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Contact: Virginia DuBowy, 601-619-2911
Join volunteers across the nation on Saturday, September 28, 2013, taking part in National Public Lands Day - the largest single-day volunteer effort for public lands in the United States.
NPLD began in 1994 with three sites and 700 volunteers, and proved to be such a huge success that it became a yearly tradition. Volunteers in every state visit parks, public and community gardens, beaches, wildlife preserves or forests and chip in to help these treasured places that belong to all Americans. They work to improve and restore the lands and facilities the public uses for recreation, education, exercise, and connecting with nature. NPLD educates Americans about the environment and natural resources, and the need for shared stewardship of these valued, irreplaceable lands, builds partnerships between the public sector and the local community based upon mutual interests in the enhancement and restoration of America's public lands, and improves public lands for outdoor recreation through hands-on work.
This year's activities at Vicksburg National Military Park will focus on the rose gardens located in front of the historic Shirley House in the park. These gardens were re-created according to the writings of Alice Shirley Eaton, who described in great detail the various flowers and shrubs which grew along the front walkway to the house before the Siege of Vicksburg. Work will include tilling and mulching the gardens, and the addition of several new rose bushes to the site. In addition, participating Junior Rangers can earn a stamp for their Shape Up! Junior Ranger logbook while learning the significance of preserving historic landscapes of the park.
Sign-up will start at 8:00 a.m. at the main Visitor Center parking lot on Clay Street. Come dressed for outdoor work and wear clothes you don't mind getting dirty. For safety reasons and due to the nature of the work, clothing should include long-sleeved shirts, long pants, work gloves, and tennis shoes or work boots. Tools such as garden rakes and hoes are welcome. Come prepared for the sun with a cap, sunscreen, bug spray, and plenty of water to drink.
A pizza lunch will be provided at 12:00 noon at the Tour Stop 12 picnic area.
For more information about the National Public Lands Day event at Vicksburg National Military Park, please contact Virginia DuBowy, Natural Resources Program Manager (601-619-2911; e-mail us). For more information on Vicksburg National Military Park, go to www.nps.gov/vick/.