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Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study

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We're getting our first look at plans to both preserve and develop land near the Wilderness Battlefield in Orange County. A coalition of groups involved in the Civil War site's future believe the plans will guide growth around history. 

A consultant is collecting feedback from the community on the results of the Wilderness Battlefield Gateway Study. A coalition of groups - including the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield, the National Park Service, and Civil War Trust - commissioned the $100,000 study in April.

Consultants put together a land use plan for the Route 3 and Route 20 corridors to protect the battlefield entrance and guide development. The study encourages village-style mixed-use developments with a visitor's center and focus on attracting heritage tourists to Orange County.

Zann Nelson, the president of the Friends of Wilderness Battlefield said, "To look at how we could marry - if you will - blend the desires to preserve the natural and cultural resources as well as respect and support the need for a community to grow economically and thrive."

The study also says the controversial Walmart could keep $30.4 million in Orange County that shoppers are currently spending outside the county.