Spring 2009 Projects and Programs at Fort Donelson National Battlefield

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Date: March 23, 2009

Dover, Tennessee—Many out-of-town guests and Dover residents have noticed and commented on several projects underway throughout the park this spring.


The new picnic pavilion adjacent to the visitor center is nearing completion and should be ready for use by the time the dogwood trees begin to bloom. “Built to accommodate school groups as a classroom setting in conjunction with the amphitheater and as a place for a picnic lunch, the shelter will also be available for use during special programs and events. Of course the shelter will be available for all guests’ enjoyment and we encourage our local neighbors to enjoy the facility,” stated Superintendent Steven McCoy. The park does remind our guests’ to please stay parked on the paved parking lot at the visitor center and avoid parking or driving on the grass or road shoulder. 


The restrooms at the river battery picnic area are being rehabilitated. The new restrooms are designed to be energy efficient and use “green” construction and materials to the greatest extent possible. The new facility will also include a family-style restroom and will be universally accessible to accommodate all.


The new restroom construction is scheduled for completion by May, 2009. Until then, the old restroom is not functioning and cannot be used. Please be patient with us as we prepare the park for the Civil War 150th Commemoration. 


New security gates have been installed at the national cemetery and entrances to the main park. The park does not have staffing available to operate multiple shifts and keep the roads open to vehicular traffic throughout the year. “We will use the staff resources we have available to keep the park roads open to vehicles but also realize we must adhere to our obligation to ensure the safety, health and well-being of individuals using the park. We must also remember our mandate to preserve and protect the resources within our care for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations,” stated McCoy.  Multiple incidents of personal injury, vandalism, theft of park and historic resources have occurred in recent years.


Walking, hiking, bicycling on the paved roads as well as enjoying the park as a place for quiet and peaceful contemplation is encouraged. “Please continue to enjoy the park road and trail system by foot or non-motorized means. All we ask is that you do not park on the grass or road shoulders or block the gates,” stated McCoy.


 The visitor center and national cemetery gates will open in the morning at or near 7:00 a.m. throughout the year. The national cemetery gate will close at or near 5:00 p.m. throughout the year with the exception of Memorial Day when the gate will close at 7:00 p.m.


The main park road gate adjacent to the visitor center parking lot will close at 6:00 p.m. during daylight savings time, mid-March through early November. The gate will close at 4:30 p.m. the remainder of the year.


A detailed description of the roadway gate procedures as well as the complete “Compendium of Superintendent’s Orders” which establishes regulations for the furtherance of management and protection of the park resources and visitors per law and policy is available for public review. Please contact the park staff at the headquarters located in the national cemetery or visit the park’s website, www.nps.gov/fodo, to view and or discuss these documents.


Multiple special events are planned for this spring including the African American Legacy program including a play and living history on the battlefield, and the special Junior Ranger/Family Day.


Visit the park’s website, www.nps.gov/fodo, for an entire list of Ranger Programs and park events for 2009. For more information about the events on April 25, contact the park at 931-232-5706.


SOP A011 Roadway Gate Management


FODO Compendium


Have any questions or comments concerning this news release? E-mail them to park staff.

Last updated: April 14, 2015

Contact the Park

Mailing Address:

174 National Cemetery Drive
PO Box 434

Dover, TN 37058


931-232-5706 x0

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