(Washington, D.C.) - You can give back to your country, get out of the house, and honor your heritage all at once on by joining the Civil War Trust on Saturday, March 28, for Park Day 2015. Park Day is an annual hands-on preservation event to help maintain Civil War - and now Revolutionary War - battlefields and historic sites across the nation.
For the 19th straight year, history buffs, community leaders, preservationists and other volunteers will fan out across 108 historic sites in 29 states for a spring cleanup at America's battlefields and historic sites. Armed with trash bags, rakes, weed whackers and paint brushes, this corps of community-minded citizens can use your help in sprucing up these national treasures.
This year, for the first time, the Trust adds Revolutionary War battlefields to Park Day as part of the Trust's new "Campaign 1776" initiative to save the battlefields of the American Revolution and War of 1812. From Gettysburg to Guilford Court House, and Saratoga to Shiloh, Park Day participants will tackle maintenance tasks large and small.
"Park Day volunteers are critically important to historic sites that must balance basic maintenance needs with limited budgets and small staffs," said Civil War Trust President James Lighthizer. "Neglect and deferred repairs can be as much a threat to historic sites as development. Visitors really do notice the difference after our legions of volunteers pitch in and clean up!"
Since 1996, thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities, including Boy Scouts, Rotarians, Lions Club members, church groups, ROTC units, youth groups and many others, have taken part in Park Day.
Besides picking up trash, activities can include building trails, raking leaves, painting signs, putting up fences and other tasks. In addition to the satisfaction that volunteer work brings, participants receive official Park Day t-shirts and have an opportunity to hear local historians describe the significance of the participating site.
In 2014, nearly 9,000 volunteers converged on 104 sites across the country, where they donated more than 35,000 service hours. With your help, we can do even more this year. Every trash bag that goes to the dump, every fence that is painted and every tree that is planted, leaves each site that much better prepared for the tourists who will visit this year to experience their heritage where it happened.
Keeping America's hallowed grounds pristine is a fitting tribute not only to those who served in the early conflicts of American history, but to all soldiers who serve and protect our country. These preserved historic sites are outdoor classrooms, teaching young and old alike about the sacrifices made to forge this nation. For a complete list of participating Park Day sites, visit www.civilwar.org/parkday.
The Civil War Trust is the largest and most effective nonprofit organization devoted to the preservation of America's hallowed battlegrounds. Although primarily focused on the protection of Civil War battlefields, through its Campaign 1776 initiative, the Trust also seeks to save the battlefields connected to the Revolutionary War and War of 1812. To date, the Trust has preserved more than 40,800 acres of battlefield land in 20 states. Learn more at www.civilwar.org.
The Civil War Preservation Trust became the Civil War Trust in January 2011; the Civil War Trust became a division of the American Battlefield Trust in May 2018. Campaign 1776 was created in 2014 as an initiative of the Civil War Trust; in May 2018 it became the Revolutionary War Trust, a division of the American Battlefield Trust.