LOCK HAVEN - More than 150 years after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, another wave of volunteers is about to descend on America's storied battlegrounds - only this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags and weed whackers.
Saturday, March 31, is national Park Day.
This year, Highland Cemetery will participate in Park Day 2012 for the first time. Volunteers are needed to clear shrubs and leaves, level toppled and leaning tombstones, and limb and tree trunk removal.
Park Day, now in its 16th year, is an annual hands-on preservation event created by the Civil War Trust to assist local groups with the maintenance of Civil War sites. This year, more than 100 sites in 25 states are expected to take part in the effort, with activities ranging from trash removal to trail building. In exchange for their hard work, volunteers receive t-shirts and learn the site's history from local experts.
All volunteers will be from the area. The Highland Cemetery Company is "actively seeking community and LHU volunteers," the company's president, Dave Wallace, said.
That day, along with restoration, volunteers will ensure that every known military grave, all 650 of them, will have a flag.
"Though Park Day is based on the Civil War, veterans are veterans," he said. "We'll put flags on all the known military graves."
Beyond Park Day, Wallace still welcomes volunteers.
"There's always something for volunteers to do, something that most people can do. It takes three visits to complete a section," Wallace said.
In fact, the company's board is made up strictly of volunteers, he said.
March 14 marks the 150th anniversary of the cemetery, with a total of 7,460 known burials, he said.
Park Day is underwritten with a grant from History and has been endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.
For more information about Park Day at Highland Cemetery, please contact Dave Wallace at (570) 748-5080 or firstname.lastname@example.org.