Solicitation for CESU Cooperator to Conduct Public Outreach and Archeology Study on the Hickory Ridge Community at Prince William Forest Park
Background: Prince William Forest Park was established as Chopawamsic Recreational Demonstration Area (RDA) in 1936. The RDA was intended to reclaim “submarginal” farmland and return it to a forested retreat for underprivileged youth from nearby metropolitan areas. The park received its current name in 1948.
Immediately before this area was designated an RDA, it was home to scattered, small farmsteads and several communities. One of these communities, known as Hickory Ridge, included both Black and White landowners. Residents were bought out during the early years of RDA development or forced out during the later Office of Strategic Services (OSS) occupation of the RDA (1942-1945). The former location of the Hickory Ridge community is completely within park boundaries today but has never been fully inventoried for archeological and other cultural resources.
Preservation of the natural landscape has facilitated preservation of signs of this integrated community. A large oral history project in the early 2000s captured stories from residents of Hickory Ridge and Batestown (a predominantly African American community that straddles the current park boundary). No standing structures are known, but foundations, cemeteries, and middens remain visible.
The goals of this project are to expand our understanding of the lives of African Americans landowners and the ways they shaped and experienced the historic landscape, to make tangible connections to places and resources that should be preserved, and to bring greater knowledge and humanity to telling their stories.
Funding is dependent on Congressional budget actions.
Objectives and activities: The primary objective of this project is to conduct on-the-ground research, community outreach, and archeological fieldwork at Hickory Ridge.
Community engagement activities will include:
Archeology activities will include:
Final products: The final products to be created for this project are:
Suggested project timeline (may be adapted based on proposals):
This project requires a principal investigator(s) meeting the Secretary of the Interior’s Standards for Archeology. The project team should also include a team leader who will be responsible for community engagement; they need to have relevant experience working with and within African American communities. Interdisciplinary teams and student involvement are welcomed and encouraged; submit CVs for all key personnel.
The project is anticipated to be funded by the National Park Service in Fiscal Year 2024 (FY24). Anticipated project funds are up to $151,000 for the full scope of the project. This amount will include the CESU overhead rate not to exceed 17.5% of the total award amount.
Methods and equipment for archeological survey will be recommended by the partner and determined in collaboration with the NPS. Supplies and equipment required for historical and archeological research should be provided by the partner, unless the NPS has existing and available equipment that the partner does not and cannot supply given the total project budget.
Materials Requested for Letters of Interest
Letters of interest (limit 4 pages) must include:
Send Letters of Research Interest (LOIs) to the e-mail address in the “contact” section. The deadline for responding to this letter of interest is March 15, 2024. LOIs will be reviewed according to the criteria below, and top candidate(s) will be contacted for full proposal development.
Evaluation for Letters of Interest
Based on a review of the Letters of Interest received, an investigator will be invited to prepare a full study proposal, schedule, and detailed budget. Letters will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
Responses to this request for LOIs should be directed before the closing date to Anne_McKinney@nps.gov. Additional questions can be answered by contacting Anne Marie McKinney, Cultural Resources Specialist, Prince William Forest Park, at 571-361-6616 or by email.