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Trail of Tears Work Day is Saturday, July 11

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Contact:  Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148,

Carbondale, Ill. - Reporters, photographers, and camera crews are invited to cover WSIU's first Trail of Tears Volunteer Work Day on Saturday, July 11 from 8am to 3pm on the Crabb/Abbott Farm in Pope County, Illinois.

[Media: The farm is located approximately 1.5 miles south on Hound Ridge Road in Grantsburg, Illinois. Hound Ridge Road is just off Illinois Route 146, west of the entrance to Dixon Springs State Park.]

Sponsored by WSIU, the Shawnee National Forest, and the Illinois Chapter of the Trail of Tears Association, the work day event is one of several local activities planned to highlight the fall premiere of the new Ken Burns documentary series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea. WSIU's local initiative, Touch the Trail, focuses on our region's connection to the National Park Service, the National Trails System, and the National Historic Trail of Tears.

In 2008, the National Park Service officially designated the Crabb/Abbott farm as a certified site on the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. It is one of two certified sites in Illinois; the other site is the Campground Cumberland Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Union County.

Shawnee National Forest Volunteer Coordinators Jennifer Sublett of the Mississippi Bluffs District and Justin Dodson of the Hidden Springs District will coordinate the volunteer crews and provide guidance throughout the day.

Transportation is available, but limited. Anyone interested in participating must pre-register by Thursday, July 9 by calling the Volunteer Hotline at (618) 687-1731, extension 125. Volunteers must be at least 12 years old to participate and an adult must accompany all children. Volunteers also should plan to bring a sack lunch; drinks will be provided.

Interview Opportunities
* Vickie Devenport, WSIU Outreach Coordinator, (618) 453-6148,
* Jennifer Sublett, Shawnee Forest Volunteer Coordinator, Mississippi Bluffs District, (618) 687-1731
* Justin Dodson, Shawnee Forest Volunteer Coordinator, Hidden Springs District, 618-658-2111

About The National Parks Film
The National Parks: America's Best Idea is a 12-hour, six-part documentary series directed by Ken Burns and co-produced by Dayton Duncan. Using archival photographs, first-person accounts of historical characters, and personal memories, the film traces the birth of the national park idea in the mid-1800s and follows its evolution for nearly 150 years. The series will air on WSIU TV 8/WUSI TV 16 from September 27-October 2.

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