Volunteers Sought Nationwide for Hands-On Preservation Event
(Washington, D.C.) — Thousands of volunteers of all ages and abilities will come together on Saturday, April 4, 2020, to give back to their local communities and honor our nation’s vibrant history. For the American Battlefield Trust’s 24th annual Park Day, nearly 130 sites in 32 states and the District of Columbia will come together for a hands-on preservation event that will aid our nation’s battlefields and historic sites in tackling their maintenance needs. Participating also gives communities the chance to get a jump on restoration and beautification projects in advance of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day later that month.
“Every freshly painted fence or newly planted tree can make a difference in the visitor experience,” said American Battlefield Trust President James Lighthizer. “At a time when limited budgets and small staffs mean that historic sites must balance basic maintenance needs with interpretation and education goals, volunteers can make a huge impact.”
The Trust is honored to play a role in keeping America’s treasured landscapes and related resources clean, open and accessible for the enjoyment of all people. In 2019 alone, nearly 7,000 Park Day volunteers donated more than 25,000 service hours at 160 sites across the country. And 2020 is poised to be another runaway success, thanks to the participation of the sites listed at www.battlefields.org/parkday.
Park Day projects will take place at historically significant sites across the nation — from Gettysburg, Pa., to Modesto, Calif., and Perryville, Ky., to Princeton, N.J. Activities can include building trails, raking leaves, painting, building fences and contributing to site interpretation. Projects are set by each individual site, which allows underfunded sites to implement projects otherwise overlooked or delayed by budget or staff constraints.
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. Thanks to the support of local businesses, historic societies and other community organizations, many sites are able to provide snacks, tours and other benefits to volunteers. The Trust provides official Park Day 2020 T-shirts.
“Park Day is a great opportunity for history lovers and concerned citizens to embrace the things that make their communities most unique — the past events that shaped our nation,” said Lighthizer. “We hope that provides a way for people to give back to their local institutions and showcase the very best aspects of their communities.”
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 50,000 acres associated with the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, and Civil War. Learn more at www.battlefields.org.
For a running list of participating Park Day sites, visit Battlefields.org/parkday. Volunteers can participate in Park Day online using #ParkDay2020.