As Revolutionary War reenactors prepared to cross the Delaware River yesterday, Lockheed Martin Corp. pledged $400,000 to the cash-strapped state park in Bucks County named for George Washington's daring mission that turned the tide for his Continental Army.

The money will fund the addition of an education wing at the Washington Crossing Historic Park's visitor center, which has been closed since the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission cut staffing in mid-November because of state budget woes.

The pledge is not intended to fund the annual reenactment, which costs from $20,000 to $30,000 a year, but it may free other money to ease the costs of the annual tradition. A nonprofit was formed recently to help raise funds for the reenactment.

Lockheed Martin also pledged a five-year commitment of volunteer support from its employees to bolster the park's operations and maintenance, said Marshall Byrd, vice president and general manager of Lockheed Martin Space Systems in Newtown.

Byrd, who made the announcement before the boatmen shoved off into the Delaware River, was joined by U.S. Rep. Patrick Murphy (D., Pa.), who helped put the company in contact with the park's site administrator.

Contact staff writer Robert Moran at 215-854-5983 or bmoran@phillynews.com.