(Washington, D.C.) – Volunteers of all ages and abilities can give back to their country, get out of the house, and honor people of the past by aiding the Civil War Trust on Saturday, April 7, for Park Day 2018. Park Day is an annual, nationwide, hands-on preservation event to help maintain America’s battlefields and historic sites. And with 160 sites in 32 states and the District of Columbia signed up to participate so far, this year’s Park Day will be by far the largest ever.
2018’s diverse group of Park Day sites gives volunteers many options for locations, specific projects and historical background. In recent years, the Civil War Trust has expanded Park Day to include Revolutionary War and War of 1812 sites. Now, participants from Gettysburg, Pa., to Modesto, Calif. – and Perryville, Ky., to Princeton, N.J. – will have the opportunity to help keep America’s hallowed grounds and outdoor classrooms looking their best. Across the country, all historic parks, homes, museums, forts, and cemeteries, etc., are invited to participate.
Volunteers pause for a group portrait during a recent Park Day cleanup on the scenic Cedar Mountain battlefield in Culpeper County, Virginia. The Friends of Cedar Mountain Battlefield spearheaded the effort.
American Battlefield Trust
“Park Day volunteers are critically important to historic sites that must balance basic maintenance needs with limited budgets and small staffs,” Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer said. “Visitors really do notice the difference after our legions of volunteers pitch in and clean up!”
Since 1996, thousands of community-minded citizens – including Boy and Girl Scouts, Rotarians, Lions Club members, church groups, ROTC units, youth groups and many others – have taken part in Park Day. Activities can include building trails, raking leaves, painting signs, putting up fences and contributing to site interpretation. In addition to the satisfaction that volunteer work brings, participants receive official Park Day T-shirts, and may have the chance to hear a local historian describe people and events of the past at their site.
Venues can hold their event on an alternate date; in 2018, about a dozen sites will do so, starting on March 10 and ending on May 12. Read the FAQ for more information.
In 2017, 138 sites throughout the country held Park Day events, with the help of nearly 6,000 volunteers who donated more than 24,000 man-hours of effort. Every freshly painted fence, cannon or newly planted tree makes each place better prepared for the visitors who will come this year to learn more about their nation’s history.
The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. It saves the battlefields of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, and educates the public about their importance in forging the nation we are today. To date, the Trust has preserved over 48,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states.
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Donate today to preserve battlefields in America and protect the legacy of our nation’s defining conflicts.