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Spoke-n-Revolutions Youth Cycling Serve as “Roving” VIPs at Fort Donelson National Battlefield

2011-06-28

by Turkiya L. Lowe, SERO Interpretation and Education Division, and Susan Hawkins, FODO Park Ranger

On Friday, June 24th, Spoke-n-Revolutions Youth Cycling rolled into Fort Donelson National Battlefield to visit the park as part of their 1800-mile journey along the Underground Railroad.Fort Donelson is listed in the NPS Underground Railroad Network to Freedom for its importance as a safe haven for enslaved runaways from 1862-1865. The freedomseekers received assistance from Union soldiers and religious and charitable organizations, and eventually, the military post became a recruiting station for African American troops in 1863.

As Volunteers-in-Parks (VIP), the Spoke-n-Revolutions group refurbished flower beds located at the park visitor center. The group biked over 70-miles before reaching the park, but the teens were troopers in completing the service project. Wrote FODO Park Ranger Susan Hawkins: "Their work on the flower beds was so beneficial….If our future depends on these young folks, Americans are in good hands!"

Park staff provided snacks and a short tour of the battlefield to the outstanding young men and women. Fort Donelson staff also partnered with the US Forest Service's Land Between the Lakes National Recreation Area to provide the cycling group with free campsites for both Friday and Saturday nights.

Spoke-n-Revolution's next destination is Grand Rivers, KY and then onward to Sturgis, KY.The group will visit and perform VIP service projects at other NPS Network to Freedom sites along their route.To keep track of the SnR cycling group, visit their blog site at http://snr.chcpact.org/ or follow along on Twitter at @spokenrev.

 

Visit http://www.nps.gov/subjects/ugrr/index.htm for more information on the NPS Underground Railroad Network to Freedom Program.