Volunteers help with park maintenance

Published 8:29 pm Saturday, April 2, 2016

A group of 16 people volunteered their Saturday morning to help spruce up Vicksburg’s greatest assets.

The Vicksburg National Military Park, along with parks and battlefields nationwide, participated Saturday in Park Day, where the public volunteers to help with the upkeep of monuments and landmarks. The Civil War Trust sponsors Park Day annually.

“We really couldn’t do what we do without the support of the community, and this is a really good example of that,” park superintendent Bill Justice said. “It’s great when people come out like this and help us.”

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Volunteers in Vicksburg spent the morning painting cannon carriages on the first tour stop of the park called the Battery De Golyer. Justice said it would take the park staff a lot longer to paint the cannon carriages without the help of the volunteers, plus the employees may not otherwise have the time to get this type of work done.

“We’re going to be able to finish all of these carriages here very quickly,” Justice said.
Bob Kramer, a member of the Civil War Trust, and Parris Kramer came to Vicksburg from Fort Worth, Texas to volunteer.

The couple has visited Vicksburg before, but this was their first time volunteering during Park Day.

“We deiced to come here, visit the park and participate,” Bob said.

Parris said they came dressed down and ready to work, and the park had all the tools they needed to get the job done.

“They provide everything for us, the gloves, the paint, the brushes, they give us lunch,” Parris said.

David Monistere of Byram, and his grandson Sam Monistere of Brandon were helping paint because they felt it was important “to persevere, protect and promote the park and the historical value it has to Vicksburg,” David, a member of the Friends of the Vicksburg National Military Park, said.

Regular runners and walkers like Barbara and Ashley Frey wanted to give back to the park they use on a daily basis. This was their first time to volunteer at the park.

“We walk in the park and run in the park everyday so we thought we’d give back,” Barbara said.

Saturday was not P.D. Sloan or Joe Taylor’s first time to volunteer at the park, but they had different reasons for coming back each time.

“It’s part of our patriotic duty, plus I run out here three or four times a week,” Sloan said.

“They have free pizza,” Taylor joked.

All volunteers were given lunch and a T-shirt.

The next volunteer day will be National Public Lands Day Saturday, Sept. 24.