Date: September 30, 2006
Location: Fort Pulaski NM
National Public Lands Day at Fort Pulaski
Superintendent Charles E. Fenwick announces that Fort Pulaski National Monument and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will proudly sponsor this year’s National Public Lands Day on Saturday, September 30, 2006. Nationwide an estimated 100,000 Americans will participate in a variety of important volunteer projects on federal lands. National Public Lands Day is the nation’s largest hands-on volunteer effort to improve and enhance public lands across America. Last year thousands of volunteers built trails and bridges, planted trees and plants, and removed trash and invasive plants. Fenwick adds, “This is a day when we can all show our pride in our local National Park. This type of cleanup allows current and future generations of Americans to continue to enjoy this special place the same way we do now, pristine and beautiful.”
Volunteers at Fort Pulaski will help clear vegetation, perform marsh cleanup, paint cannon carriages, and help improve public use areas within the park. Registration begins Saturday at 7:30 AM at the Fort Pulaski Picnic Area. Free breakfast will be served during registration. Work projects will last from 8 AM to noon, followed by a free lunch. Volunteers should be prepared to work outdoors. Sturdy shoes, comfortable clothing, and a hat are recommended. National Public Lands Day t-shirts will be available. All tools and gloves will be provided.
The highlight of this year’s volunteer day at Fort Pulaski will include work on the park’s new Lighthouse Overlook Trail. The ¾-mile trail offers spectacular views overlooking the mouth of the Savannah River and nearby Tybee Island. For the first time, the trail makes it possible to walk to within a short distance of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, the lonely brick beacon that motorists can see from the Tybee Island Bridge as they drive along U.S. Hwy 80. To help mark the occasion, on September 30 U.S. Coast Guard personnel will be painting the exterior of the lighthouse. From 1939 until its transfer to the Park Service in 1958, the lighthouse was managed by the U.S. Coast Guard. Direct access is possible only by boat.
The Cockspur Lighthouse, completed in 1856, is one of only five remaining lighthouses in the state of Georgia. During the Union bombardment of Fort Pulaski in April 1862, the light survived despite its prominent location in the line of fire midway between Union and Confederate forces. This landmark battle featured the first large-scale use of rifled artillery in history. The Lighthouse Overlook trail provides access to new areas of the battlefield, and for the first time makes it possible to stand midway between Fort Pulaski and the location of the Union batteries at Goat Point on Tybee Island.
In observance of National Public Lands Day, entrance fees to Fort Pulaski National Monument will be waived for this day only, Saturday, September 30, 2006. Beginning at 1 PM, members of the 8th Georgia Regiment and National Park Service rangers will provide a variety of living history demonstrations inside the fort, including cannon firings and musket demonstrations.
Call the park for more details at 912-786-5787, or visit the park’s official website at www.nps.gov/fopu. For more information on National Public Lands Day, visit their website at www.publiclandsday.org.
Fort Pulaski National Monument is on U.S. Hwy 80, 15 miles east of Savannah. The park is open daily 9-5; park gates close at 5:30 PM.