Everything you need to know as a site manager or a volunteer
Find the answers to your questions about Park Day, an annual hands-on preservation event to help maintain Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields and historic sites.
FAQs for Volunteers
1. When is Park Day?
The official date for Park Day 2021 is Saturday, April 10th, 2021. We are currently registering sites. Please check back later for a full list of participating sites near you!
2. Where do I register?
You must directly contact the site at which you wish to volunteer for this information. American Battlefield Trust does not register volunteers. The list of participating sites will be online in the Spring of 2021, and will be continually updated up until Park Day.
3. I don’t see the site I’d like to volunteer with listed, what do I do?
Please also feel free to share the following information with the site:
Park Day is an annual hands-on volunteer event to help Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields and historic sites shine their brightest. Individual sites receive support from the Trust— including guidance on promotional tactics, advice on how to secure material donations from local businesses, and thank you gifts for volunteers — but have total control of project details. Popular types of activities include routine grounds keeping, fence and trail maintenance, painting, and more. Learn more about Park Day and how to register online at www.battlefields.org/parkday!
5. What COVID safety precautions will Park Day volunteers need to take into consideration?
If you have experienced any of the following symptoms in the two weeks prior to your Park Day event; fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, do not participate as a Park Day volunteer.
Maintain 6 feet of social distance between site organizers, and other volunteers, unless part of a household unit.
Wear a mask that covers your mouth and nose.
Wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Do not share equipment (i.e. rakes, shovels, paint brushes, etc...)
4. Can I bring my family and friends?
Yes, please! Park Day is open to all history enthusiasts, young and old. Check with your particular site to make sure the planned activities are ability appropriate.
5. How do I share about Park Day?
We’d love to see your photos and videos throughout the day and afterward! Please comment, like, and share your experience on your social media channels using #ParkDay2021 and check out some of our best photos from last year online!
Park Day is a nationwide event, and as such, the weather may vary. Individual sites may have their own rain date and weather policy. Please contact the site at which you would like to volunteer for more information.
7. How do I get a Park Day water bottle?
The American Battlefield Trust coordinates with each registered sites to deliver made in the USA Park Day water bottles. Quantities may be limited and will be distributed on a first-come-first-serve basis.
FAQs for Historic Sites and Site Managers
1. Is Park Day only for battlefield parks?
Not at all. The goal of Park Day is to provide Americans with an opportunity to lend a helping hand at their community’s historic sites and museums — and hopefully, learn about our country’s history in the process. Though the American Battlefield Trust is focused on preserving America’s Civil War, Revolutionary War, and War of 1812 battlefields, we welcome all historical parks, homes, museums, forts, cemeteries, and more to join us and host a volunteer event.
2. Do I have to hold my Park Day event on the official date?
No! While the official date is April 10th, 2021, you are free to hold your Park Day on any day that works best for you.
Each year, due to a variety of reasons (weather, conflict with other events, etc.), several sites hold their event on an alternate date.
3. How does Park Day benefit my site? Why should I participate?
Park Day has the potential to be an extremely rewarding and productive source of volunteer labor for the maintenance and upkeep of your site, as well as an opportunity to promote your site and its unique history. Take advantage of volunteers’ efforts where your site needs it the most, whether it’s painting, planting trees, trail building, trash pickup, or something else.
In 2019, one hundred and sixty sites throughout the country participated in Park Day, bringing nearly 7,000 volunteers and donating over 24,000 hours. We hope to further increase participation at Park Day sites again this year!
4. How do I register?
Park Day 2021 registration will open up this December. You will need to provide details about your site, instructions for volunteers, and provide a physical mailing address to receive your free Park Day t-shirts (Note: We CANNOT ship to PO boxes).
Important registration dates:
December 2020: Registration open for Park Day 2019!
February 5, 2021: Registration deadline to be listed in the American Battlefield Trust's membership magazine (sites registered after this can still participate)
March 26, 2021: Registration deadline, if sites wish to be listed on the American Battlefield Trust's website and officially participate in Park Day
April 10, 2021: Park Day!
5. What COVID safety precautions will Park Day sites need to take into consideration?
To ensure that our Park Day 2021 site managers and volunteers can safely participate in clean-up activities we ask that all sites adhere to the safety protocols detailed below.
Prior to your Park Day event, please check your state and local guidelines regarding outdoor gatherings.
Organize your event to be held outdoors.
Maintain 6 feet of social distance between site organizers, and volunteers, unless part of a household unit.
Require all volunteers to wear a mask that covers their mouth and nose.
Provide a hand washing station or hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol.
Organize activities that can be performed while maintaining 6 feet of social distance or in small household units.
While checking-in Park Day volunteers, please complete the following requirements
Ask volunteers if they have experienced any of the following symptoms in the past two weeks; fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting. If the answer is yes, that volunteer, and any in their household, will not be permitted to participate in Park Day activities.
Ask all volunteers to sign in with their name, email address, and phone number. If any of your Park Day volunteers test positive for COVID-19 within two weeks of your event please contact all volunteers with that information.
Ask all volunteers to sign the Park Day Volunteer Agreement.
6. What do I get from the American Battlefield Trust when I register?
The American Battlefield Trust will provide the information you will need for organizing and hosting your Park Day event, soliciting volunteers, getting media coverage, and working with the Trust to promote the event. You will also receive templates for Volunteer Sign-in, a Site-specific Press Release and a Letter to Businesses.
You will also gain access to the 2021 Park Day Guide. From months out to a day-of checklist, this guide is invaluable.
The Trust will post your site information for volunteers on our site at Battlefields.org/parkday, where it will be available to our 55,000 members, 600,000 social media followers.
7. How do I get Volunteers?
Park Day is all about getting volunteers from the surrounding community to come out and pitch in. You will find there are lots of volunteers in your area, willing to help. Look for them in Civil War Roundtables, local conservation groups, local history groups, reenactment groups, churches, Scout troops, and local elementary schools, high schools, and colleges. For many school-aged volunteers, it’s a great way to earn volunteer hours! Post on your social media sites. Obtaining media coverage in local newspapers and TV news is a great way to garner volunteers — and gain attention about your site afterward.
8. How do I take advantage of the volunteer labor?
Where do you need help the most? In the past, other sites have used Park Day for activities such as: landscaping, clearing brush, trash removal, erecting or repairing fences, moving, setting up or taking down artillery, installing markers and interpretative signs, tree planting, building and clearing trails, and painting.
Please be as detailed as possible about what your volunteers will be doing, and also please remember to take into account volunteers that may be children or elderly – there should be something for everyone to do!
9. Will my site get media coverage?
The Trust will release national and state-level press releases regarding Park Day. We will provide you with information and tips about how to gain other media coverage for your site.
10. Is there a rain date for Park Day?
Park Day is a nation-wide event, and as such, the weather may vary. We encourage individual sites to schedule and/or announce a rain date, as they see fit.
11. What if I didn’t have enough water bottles?
Please contact the Park Day Coordinator, Connor Townsend. We only have a limited amount, but we may be able to find a few extra at the final hour.
12. What happens afterward?
Hopefully, your site will be in tip-top shape for the tourist season! Show it off by sending us your photos, videos, sign-in sheets, and any memorable stories from the day! We feature many of your photos and stories online and in our award-winning magazine, Hallowed Ground. A survey of your event will be requested as well, so we can try to continue improving for next year.
13. I took some great photos and was featured in media coverage, how do I share this with the American Battlefield Trust?
Please share your successes on our social media channels with #ParkDay2021: