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NPS - National Park Service

07/10/2020 | Press release | Archived content

Youth Conservation Corps Students Near Completion of Fort Donelson NB Picnic Area Rehab

News Release Date:
July 10, 2020

Contact: Brian McCutchen, 931-627-2887

Dover, TN - A long planned rehabilitation of the Fort Donelson National Battlefield picnic area is almost complete, with much of the improvement and landscaping done by high-school age, Youth Conservation Corps (YCC) students.

The picnic area rehabilitation resolves safety concerns caused by erosion of gravel pads on which picnic tables rested, decaying retaining wall timbers, and trip hazards. 'Maintenance and the YCC team removed timbers and gravel and have landscaped the area to be a more of a natural area for placement of picnic tables for visitor use,' stated David Hamby, Chief of Heritage Preservation and Maintenance at Fort Donelson.

In addition to the landscaping and planting of a new sod turf, the youth have constructed period 'worm fencing' along the edge of a steep slope, improving safety, while maintaining the scenic view of the Cumberland River/Lake Barkley. 'The small picnic area has long provided for both a quiet location and a spectacular view for lunch,' Hamby added.

The placement of picnic tables and reopening of the area is slated to be completed by Friday, July 17. The park is in consultation to create improved access for use by those with mobility or accessibility challenges.

The YCC students in this year's crew attend Stewart County High School, Dover, and were randomly selected from a collection of all names of applicants for a position in the education-based work program.

In addition to the picnic area rehabilitation, the 2020 YCC team has assisted with landscaping around the park's Education Pavilion and interim Visitor Center, placement of historic-type fencing, improvements to park signage, painting of national cemetery features, and trail work.

'The YCC students have made many improvements at the battlefield this summer, such as the improved picnic area, which visitors to Fort Donelson will utilize and enjoy for many years to come. We could not be more pleased with or proud of their team work, collaboration, and contributions of this summer.' added Fort Donelson Superintendent Brian McCutchen.

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