Volunteers needed for new visitor information center at Cedar Creek
Posted: January 30, 2013
The Winchester Star
MIDDLETOWN — The Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park will open a space in April where visitors can find information about the park.
The Visitor Contact Station — which will be located in a 2,000-square-foot space at 7712 Main St. in Middletown — will include more than a dozen panels and other displays that will explain what happened during the Civil War Battle of Cedar Creek and at other points in the Shenandoah Valley’s history, according to park ranger Eric Campbell.
The renovation work on the space is mostly complete and the contact station will open after the exhibits are installed, Campbell said Tuesday.
The station will feature three exhibit rooms, a fiber optic map with narration that explains the October 1864 battle — which will include a closed caption screen for the hearing impaired — photos of residents and soldiers in the area from the Civil War and a geologic map of the Shenandoah Valley, Campbell said.
Patrick Farris, chairman of the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park’s Advisory Commission, said the site’s first decade in operation has been building up to opening a public space to assist visitors coming to the park.
“[This is] launching into an era of a new public presence for the park,” he said Tuesday.
The park is seeking volunteers to help staff the Visitor Contact Station. Campbell said the park would like to keep it open seven days a week and that 14 volunteers working a four-hour shift each week would be adequate to man the station.
Using local volunteers is a way for the park to reach out to the community and increase its presence in the area, Farris said.
“Another aspect of putting a public face on the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park is to greater engage the general public, especially the people who live in the area and want to be a part of the park,” he said.
“We need and welcome all volunteers. There is something for everyone to do.”
Fewer than 10 potential candidates have filled out an application to volunteer, said Campbell, adding that park staff will begin interviewing interested applicants in February and start training sessions in March.
Information on volunteering at the Cedar Creek and Belle Grove National Historical Park’s Visitor Contact Station is available by contacting Shannon Moeck, the park’s volunteer coordinator, at Shannon_Moeck@nps.gov. Information is also available online at nps.gov/cebeunder the “Volunteer!” tab.
— Contact Matt Armstrong at firstname.lastname@example.org