Volunteers needed to clean Tenn. battlefields, historic sites

Civil-War-TrustWASHINGTON, D.C. — This spring, Tennessee volunteers will team up with the Civil War Trust to aid in the maintenance and restoration of numerous sites as part of Park Day, a nationwide effort that includes more than 130 historic sites in 30 states. Thousands of volunteers across the country will participate as Park Day celebrates over 20 successful years on April 1, 2017.

Volunteers interested in participating in Park Day are encouraged to contact the individual sites listed below. Activities are chiefly outdoor jobs that range from raking leaves and collecting trash to painting signs and gardening. Volunteers will receive T-shirts, and some sites will provide lunch or refreshments. A local historian may also be on hand to detail the park’s significance.

Starting times vary at each site. Tennessee volunteers may sign up at the following locations:

  • Britton Lane Battlefield, Medon, 9 a.m. Contact: James Weaver at 18tenncav@bellsouth.net. Tasks: Clean up a wooded area, remove trash and small branches. A history program will occur at Noonm. Drinks will be provided. (Note: This Park Day site is holding its event on May 6.)
  • Fort Dickerson, Knoxville, 9 a.m. Contact: Kelly Henson at ericwayland@gmail.com. Tasks: Volunteers will spread mulch, trim bushes, remove trash and clean signs. Light food and drinks will be provided.
  • Fort Donelson National Battlefield and National Cemetery, Dover, 9 a.m. Contact: Deborah Austin at deborah_austin@nps.gov. Tasks: Volunteers will have the opportunity to assist in cleaning and preserving headstones in preparation for the 150th anniversary of the National Cemetery. Activities will include removing leaves, trash and debris from historic earthworks, as well as maintaining the gardens. Drinks will be provided.
  • Fort Germantown, Germantown, 8:30 a.m. Contact: Tarry Beasley at tarry@beasleylawfirm.org. Fort Germantown is a redoubt on the Memphis Charleston Railroad. Tasks: Volunteers will cut undergrowth, remove trash and repair rail fences. Donuts and refreshments will be provided.
  • Fort Pillow State Historic Park, Henning, 9 a.m. Contact: Tyson Weller at tyson.weller@tn.gov. Tasks: Clean up debris and trash on the trails and site. Food and drinks will be provided.
  • Johnsonville State Historic Park, New Johnsonville, 10 a.m. Contact: Bob Holliday at bob.holliday@tn.gov. Tasks: Removing brush as well as trash from the park site.
  • Mabry-Hazen House & Bethel Confederate Cemetery, Knoxville, 9 a.m. Contact: Calvin Chappelle at mabryhazenhouse@gmail.com. Tasks: Assist with several projects including brush removal, planting and general landscaping. Food and drinks will be provided.
  • Parker’s Crossroads Battlefield Park, Parker’s Crossroads, 9 a.m. Contact: Deborah Teague at deborahteaguetn@yahoo.com. Tasks: Help with planting, general landscaping, cleanup and park maintenance. A history program will be presented on the preservation efforts of the battlefield.
  • Shiloh National Military Park, Shiloh. Contact: Chris Mekow at chris_mekow@nps.gov. In commemoration of the 155th anniversary, volunteers will place 23,746 luminaries on the battlefield to represent the casualties of the Battle of Shiloh. Drinks will be provided. This Park Day site is holding its event on Saturday, April 8.
  • Stones River National Battlefield, Murfreesboro, 8:30 a.m. Contact: Jim Lewis at jim_b_lewis@nps.gov. Tasks: Help staff remove trash and invasive plants. Volunteers and their families are also invited to participate in a walking tour of Fort Rosecrans. Food and drinks will be provided.
  • Lotz House Civil War Museum, Franklin, 9:30 a.m. Contact: John Thompson at johntom71@comcast.net. Tasks: Help with painting the fence that surrounds the property. Drinks will be provided.

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 close to 45,000 acres of battlefield land in 23 states, including more than 3,300 acres in Tennessee. Learn more at civilwar.org.

For a complete list of participating Park Day sites, visit civilwar.org/parkday. Volunteers can participate in Park Day online using #ParkDay2017.