Volunteer working on the Schooner Ernestina during the 2012 Cleanup day
A volunteer works on the Schooner Ernestina during the 2012 Cleanup day

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News Release Date: April 25, 2013

New Bedford, MA-On Saturday, May 18, from 9:30 AM-12:30 PM, New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park will host a Volunteer Cleanup Day & All-American Cookout, a volunteer-driven initiative designed to provide our national park with the people-power to ready the park for the upcoming summer season and engage communities in the National Park experience. Following the morning's projects will be a complimentary cookout in the National Park Visitor Center Garden for those volunteering, sponsored by the Whaling History Alliance. The event kicks off with volunteer check-in and registration at 9:30 AM at the park visitor center at 33 William Street, downtown New Bedford.

The downtown area of New Bedford draws thousands of visitors from around the country and the world each year for its history, architecture, cultural activities, concerts and dance performances, AHA! Events, and festivals. Said Jen Nersesian, superintendent of New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park, "it will be a great day to come out, enjoy some worthwhile work in the fresh air, and re-discover your own sense of pride in the heritage displayed by our beautiful, historic downtown." She also noted that both the work and the cookout would provide "wonderful opportunities for neighbors with a common interest in our community to connect and get to know one another."

Volunteers who have participated in past events cite the satisfaction they get from volunteering. In addition, the service activities enable volunteers to earn service-hour credits while giving something back to America's treasures - its over 400 national parks.

The park-wide spring cleanup effort will include landscaping, cleaning, repairs, and other projects both indoors and out at sites like the National Park Visitor Center, the Schooner Ernestina, the Whaling Museum, and the Nathan and Polly Johnson House. Many of the projects are family friendly, while others require some technical expertise. All participants in the National Park Volunteer Day will receive a complimentary lunch. To learn more or to sign up for this worthwhile community event, call Emily Prigot at (508) 996-4095 extension 6105 or email Drop-ins the day of the event are also welcome.

New Bedford Whaling National Historical Park was established by Congress in 1996 to help preserve and interpret America's 19th century whaling industry. The park, which encompasses a 13-block National Historic Landmark District, is the only National Park Service area addressing the history of the whaling industry and its influence on the economic, social, and environmental history of the United States. The National Park visitor center is located at 33 William Street in downtown New Bedford. It is open seven days a week, from 9 AM -5 PM, and offers information, exhibits, and a free orientation movie every hour on the hour from 10 AM - 3 PM. The visitor center is accessible to all. Admission is free. For additional information and schedules, go to the park website or visit the park's Facebook page at

Last updated: February 26, 2015

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33 William Street
New Bedford, MA 02740



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