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      Cleaning up a Civil War Historic Site in Clark County

      As more and more people get ready for spring, there were some volunteers who were also wanting to make sure the Battle of Athens State Park in Clark County was ready as well for the spring season.

      It was part of a program sponsored by the Civil War Trust.

      The program coordinated volunteers at several civil war battle sites across the United States to help clean them up and get them ready for the upcoming tourist season.

      Jerry Toops and his son were just two of the people who were at the Battle of Athens State Historic Site in Clark County. They were helping to clean up the area as the park gets ready to open for the season.

      It's part of the Annual Civil War Trust's Park Day and this is one of about a hundred sites in 24 states that were part of the one day clean up project.

      "We're clearing some of the limbs that came down during those heavy snows last month. We're also going to clean tables and grills at the camp sites, too. It's a good program and we can use the volunteers," Toops said.

      Besides Jerry and his son, there were also a group of ladies that showed up to help with the cleanup. They focused their efforts on the shelter house and community area of the historic site. Bonnie Ensminger says without the volunteer effort, the park staff would be ovewhelmed trying to get the site ready for the season.

      Toops said in previous years they've had volunteers from as far away as Cedar Rapids to help with the one day cleanup. He added people that have interest in the Civil War are the same people that volunteer and who want to make sure sites like the Battle of Athens Historic Site are kept up and ready for those visitors who make a stop in the area.

      Toops said the historic site is also becoming a popular location for weddings.

      Last year the park hosted 12 weddings and this year, two weddings have already been booked.