Old Fort Parker receives repairs from avid volunteers
By Alexandra Cannon, Staff Writer
Through the help of about 20 volunteers, Old Fort Parker received some much needed attention and improvement on one of their scheduled workdays, Saturday, January 27. Volunteers travelled from across the state with tools and a willingness to work, as the historic site no longer benefits from government funding to cover the costs of general upkeep.
“We're looking at trying to correct about probably 30 years’ worth of deferred maintenance,” said volunteer Michael Roegner. “Time takes its toll and everything here is out in the weather, so wherever possible we're trying to fix it right and not just slap a Band-Aid on it.”
Though the official workday was Saturday, January 27, many volunteers arrived Thursday night or Friday and wasted no time getting to work, and some arrived as early as Tuesday. While the dreary weather may have kept some home, several projects were tackled by the volunteers in attendance, including removing debris, pruning a large cedar tree inside the fort, and removing the logs from the roof of the block houses that were rotting and breaking loose, to name a few.
“We are redoing the fence around our Ranger house to make it look advantageous for the flying field next door,” said Sarah McReynolds. “They are also going to use the wood to redo all the rails that are falling down around the whole place. That’s another planned project that we definitely need done.”
Several volunteers came to work at Old Fort Parker that visit the site monthly with Cowboy Action Shooting. Betty, Lefty, Cherokee and Jean Hester tag-teamed the fence, with two cutting points at the top of each cedar plank, and two building the fence’s framework and attaching the cedar boards.
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