acquired at Manassas National Battlefield and how the park should be developed over the next 20 years.
While the boundaries of the park have been roughly established, the Park Service has not decided how to preserve the privately owned 1,500 acres inside the 4,500-acre park. It also has not determined the level of development needed to explain to the park's 800,000 annual visitors the two battles of Manassas fought along Bull Run in 1861 and 1862.
A final plan and public hearing will be held this fall, after public comment has been studied on the Park Service's three basic alternatives: doing nothing; buying major portions of the park's private land and developing it; or a compromise between the two.
Park Superintendent Roland Swain, whose budget has been cut each year for the past three years, has called crucial the purchase of two parcels of land, around an old stone bridge, where the first shots were fired in the first land battle of the Civil War, and the old Brawner farm, where the second battle of Manassas began a year later.
Next Wednesday's meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. at the park visitors' center on Rte. 234, just east of the Interstate Rte. 66 exit.