DALTON, GA. (WRCB) -– More than 150 years after the first shots of the Civil War were fired, another wave of volunteers is about to descend on America's storied battlegrounds – only this array of dedicated men and women will be armed with paint brushes, trash bags and weed whackers.

This Saturday, March 31, history buffs and preservationists from around the country will team up with the Civil War Trust to help clean and restore America's priceless battlefields, cemeteries and shrines.  

The nationwide effort – dubbed Park Day – is underwritten with a grant from History™ and has been endorsed by Take Pride in America, a division of the U.S. Department of the Interior.

Park Day, now in its 16th year, is an annual hands-on preservation event created by the Trust to assist local groups with the maintenance of Civil War sites.  This year, more than 100 sites in 25 states are expected to take part in the effort, with activities ranging from trash removal to trail building.  In exchange for their hard work, volunteers receive t-shirts and learn the site's history from local experts.

Historic Prater's Mill will participate in Park Day 2012.  Volunteers are needed to paint and repair seven buildings and clear privet hedge from the nature trail.  For more information about Park Day at Historic Prater's Mill, please contact Judy Alderman by phone at 706-694-MILL (6455) or e-mail at info@pratersmill.org.

WHAT: "Park Day" historic preservation event at Prater's Mill
WHEN: March 31, 2012, from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
WHERE: Historic Prater's Mill, 5845 Ga. Hwy 2, Dalton, GA 30721 (Meet on the porch of the mill)

The Civil War Trust is the largest nonprofit battlefield preservation organization in the United States.  Its goal is to preserve our nation's endangered Civil War sites and to promote appreciation of these hallowed grounds through education and heritage tourism.  

To date, the Trust has preserved more than 32,000 acres of battlefield land in 20 states.  Please visit the Trust's website at www.civilwar.org, the home of the Civil War sesquicentennial