Lend A Hand during Volunteer Month at Chalmette National Cemetery

Photo Courtesy of the National Park Service. https://www.nps.gov/jela/chalmette-national-cemetery.htm

Serve those who served us during Volunteer Month at Chalmette National Cemetery. The cemetery, part of Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, was founded during the Civil War and is the final resting place for an estimated 16,000 troops from the War of 1812 through the Vietnam War. Volunteers are needed April 10-27 to help document, realign, and clean headstones at the cemetery, which is located at 8606 West St. Bernard Highway in Chalmette. For more information or to volunteer, call 504-589-3882 ex. 120 or visit www.nps.gov/jela or www.savingplaces.org/chalmette .

“In 2016, nearly 800 volunteers worked at the cemetery documenting 1,270 headstones and cleaning 7,238 markers and headstones,” said Jean Lafitte Volunteer Coordinator Gaynell Brady. “Again this year we’ve received a donation of preservation-friendly cleaning products from D/2 Biological Solution, Inc., and again we’re teaming up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation www.savingplaces.org and the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training www.ncptt.nps.gov in Natchitoches.”

Brady said, “Volunteer Month is part of the National Trust’s HOPE Crew initiative https://savingplaces.org/hope-crew. HOPE stands for Hands-On Preservation Experience, and Volunteer Month at the cemetery will be exactly that: a way for people to learn valuable preservation skills while they help protect important sites like Chalmette National Cemetery.”

Volunteers will receive on-site training in basic preservation methods and can choose morning or afternoon shifts. Families, groups, and individuals are welcome, and all volunteers will receive a free water bottle and T-shirt from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Volunteer Month will begin with a brief ceremony at Chalmette National Cemetery at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, April 10. Park Superintendent Lance Hatten and Deputy Superintendent Rebecca Lasell will be on hand to welcome the month’s first volunteers from Chalmette High School and from the West Virginia University School of Medicine Class of 2010.