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Contact: Dan Johnson, 906-337-1104, ext. 132Park Superintendent, Frank Fiala is pleased to announce that Keweenaw National Historical Park and the Great Explorations After School Program at the Calumet, Laurium and Keweenaw (CLK) Public School District completed a clean-up of the industrial area of the former Calumet & Hecla Mining Company. The clean-up marks the beginning of a partnership between the park and the after school program coordinated by Stacy Codere.
The clean-up was held on Thursday, April 28, 2005. Fifty-two students from the 6th, 7th and 8th grades at the Washington Middle School participated in the event. The clean-up was coordinated by staff at Keweenaw National Historical Park and Stacy Codere in preparation for summer visitors to the park. The park is currently working on the development of interpretive booklets that will guide visitors to historic sites within the former Calumet & Hecla Mining Company properties. The clean-up event began with a brief presentation by park staff on the historical significance of the Calumet & Hecla Industrial area by using historic photographs that included structures still visible today. After the one and a half hour clean-up was completed, the garbage was collected and weighed. The students collected a total of 500 pounds of garbage.
The partnership with Great Explorations will continue with additional clean-up events and education programs for the students on the significance of the area’s copper mining history. A 6th grade student remarked, “I can’t believe there was so much cool stuff around. I had no idea that our school is in a national park.” Kathleen Harter, Chief of Interpretation and Education for Keweenaw National Historical Park expressed that “the enthusiasm and interest from the students was terrific. The clean-up was a chance for students to begin developing an appreciation for the important historical and cultural resources located within their community.”
All the students who participated in the program were signed up as park volunteers. Students who continue to participate in the program through the summer will receive t-shirts with the Volunteer-In-Parks logo. Support for this program was provided by the National Parks Foundation and REI (Recreational Equipment Incorporated). Keweenaw National Historical Park received a grant from these organizations to develop and enhance the park’s volunteer program. The Volunteer Enhancement Program supports and enhances volunteer activities and opportunities in National Parks. It is designed to reduce costs to parks for establishing and/or enhancing a volunteer program. The ultimate goal of the program is to assist parks in their efforts to provide high-quality volunteer experiences that, in turn, strengthen the enduring connection between volunteers and their national parks.
For more information on other volunteer opportunities at Keweenaw National Historical Park, visit www.volunteer.gov or contact the park’s volunteer coordinator at 337-1104, ext 132.