The Walker Collaborative’s Phil Walker has worked on battlefield preservation plans for over a dozen battlefields in seven different states.
He has lectured at conferences of the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP), belongs to several “friends” battlefield groups, and has been a board member of the Tennessee Civil War Preservation Association for over a decade. Battlefield planning typically includes the following steps:
• Research Into The Battle’s History
• Analysis of Existing Conditions
• Prioritizing of Individual Parcels
• Land Preservation Strategies and Site Improvements
• Interpretation Strategies
Battlefield interpretation should not only educate, but also intrigue and entertain the audience – or “edu-tain” them. A variety of vehicles for interpretation exist, including brochures, wayside exhibits, driving tapes, digital communications, and interpretive centers with high-tech interactive exhibits. All should offer a hierarchy of information to appeal to a diverse heritage tourism market with varying levels of interest. In addition to preparing Tennessee’s state-wide plan to protect Civil War resources in 1999, Phil Walker prepared the Management Plan and the Environmental Assessment for the Tennessee Civil War National Heritage Area.
Battlefield Preservation Project Portfolio
Fort Madison, Iowa
FORT MADISON PRESERVATION, INTERPRETATION
and MANAGEMENT PLAN
Fort Madison was established in 1808 by the US military as a trading post on the Mississippi River. Following a series of conflicts and sieges, the troops evacuated and burned the fort in 1813. By the late-1800s, development occupied the fort and adjacent battlefield, but in 1983 a replica of the fort was constructed nearby. In 2014, the City secured a grant from the NPS’s American Battlefield Protection Program to prepare a plan to preserve, interpret and manage the historic fort and battlefield sites. TWC was hired for the plan, and recommendations included detailed steps for implementation, management and costs.
American Battlefield Trust • Nation-wide
BEST PRACTICES IN BATTLEFIELD PRESERVATION
The American Battlefield Trust (ABT) is the country’s largest and most effective non-profit battlefield preservation entity, having preserved 38,000 acres so far. ABT secured a grant from the National Park Service’s American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to prepare a “best practices” manual for battlefield preservation to help better educate themselves and the numerous state-level and local “friends” groups across the country. ABT, in turn, hired The Walker Collaborative to lead a team of consultants to conduct the research and draft the manual.
Prince William County, Virginia
MANASSAS BATTLEFIELD VIEWSHEDS STUDY
The Manassas Battlefield, or “Bull Run,” is in fact two battlefields – the First Battle of Manassas (July 21, 1861) and the Second Battle of Manassas (August 28-29, 1862). While the actual battlefield included over 6,400 acres, the portion protected by the National Park Service (NPS) consists of only 5,072 acres. Because of tremendous growth trends within the area, the future threats are even greater. Consequently, The Walker Collaborative was hired by Prince William County to lead a team of consultants to prepare a viewsheds protection plan for the battlefield.
Thompson’s Station, Tennessee
THOMPSON’S STATION BATTLEFIELD PLAN
Located immediately north of the Town of Spring Hill and within the path of rapid growth, this battlefield is substantially unaltered from its 1860s appearance. The Walker Collaborative was hired by a non-profit entity committed to the battlefield’s preservation to develop a battlefield preservation plan for the area. Working with sub-consultant LandDesign, Inc., this plan is now in the implementation stage.
FRANKLIN BATTLEFIELD and CARTER HOUSE PLANS
The Battle of Franklin occurred on November 30, 1864. Today most of the battlefield has been developed, and the remaining lands are greatly threatened by development pressures. The Walker Collaborative (TWC) was hired to prepare an NPS ABPP-funded plan to protect the remaining battlefield lands. The plan evaluated and prioritized parcels, proposed a range of preservation strategies, recommended physical enhancements, and addressed interpretation.
Phil Walker has played a key role in the following projects through The Walker Collaboration (since 2002) and previous firms.
“… the City hired The Walker Collaborative (TWC) to craft a detailed revitalization strategy in 2013… Issues addressed included uses and development along the Coosa River … Although budgets are tight, we have used the plan to make steady progress in revitalizing the district… The City of Wetumpka was quite pleased with the services and end product provided by The Walker Collaborative.”
“The Walker Collaborative did a tremendous job of helping to forge the initial vision for our heritage area. The economic study prepared by Phil Walker and persuasively presented by him in five communities throughout the region was instrumental in confirming the potential of our proposed heritage area and solidifying widespread political and public support.”
“I can tell you project managers make all the difference in the overall success of major planning initiatives. Phil Walker provided leadership at every step of the project. He took the lead role in all public meetings, served as the key point of contact with the City, and oversaw all aspects of the planning process. He exhibited a high level of expertise, professionalism, and responsiveness.”
“Phil’s charrette process exceeded our expectations… Phil and his team demonstrated an outstanding ability to work with anxious developers, interested property owners, and concerned neighbors. The caliber of Walker’s work was proven when the resulting Downtown and Riverfront Master Plan was awarded the 2009 Outstanding Planning Award from the Alabama Chapter of the American Planning Association.”
“Mr. Walker assembled a talented team…that have dramatically changed the neighborhood for the better.
The plan has since been used as a model strategy for the revitalization
of other similar neighborhoods in Tupelo.”
“Phil is a pleasure to work with and for. He is committed to giving his clients
everything they seek while providing high-quality professional recommendations and plans.
He is always seeking the best in colleagues and consultants, as well.”
“The reason the City continuously hires The Walker Collaborative, even over the course of multiple political administrations, is because they do a good job. Phil is good at listening to his clients and the public in general, and he takes the time to understand the various existing conditions in a thorough manner. His solutions for our community always seem to be the most technically sound and pragmatic path to take, so we value his recommendations.”
“Philip and his team are sincerely nice people with no pretense –
a delight to be around and interact with.
I am looking forward to helping implement all the great ideas and images they created for our City.”
“From all accounts, The Walker Collaborative knows what it’s doing when the aim is downtown revitalization… What we like most about this process is the strong desire this organization has to get public input…
The Walker Collaborative seemed to truly care about getting local buy-in.”
“I enjoyed your session. Your presentation was streamlined so it was easy to follow and grasp concepts,
entertaining with your natural injection of humor, and you had excellent presence.
You really connected with your audience.”