26th Annual Park Day Encourages Volunteers To Keep America's Historic Sites Pristine
Colleen Cheslak, (202) 367-1861 x7234
(Washington, D.C.) — The phrase “spring cleaning” may conjure visions of scrubbing and closet reorganization, but the American Battlefield Trust has put its own, history-saving spin on the phrase. In its 26 years, the organization’s Park Day effort has become a springtime staple in communities nationwide, as volunteers of all ages are encouraged to bring new life to battlefields and historic sites while enjoying the beauty of the outdoors. Hands-on preservation ensures that these storied locations are shipshape and set to provide a satisfactory visitor experience during their busiest times. This year’s volunteer projects include the painting of signs, garden maintenance, trash and leaf removal, marker clean-up, trail and fence building, and more. And while sites may seek out alternative dates to better fit their schedules, the national push for Park Day is April 9, 2022.
“For years, Park Day has been a time to hit ‘refresh’ and bring our country’s historic gems to their best and brightest state,” said American Battlefield Trust President David Duncan. “While we continue to consider safety concerns amidst the ongoing pandemic, this event will charge forward as a prime opportunity to keep history in the forefront.”
Between Boy and Girl Scouts, Rotarians, Lions Club members, church groups, ROTC units, youth groups, Wounded Warrior groups and many others, more than 450,000 cumulative hours of labor have been contributed to Park Day since 1996. These passionate individuals, driven by a profound sense of community and an enthusiasm for historic preservation, have often been greeted at Park Day sites by the generosity of local businesses and community organizations — who provide snacks, tours and other benefits.
Across the nation, scores of sites tied to the Revolutionary War, War of 1812 and Civil War have already enlisted in this year’s Park Day initiative, and more will follow through the March 10 deadline. Using the Trust’s Park Day hub at www.battlefields.org/parkday, site managers can register for the event and potential volunteers can browse participating sites using an interactive map.
This year, the American Battlefield Trust will remain attentive to the well-being of its Park Day participants. It is asked that anyone who has experienced any COVID-19 symptoms in the two weeks prior to their Park Day event refrain from participating. Additionally, volunteers are advised to wash hands often, use hand sanitizer and avoid sharing equipment (i.e. rakes, shovels, paint brushes, etc.). The Trust will also provide sites with official Park Day reusable water bottles to distribute among participants.
Please note that as Park Day sites consider weather and local public heath guidelines, some may choose to participate at another time. For any questions regarding weather policies, rain dates, and COVID-19 considerations, the Trust recommends that volunteers contact their site of interest.
The American Battlefield Trust is dedicated to preserving America’s hallowed battlegrounds and educating the public about what happened there and why it matters today. The nonprofit, nonpartisan organization has protected more than 54,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.