Vicksburg National Military Park volunteers needed for NPL Day

Published 11:00 pm Thursday, September 21, 2017

Volunteers are needed at the Vicksburg National Military Park to assist in maintaining and preserving the park.

As part of National Public Lands Day on Sept. 30, volunteers will help the park by maintaining hiking trails, weeding the grounds at the Shirley House Rose Garden and other maintenance projects.

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VNMP Volunteer Coordinator Molly Cadwell said the park has taken part in the event for several years with great response from the community.

“Last year, we had 40 volunteers participate,” Cadwell said. “We accomplished a lot and had a great time.”

Depending on the number of volunteers, Cadwell said there should be several possible projects to work on. Most volunteers will work along the Al Scheller Hiking Trail, which is a primitive 12-mile trail that runs through much of the park. This work will involve clearing downed limbs and branches, debris and trimming overgrown plants. Volunteers will be divided into groups and assigned different sections of the trail.

Those seeking less strenuous work can volunteer at the Shirley House, the historic home built in the late 1830s that survived the siege of Vicksburg. Work will be involved inside the house and in the rose garden.

The garden has been recreated based upon Alice Shirley’s description and volunteers will help with weeding and mulching the garden.

“We welcome volunteers of all ages,” Cadwell said. “If there is enough volunteer interest, we may make additional projects available as well. This is why it is important that people register in advance so we can be sure to have enough work, tools and pizza for all the volunteers.”

Volunteers are encouraged to wear long pants, sturdy shoes and layers of clothing. They should also be prepared to deal with the sun by bringing a cap, sunscreen, bug spray and water bottle. A light lunch will be provided to the volunteers.

Cadwell said VNMP is “incredibly thankful for our volunteers.”

“They’re a huge part of the park community,” Cadwell said. “They help us accomplish important projects that we might not otherwise be able to get done.”

Volunteers should register in advance by calling 601-629-8133 or email