Tuesday, August 20, 2002

Aviation park a joy for official

By James Hannah
The Associated Press

        DAYTON - The director of the National Park Service said Monday that she is pleased with the progress of a park that honors the Wright brothers as the 100th anniversary of their first flight approaches.

        Fran Mainella pledged to promote the park on the agency's Web site, used by many people to plan vacations.

        Ms. Mainella and Sen. Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, toured the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park at the request of several groups involved in helping develop it.

        Established by Congress in 1992, the park features several sites. It includes the Wright brothers' bicycle shop, where Wilbur and Orville Wright invented the airplane, and Huffman Prairie Flying Field, where the they tested and developed planes.

        The Park Service's interpretive center near the bicycle shop is not complete; work to allow the public onto Huffman Prairie is in progress.

        Ms. Mainella said she is confident most of the sites will be ready for the 2003 celebration.


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