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Military Park calls for volunteers for Saturday’s cemetery cleanup

The Vicksburg National Military Park is looking for volunteers to help remove tree limbs and branches in the National Cemetery.

Participation for the cleanup, set for Saturday between 8 a.m. and noon, is limited to 30 people ages 12 and older. The event is the first public park program for 2021 since the pandemic. Check-in will be from 7:30 to 8 a.m.

Kristyn Pompa, park community volunteer ambassador, said machinery such as chainsaws will be handled by park employees.

“The only equipment that will be needed (by volunteers), although we can also provide it if volunteers don’t have it, are safety glasses and safety gloves,” she said.

According to information from the park, a large number of tree limbs and branches fell around the park during the ice storm in February with an extensive amount of debris falling in the cemetery.

“That’s where we probably received the most fallen trees and debris,” Pompa said.

The cleanup is expected to make the cemetery safer for visitors.

Brendan Wilson, chief of interpretation, education and partnerships at the Military Park, said the National Cemetery is open for pedestrian traffic only and remains closed to vehicles.

People participating in the cleanup program will be required to lift and carry medium-size tree limbs and work in small groups.

Anyone wanting to participate in the cleanup must pre-register at https://bit.ly/3rU8Scl.

For more information or to register, email Pompa at kristyn_pompa@partner.nps.com.

About John Surratt

John Surratt is a graduate of Louisiana State University with a degree in general studies. He has worked as an editor, reporter and photographer for newspapers in Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama. He has been a member of The Vicksburg Post staff since 2011 and covers city government. He and his wife attend St. Paul Catholic Church and he is a member of the Port City Kiwanis Club.

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