Almost exactly 150 years after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, another wave of volunteers is about to descend on America’s storied battlegrounds. But this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags and weed whackers — not muskets — ready to help prepare these tangible links to our past for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Civil War.
On Saturday, April 2, 2011, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America’s priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines. The nationwide effort – dubbed Park Day – is underwritten with a grant from History™, formerly The History Channel, and has been endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
Park Day, now in its 15th year, is an annual hands-on preservation event created by the Trust to assist local groups with the maintenance of Civil War sites. This year, more than 100 sites in 22 states are expected to take part in the effort, with activities ranging from trash removal to trail building. In exchange for their hard work, volunteers can receive t-shirts or patches and learn about the site’s history from local experts.
Participating sites select activities tailored to their individual maintenance and improvement needs. Find a site near you and learn about specific projects at www.civilwar.org/parkday. Volunteers of all ages and ability levels are welcome, and many activities are appropriate for groups, like scout troops.
WHAT: “Park Day” historic preservation event
WHEN: April 2, 2011
WHERE: More than 100 participating sites in 22 states
With 55,000 members, the Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goal is to preserve our nation’s endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. The Trust’s website is located at www.civilwar.org.