Friends to open Fort and Penobscot Narrows Observatory for school vacation week

Apr 19, 2014

The Friends of Fort Knox announced that they will be opening the State Historic and Penobscot Narrows Observatory sites for school vacation week, Monday, April 21 through Sunday, April 27, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Fort will be open for exploration and there will be guided tours offered from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. each day and the Penobscot Narrows Observatory will be opened from 9 to 4 p.m. The Fort will then close to the public prior to opening for the regular operating season starting May 1.

Friends of Fort Knox Executive Director Leon Seymour said that the organization is pleased to be able to open up the Fort and Observatory to provide area school children a fun place to visit during their school vacation. He said that now that the Friends have assumed complete management of the facility through a lease with the Maine Department of Conservation’s Bureau of Parks and Lands, the organization is able to expand operational possibilities. He thanked the Maine Department of Transportation’s flexibility with readying the Observatory for an early start.

During the early opening Saturday, April 26, from 10 a.m. to noon, volunteers are needed to team up with the Friends of Fort Knox and the Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) to help clean the Civil War era State Historic Site. The nationwide effort – dubbed Park Day – is underwritten with a grant from The History Channel. In past years, more than 111 sites took part in Park Day throughout the country.

Park Day, now in its 15th year, is an annual hands-on preservation event created by CWPT to assist local groups with the maintenance of Civil War sites. Participants gather at the sites to help with activities that range from trash removal to trail building. In exchange for their hard work, volunteers receive T-shirts and have an opportunity to learn about the historic site they are helping to clean.

Volunteers are needed to sweep, rake and ready Fort Knox for its ongoing season May 1 through October 31. Helpers are asked to bring rakes, shovels, wheelbarrows, leaf blowers, tarps and work gloves. Participants should plan on arriving at 10 a.m. and helping until noontime. For more information about Park Day at Fort Knox, please call 469-6553 or email FOFK1@aol.com.

Individuals, who would like to help the Friends in their ongoing mission to preserve the Fort, learn about Fort history, Friends’ 2014 special events or hours of operation for the Penobscot Narrows Observatory are encouraged to visit their web site at fortknox.maineguide.com. Fort Knox is owned by the people of Maine, managed by the Friends of Fort Knox, and supervised by the Maine Bureau of Parks and Lands.

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