Civil War Trust
For Immediate Release: 02/26/03
History Buffs and Preservationists Join Forces to Clean Up Battlefields
CWPT sponsors a hands-on preservation event to spruce up America's hallowed Civil War sites
(Washington, D.C.) - The Civil War began as a struggle between armies of untrained but enthusiastic volunteers. Seven generations later, another army of volunteers is about to descend on America's storied Civil War battlefields - only this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags and weed whackers.
On Saturday, March 29, history buffs and preservationists of all ages will join forces to clean and restore Civil War-related battlefields, cemeteries and shrines. The nationwide effort - dubbed Park Day - will include 91 historic sites in 23 states.
"Civil War sites are often the victims of their own popularity," noted Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) President James Lighthizer. "Without proper maintenance, battlefields can suffer from the ravages of both time and tourism. Our goal is to spruce up these links to America's past so they can be enjoyed by all."
Now in its seventh year, Park Day is an annual hands-on preservation event created by CWPT. Volunteers gather at designated Civil War sites to help with routine repairs and maintenance. Activities can range from raking leaves and hauling trash to painting signs and trail building. In exchange for their hard work, participants receive T-shirts and have an opportunity to hear local historians describe the significance of the site.
Among the sites that will be benefiting from Park Day activities this year are Prairie Grove Battlefield in Arkansas, Kennesaw Mountain Battlefield in Georgia, and Cold Harbor Battlefield in Virginia. "These are the hallowed fields where our ancestors gave their lives. Now it is our turn to honor their sacrifice," remarked Lighthizer.
With 43,000 members, CWPT is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States. Its goal is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism. CWPT's website is located at www.civilwar.org.