• HOPE Crew Program Reaches Milestone 100th Project

    June 13, 2017

    Today, HOPE Crew announced Fort Monroe National Monument in Hampton, Virginia, as the site of their 100th project. In partnership with the National Park Service and the Fort Monroe Authority, HOPE Crew will deploy a team of national experts and young, local participants from The Corps Network’s member corps to rehabilitate Fort Monroe National Monument’s historic quarters this summer.

    “The success of HOPE Crew highlights a hands-on approach to saving places that—beyond addressing deferred maintenance at historic sites—is making a positive difference in the lives of future preservationists and the communities where they serve,” said Stephanie K. Meeks, president and CEO of the National Trust for Historic Preservation. “We’re excited to continue broadening the preservation movement with our partners and to kick-off HOPE Crew’s 100th project at Fort Monroe National Monument, a National Treasure and site of one of our country’s most extraordinary chapters in the fight for freedom.”

    At Fort Monroe National Monument, known to many as “Freedom’s Fortress” for being the place where more than 500,000 African Americans took the first step in ending their enslavement during the American Civil War, HOPE Crew participants working on former living quarters built in 1834 will have an opportunity to discover the site’s history while acquiring advanced preservation skills that make them competitive in the job market, including: foundation stabilization; wall assessments; re-pointing; masonry; painting and refinishing; and carpentry.

    “We cannot understand the Civil War—the most significant event in American history—without knowing what happened at Fort Monroe,” said Terry E. Brown, National Park Service superintendent of Fort Monroe National Monument. “In helping us preserve historic Building 50 this summer, HOPE Crew participants are also helping us commemorate the courage of Civil War-era freedom seekers and allowing future generations to understand the full American story.”

    The stone walls and moat of Fort Monroe.

    photo by: Patrick McKay

    Since the start of the program in 2014, HOPE Crew (named for “Hands-On Preservation Experience”) has completed 99 projects around the country, trained more than 600 young people and veterans in preservation trades and recruited over 2,000 volunteers to protect places that are significant to their communities. In just three years, aligning the National Park Service with The Corps Network membership of over 130 Corps across the country, the program has contributed 80,000 hours and $14.3 million worth of preservation work at an array of historic sites, including: Martin Luther King, Jr.’s boyhood home in Georgia; Painted Desert Community Complex in Arizona, the last remaining structure in the National Park Service designed by modernist Richard Neutra; and the White Grass Dude Ranch in Montana where cabins were restored for use as a future training facility for the Western Center for Historic Preservation.

    “We are proud to have played a role in the development and growth of the HOPE Crew program and are excited to celebrate the 100th project at a site bearing as much historical significance as Fort Monroe,” said Mary Ellen Sprenkel, CEO of The Corps Network. “The mission of Corps is to provide young adults the opportunity to learn job and life skills through service to our country. HOPE Crew allows Corpsmembers to also learn about our country’s history and engage in keeping America’s past alive.”

    At a public event on Monday, June 19, 2017, 1PM ET, at Fort Monroe National Monument, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service, the Commonwealth of Virginia’s Fort Monroe Authority, and The Corps Network will launch the program’s 100th project and honor the Juneteenth holiday that celebrates the ending of slavery in the United States. The public and members of the media can join a roster of special guests, government officials, local leaders and HOPE Crew participants to learn about what makes Fort Monroe National Monument an essential landmark of African American history, as well as the wide-ranging importance of engaging young people across the country through preservation work on public lands.

  • HOPE Crew Volunteers to Clean 10,000 Headstones and Markers in Chalmette National Cemetery

    April 21, 2017

    Chalmette National Cemetery

    photo by: A. J. Sisco

    Chalmette National Cemetery is part of the Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve.

    HOPE Crew project volunteers in Chalmette National Cemetery are on track to clean 10,000 headstones and markers by this weekend (April 22 and 23) in preparation for Memorial Day. As of Thursday, April 20th, 411 volunteers from the local community and from across the United States have contributed a total 1,303 hours cleaning, documenting and realigning headstones in service to our veterans.

    This Volunteer Month event has received participants from several organizations including the American Heritage Girls Troops LA 1502 and 1504, Holy Cross High School, the Single Marine Program of New Orleans, Tulane University, Boy Scouts of America Troop 315, the East High School JCFA, JROTC LA-931st, St. Francis High School, the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency, as well as many dedicated individuals and families.

    HOPE Crew partners at the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Jean Lafitte National Historical Park and Preserve, and the National Center for Preservation Technology and training would like to thank all participants and project sponsors at D/2 Biological Solution, Oak and Laurel Cemetery Preservation, LLC, PJ’s Coffee, Raising Cane’s Chicken Fingers, and McDonald’s for their support in this effort.

    Despite reaching this preservation milestone, there is still work to be done. Chalmette National Cemetery is the resting place of an estimated 16,000 troops, and thousands of monuments remain in need of cleaning, documentation, and realignment before the Memorial Day flag planting volunteer project on May 26.

    The HOPE Crew Project continues through Thursday, April 27.

  • HOPE Crew Revitalizes Eleanor Roosevelt’s Playhouse

    September 14, 2016

    This summer, Onondaga Earth Corps has been hard at work restoring the playhouse at Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site as part of a HOPE Crew project. The project, which involves restoring the exterior of the playhouse, started in July and will run through the end of September. Corps members will learn skills in masonry, carpentry, and preservation during the course of the project.

    "Before I came out here, I didn't know anything about historical preservation," said Rashad Ingram. "But after learning about the history of this place and what our ancestors did for us, I want to keep preservation going to show younger people why this is so important; we are a part of history."

    For the full story and pictures of HOPE Crew in action, visit Eleanor Roosevelt National Historic Site's blog.

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