VNMP remains open — thanks to volunteers

Published 1:39 pm Friday, December 28, 2018

Not even the current weeklong government shutdown or a severe storm can keep the Vicksburg National Military Park closed.

Bess Mitchell Averett, who heads the Friends of Vicksburg National Military Park and Campaign, called out for volunteers to help clear the tour road Friday morning from the trees and debris that had blocked access of the military park for visitors following Thursday’s storm.

“Most of the maintenance team is furloughed,” Averett said. “We had several trees fall across the road during the storm yesterday.”

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She said several volunteers stepped up and gathered Friday morning to get the park reopened.

“And Adam Cook with Cook Tractor stepped up and offered his tractor with grapple to get the work done faster and get the visitors back in the park faster,” Averett said. “We really have an awesome community.”

The nonprofit Friends of VNMP and Campaign are currently funding basic operations at the military park at a minimal level to keep it open during the government shutdown that began last week.

According to VNMP Superintendent Bill Justice the military park and visitors center are both open to visitors, with the exception of the National Cemetery, which has several trees down currently and assessment of the damage will be done when the government shutdown is over.