The U.S. Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee voted unanimously Thursday to expand Gettysburg National Military Park in Adams County. The proposal now goes on to the Senate for approval.
Lawmakers announced the bipartisan legislation this year to add the Lincoln Train Station in downtown Gettysburg and about 45 acres at the southern end of the battlefield to the park.
The Gettysburg Foundation is donating the 45 acres, which was given to it in 2009, to become part of the park.
The land is environmentally significant because it has wetlands and wildlife habitat related to Plum Run, according to a joint news release from U.S. Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., and U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa.
The U.S. Department of the Interior endorsed the expansion this summer.
President Abraham Lincoln arrived at the train station before delivering his Gettysburg Address 150 years ago. This year also marked the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg during the Civil War.
Local officials have credited the milestone anniversary with increasing visitor numbers to the community.