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Historic Fort Wayne seeks volunteers for Park Day on Saturday, April 7

Civil War Days barracks at Fort Wayne.
Civil War Days barracks at Fort Wayne.

On Saturday, April 7, 2018, history buffs, community leaders, and preservationists will aid in the maintenance and restoration of numerous sites around the country as part of Park Day, the Civil War Trust’s annual hands-on preservation event.

Thousands of volunteers across the country will participate as Park Day celebrates its largest year ever with over 155 historic sites in 32 states.

In Michigan, the Historic Fort Wayne Coalition will host a Park Day event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Needs include grounds cleanup, building prep and moving of picnic tables and benches into place for the season, and a local historian will also be available to describe the park’s significance. For more information about Park Day at Historic Fort Wayne, please contact Tom Berlucchi, chairman of the Coalition, at 248-840-5234 or by email at tberlucchi@yahoo.com.

WHAT: Park Day volunteer event at Historic Fort Wayne
WHEN: April 7, 2018, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.
WHERE: Meet at the Historic Fort Wayne Visitors Center, 6325 West Jefferson, Detroit 

The Civil War Trust is a national nonprofit land preservation organization devoted to the protection of America’s hallowed battlegrounds. It saves the battlefields of the Civil War, the Revolutionary War and War of 1812, and educates the public about their importance in forging the nation we are today. To date, the Trust has preserved over 48,000 acres of battlefield land in 24 states. Learn more at Civilwar.org.

The Historic Fort Wayne Coalition is dedicated to preserving the history of Michigan men and women who served their country between 1845 and 1973 who either sent material to or personally passed through Historic Fort Wayne as a place of induction to United States military service.  They assist the Fort’s caretakers, the City of Detroit Recreation Department, with this effort in two major ways.  First, they present high quality events that provide ways for the public to enjoy Historic Fort Wayne and see glimpses of how it would have looked when it was garrisoned.  They also preserve and restore as much of the structures and facilities as possible on the Fort grounds. 

Historic Fort Wayne along the Detroit River.
Historic Fort Wayne along the Detroit River.

Built in 1845, Fort Wayne was strategically located to guard and protect the Detroit River during a period of tension with the British.  Once that threat diminished, the Fort’s role changed to an U.S. Army induction and training center.  During World War II, the Fort served as the primary motor vehicle procurement and parts depot for the Allied war effort throughout the world.  After 1945, the Fort continued as an induction center for troops during the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.  In 1948, the Army began decommissioning buildings and transferring them to the City of Detroit Historical Department.  In the 1970s, Historic Fort Wayne opened to the public as a multifaceted attraction with exhibits, outdoor programs and special events.

For a complete list of participating Park Day Sites, visit Civilwar.org/parkday. Volunteers can participate in Park Day online using #ParkDay2018.